Music | October 28, 2017 9:00 am

Sade Is One of the ‘Most Relentlessly Quiet Famous People on the Planet’

The New York Times looks into the Nigerian-born singer's cultural influence.

Helen Adu, known to the world as Sade, is the Nigerian-born frontwoman of the band Sade, who had breakout success in the 1980s. Adu, however, has influenced culture separate from the band, reports the New York TimesShe popularized hoop earrings and revolutionized wearing polka dots. She is one of the “most relentlessly quiet famous people on the planet,” writes The Times, but that doesn’t stop her fandom from growing.

Now, a generation of house D.s have turned Sade’s music into club classics, and hip-hop artists frequently sample her. That’s why when one Yelp user commented that his tattoo shop shouldn’t be playing Sade, the musicians fans all fired back. The shop itself, East River Tattoo, commented, saying, “Proud to be shattering your expectations of what a tattoo shop should be, every day of the week.”

Speaking of tattoos, Adu’s fans have adorned their bodies with her image. East River Tattoo told The Times that more than 20 clients have gotten a Sade tattoo over the last year or so.

The most famous tattoo belongs to Drake, who showed it off on Instagram in March.

Meanwhile, T-shirts with Sade’s image sell out immediately and go for hundreds of dollars.

Some of this fascination probably stems for her fans knowing so little about her. Her disinterest in self-promotion has had the opposite effect, but that doesn’t mean she is unkind or remote.

A former senior vice president at Epic who worked on the United States promotion for Sade’s first four albums, Dan Beck, told The Times, “There was grace to everything she did.”