Preparing for a 100-plus-date international concert tour is daunting for even the most seasoned musical acts. Doing so after a lengthy absence from the marketplace presents a whole other set of challenges. But unconventional English singer Sade Adu, whose similarly named band recently embarked on its first North American tour since 2001, decided it was best to not prepare at all.
"I do the opposite and pretend it's not going to happen, immersing myself in the details of production as a way of distracting myself from reality," Adu says. "When the time comes, I don't test the waters -- I just jump straight in."
Video: Sade Tour 2011 Teaser
The vocalist's instincts served her well. Boasting visually stunning production elements and a strong package with John Legend, who opens all U.S. dates, the critically acclaimed, Live Nation-produced arena tour -- which follows the 2010 release of Sade's sixth studio album, "Soldier of Love" (Epic Records) -- has become one of the biggest success stories of the concert business this summer. This is good news for the touring industry, which looks to be on the rebound after last year's bloodbath: Numerous tours and concerts were postponed, canceled or reconfigured for various reasons.