13 Amazing Singers Similar To Sade

Written by Dan Farrant

If soulful songs sung in a beautiful deep voice is your thing, chances are you’re a fan of Helen Folasade Adu. Known to the world as Sade, this Nigerian-born British singer has captivated listeners with her music since the early 1980s.

Her blend of smooth jazz, dance, soul music, and rhythm and blues has made her a favorite among fans worldwide. With her distinctive voice and timeless tunes, it’s no wonder many are looking for similar artists to enjoy.

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at 13 amazing singers like Sade, who you’ll also love. Continue reading to learn who they are!

Sade by Julio Lopes (CC BY 2.0)

1. Solange

Younger sister to the famed Beyoncé, singer-songwriter Solange Knowles boasts incredible talent that has catapulted her to stardom while drawing comparisons to iconic artists like Sade.

Having expressed her passion for music from a young age, Solange’s career took flight in the early 2000s when she was just a teen. She debuted with Solo Star in 2002, which was a moderate success.

In 2013, Solange founded Saint Records as a platform primarily for R&B artists wanting to make their mark in the industry. The label is instrumental in fostering new talents who share similar artistic leanings as Sade and other soulful singers.

Under this label, Solange released her most successful album to date, A Seat at the Table, released in 2016. It features the charting hit “Cranes in the Sky,” which netted her a Grammy for Best R&B Performance.

2. Seal

British singer-songwriter Seal, full name Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel, has long been considered one of the performers whose music style closely resembles Sade’s.

With a career spanning over three decades, Seal’s incredible blend of soul, R&B, jazz, and pop has allowed him to maintain relevance in the international music scene.

Seal gained worldwide fame with his 1991 hit single “Crazy,” which topped various charts across multiple countries. Since then, he has released numerous successful songs that showcase his talent for creating heartfelt ballads, including the Song of the Year Grammy-winner “Kiss from a Rose” in 1994.

Fans have often expressed interest in witnessing a duet between Seal and Sade due to their similar styles and remarkable voices. This idea could result in an unforgettable musical experience.

3. Erykah Badu

Texas-born singer Erykah Badu quickly rose to prominence with her unique blend of neo-soul music inspired by R&B, soul, and hip-hop. This earned her the nickname Queen of Neo Soul.

Badu achieved great success throughout her career as a Grammy-winning artist. Songs like “On & On” and “Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)” topped the charts, cementing her status as one of the most influential and beloved figures in contemporary soul and R&B music.

In addition to being compared to Sade for their similar vocal styles and emotional connection with listeners, Erykah Badu has earned further merit within the industry due to collaborations with other high-profile artists like André 3000 and The Roots.

4. Minnie Riperton

Next up is an exceptional soul singer known for her four-octave vocal range that left audiences in awe: Minnie Riperton. Her hit single “Lovin’ You” from 1975 became an instant classic and firmly established her place as one of the greatest singers ever.

But Riperton’s talent extended far beyond her impressive range. Her unique style and sound set her apart from other artists of her time. Her music often explored love, loss, and hope with heartfelt lyrics and soulful melodies.

Despite being taken too soon at just 31 years old due to breast cancer in 1979, Minnie Riperton’s legacy lives on through the countless musicians influenced by her music.

5. Lalah Hathaway

With a career spanning decades, Lalah Hathaway has established herself as a highly acclaimed American singer, musician, and songwriter. Hathaway’s immense talent has garnered her multiple Grammy awards, solidifying her status as a revered figure in both jazz and R&B genres.

Notably, her captivating rendition of Sade’s “Cherish the Day,” which is in the Robert Glasper Experiment’s 2012 album, showcased her exceptional vocal prowess and garnered widespread recognition.

Throughout her illustrious career, Lalah Hathaway has consistently captivated audiences with her soul-stirring performances and delivered music that continues to leave an enduring impact on the music industry.

6. Toni Braxton

With a deep, soulful voice that has captivated the world since the late 1980s, Toni Braxton has become a household name in the world of R&B music, much like Sade. Born in Maryland, she began performing with her sisters as The Braxtons before going solo in 1993 with her eponymous debut album.

The album was an incredible hit, taking the top spot of Billboard 200 and landing Braxton a Best New Artist Grammy. It also contains several tracks that resonated well across the globe, including “Breathe Again.”

Then in the mid-1990s, Braxton released two chart-topping hits, “You’re Makin’ Me High” and her signature song, “Un-Break My Heart.” Both songs won the singer two more Grammys in 1997. These wins, and her continued success, are a testament to her remarkable talent.

7. Anita Baker

Renowned for her soulful ballads and captivating adult contemporary music, Anita Baker has achieved worldwide recognition as an American R&B singer-songwriter. Her powerful vocals, with a remarkable three-octave range, are reminiscent of artists like Sade.

Baker’s career took off in the 1980s when she released her debut solo album, The Songstress, in 1983. However, it was her second album, Rapture, in 1986 that catapulted her to superstardom. It reached the top of the charts and earned multiple Grammys, including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the hit single “Sweet Love.”

Moreover, Anita Baker stands out among her contemporaries because she can maintain a classic style in modern times. Her enduring influence remains and continues to inspire younger artists around the world today.

8. Lisa Stansfield

Across the pond, we have the soulful voice of the talented British singer Lisa Stansfield. Hailing from Manchester, Stansfield was immersed in the city’s vibrant music scene, which played a significant role in shaping her musical journey.

After gaining experience as a vocalist in various bands, Stansfield rose to prominence with her breakout single, “All Around the World,” in 1989. Her debut album, Affection, was released the same year and received widespread acclaim. It showcased Stansfield’s remarkable vocal range and her ability to infuse her music with a combination of soul, R&B, and pop sensibilities.

If you enjoy Sade’s sultry and soothing vocals, you’ll likely appreciate Stansfield’s soulful and tender approach. Her songs often delve into themes of love, relationships, and personal growth, presenting narratives that are both relatable and thought-provoking.

9. Luther Vandross

When thinking of soulful balladeers like Sade, it’s impossible not to think of the one who embodies timeless R&B music, Luther Vandross. The man is an icon in the industry, known for his smooth jazz vocals and velvety sound that can soothe even the most troubled of souls.

Many people don’t know that Luther Vandross started out as a backing vocalist before making it big with his debut album, Never Too Much, in 1981. The album set the stage for his subsequent chart-topping hits and cemented his status as a soul music icon.

Vandross’ music often explored themes of love, romance, and relationships. His soul-stirring ballads like “Here and Now,” “Dance with My Father,” and “Endless Love” resonated deeply with listeners, earning him numerous accolades, including eight Grammy Awards.

10. Stevie Wonder

A living legend in the music industry is the American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Stevie Wonder. With a career spanning decades, the Michigan artist has gifted the world with an extensive catalog of unforgettable hits like “Superstition,” “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” and “For Once In My Life.”

Wonder’s impact on the music industry is immeasurable. He has earned countless awards, including 25 Grammy Awards and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

For fans of Sade who appreciate soulful and emotive music, Stevie Wonder would be an excellent recommendation. Much like Sade, Wonder infuses his music with heartfelt lyrics, captivating melodies, and a profound ability to convey raw emotion. Both artists possess an incredible range and a talent for crafting songs that touch the depths of the soul.

11. Marvin Gaye

Another iconic artist like Sade is the Prince of Soul himself, Marvin Gaye. Known for his smooth and soulful voice, he was a prominent figure in Motown music and helped to define R&B music for generations to come.

His career spanned almost three decades before his untimely demise, during which he delivered timeless hits such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Sexual Healing,” and “Let’s Get It On.” Gaye’s music blended elements of R&B, soul, funk, and jazz, showcasing his versatility as an artist.

Sade fans seeking soulful and thought-provoking music should explore Marvin Gaye’s discography. His albums like What’s Going On and Midnight Love will provide you with a musical journey filled with timeless classics and heartfelt storytelling.

12. Alicia Keys

With her captivating talent and soulful presence, Alicia Keys has solidified herself as a powerhouse in the music industry. She possesses a mesmerizing voice and exceptional piano-playing skills that elevate her music to new heights.

Keys’ career took off with her debut album, Songs in A Minor, released in 2001. The album introduced her music—a blend of R&B, soul, and pop—to the world. Over the years, hits like “Fallin’,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” and “No One” catapulted her to global recognition and earned her numerous awards, including four Grammy Awards.

Alicia Keys’s ability to infuse her music with raw emotion, coupled with her masterful piano-playing skills, echoes the artistry of Sade. Exploring her work will definitely be a soulful journey worth taking.

13. Jill Scott

Ending this list is Jill Scott, a music legend who has taken the neo-soul and R&B world by storm with her soulful vocals and powerful lyrics, just like Sade did. Scott rose to prominence in the late 1990s and early 2000s, captivating audiences with her powerful voice and soulful melodies,

In the early 2000s, Scott began her career as a spoken word artist before breaking into the music industry with her debut album, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1. This Grammy-nominated album helped put the singer in the spotlight.

She went on to release four more successful albums, with the last two—The Light of the Sun and Woman—topping the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. She continues to inspire and empower through her music, acting, and poetry, leaving a lasting impact on the entertainment industry.

Summing Up Our List Of Singers Like Sade

We hope this article has been an enjoyable and informative journey through the world of soulful music. From the smooth and velvety voice of Solange to the enchanting melodies of Jill Scott, these singers, like Sade, have created a timeless legacy in the realm of soul and R&B.

If there are any other singers we might have missed that should be on this list, feel free to let us know. We’ll add them for you!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.