Sade was not the typical drag queen: she sang live, with a powerhouse voice that often brought standing ovations. And yet she was no diva, but one of the sweetest, most genuine, widely-loved drag queens ever, who continued to work at her craft. Last year she even won the grand prize at the annual "Paris Is Burning" ball.
Sade first hit the big time when she appeared in Jenny Livingston’s critically acclaimed “Paris Is Burning” documentary in 1984. She also played Effie White in a limited off-Broadway engagement of "Dreamgirls"
She was well known not just here in the States, but in Europe as well. In 1989 Susanne Bartsch took Sade to Milan to sing at Giorgio Armani’s birthday. Sade performed as Patti LaBelle at the Astoria Theatre in London, and as Josephine Baker (wearing nothing but bananas and jewels!) at the Queen in London. In Paris, she headlined at parties for supermodels, Madonna, and John Galliano. From 1998 to 2004 Sade had a monthly engagement at the T&M Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland. During the same time she also appeared on the television show Casa Nostra in Lausanne.
Sade continued to win the hearts of audiences in her captivating performance as one of the Abbalicious girls in the documentary musical, "What's the Name of the Dame?" directed by Allan Neuwirth, which had its world premiere at last year's Atlanta Film Festival. Following the movie's successful and award-winning film festival run, Sade had started work on a solo album. While we mourn the loss of such a talented singer and actor we also want to pay tribute to all of her wonderful body of work.
Our thoughts are with Sade's family during this time.
Allan Neuwirth, Director, “What’s the Name of the Dame?”
Jack Chen, Figjam Records / Figjam Productions