Vocal Type: Contralto
Vocal Range: 2 Octaves 3 notes D3-G#5
Vocal Pluses: A voice that is texturally united throughout the range. Warm and smooth, Sade’s strength comes from her tone and timbre [Lovers Rock]; skill emoting [Smooth Operator]; her musicality (e.g.building harmonies) [Slave Song]; and ability to alter dynamics [King of Sorrow]. This puts her in contrast to other “powerhouse” Divas who use more obvious skills- such as melisma and high octave belting- to impress, but it makes her no less a vocalist. Her voice has a “quiet storm” beauty.
As mentioned above, the Diva has excellent volume control and breath support, which she uses to create the requisite mood and ambience to compliment the production. Though often found to be singing with a low/medium volume- something which is often (wrongly) credited as the reason for the soothing quality of the voice- she can shift dynamics without any negative effect on the timbre of the voice [Pearls].
Often heard within the middle of the voice, Sade employs a steady and easy delivery that creates a tone that is rounded, velvety, and effortless [ Somebody Already Broke My Heart]. The voice connects sympathetically without (apparent) breaks to the rich and thick lower register [Flow] and the ascending belt [Every Word]. A feat which implies more technical skill is present than a cursory listen might suggest.
Even within the belting range, the Diva exhibits the hazy timbre that gives the voice its smooth and unified sound. Though not often heard singing here, Sade is capable, being able to hold notes and traverse it easily [Jezebel Live].
Vocal Negatives: Vocal styling can leave some feeling her voice is weak and unimpressive.