Born in Ibadan, Sade gained modest recognition as a fashion designer and part-time model, prior to joining the band Pride in the early 1980s. After gaining notoriety as a performer, she formed the band Sade, and secured a recording contract with Epic Records in 1983. The band then released the album Diamond Life a year later, which became one of the best selling albums of the era, and the best-selling debut ever by a British female vocalist. It also gained widespread critical acclaim, and is largely considered one of the best albums of all-time.
Soon after, they released Promise (1985), which was also a resounding critical and commercial success, becoming the band's first album to debut atop the Billboard 200. It later earned quadruple platinum certification in the U.S., and reached platinum across Europe. It also earned the group the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1986. Their following two releases, 1988's Stronger Than Pride and 1992's Love Deluxe, were also critically and commercially successful; however, the band would go on hiatus after the birth of Sade's daughter, and the singer would experience widespread media coverage during the period for mental health and addiction issues.