Today marks the 25th anniversary of Sade's Love Deluxe album—the four-times platinum project that spawned classics "No Ordinary Life," "Cherish the Day" and others—and if there's any doubt that the neo-jazz/soul band's influence lacks longevity, look no further than a few of today's musicians who have continued to look to the group, and its frontwoman, for inspiration and to pay homage.
Drizzy's love for Sade is no secret considering he has not one but two tattoos of her face on his rib cage, but the feelings must be somewhat mutual as on his 30th birthday last year, she gifted him with a portrait and signed it: "The 24th of October 1986 was a very good day...Shine on."
He also sampled her Diamond Life cut "I Will Be Your Friend" (1984) on his Rick Ross collaboration "Free Spirit" (2011), looping the original track's horns and vocals throughout his own. It was the last of four songs that Drake dropped in anticipation for his then-upcoming album, Take Care.
In 2010, Sade famously turned down a collaboration with JAY-Z, then telling the Los Angeles Times, "I'm too scared. They'll find me out. It's like 'The Wizard of Oz.' They'll find out there's nothing there."
The next year, however, JAY would be featured on the official remix to "The Moon and The Sky," a bonus track on the group's The Ultimate Collection album. (It was a track that Drake had hoped to appear on, as he admitted earlier this year on the Cal Cast podcast, saying, "I was this close to being on it, but my star wasn't there yet for her to hear me out.")
Still, in 2012, Sade admitted—on JAY's Life+Times site, no less—that not cashing in on their original collabo offer was the sole regret of her career, saying: "If I could turn back time? I would have asked JAY Z to rap on Soldier Of Love in 2010. There's not much else I would change-the mistakes I've made have made me grow braver."
In April 2012, the singer took to her site to pen an open letter to Sade, thanking the veteran's music for being a "friend."
The rapper paid homage to Sade earlier this year in a photoshoot for T Magazine shot by Patrick Demarchelier.
"My only regret was too young for Sade Adu / My only regret, could never take Aaliyah home" — "No Role Modelz," 2014 Forest Hills Drive
"You a Rico Suave nigga / Ride 'round listen to Sade, nigga" — "All Day"
"I get it my way from Friday to Friday / My girl is a mix of Aaliyah and Sade / I came a long way from that Marvin and Chardonnay" — "Sacrifices," I Decided.
That "Coast to coast, L.A. to Chicago" lyric on Snoop's 1999 hit "Bitch Please" (1:43 mark) was pulled directly from Sade's "Smooth Operator" classic (1:31 mark).
For his tenth mixtape Kairi Chanel—his first to chart—East sourced the piano keys and guitar strums from Sade's Love Deluxe cut "Like a Tattoo" (2:13 mark) throughout his own "Type of Time."
Rich Homie Quan
"Ain't no telling what he'll do for the paper / Soufflé, I'm straight, I steak my plate / Sade, I'm a smooth operator" — "Type of Way," Still Goin In: Reloaded
Just one day before Kelela named Sade as one of her musical influences, she performed a stripped-back, piano cover of her "Like a Tattoo" hit for BBC Radio 1.
I write to feel better, it's just a healing process. I get my ideas from my personal experience. Aaliyah Mariah Bjork Sade Missy Lauryn... https://t.co/AksPuGvsMQ— Kelela (@kelelam) October 12, 2017
Back in 2014, Pink briefly joined forces with Dallas Green (of City & Colour) to form new folk duo You + Me and included a cover of Sade's "No Ordinary Love" on their sole album so far, rose ave.