King Sunny Ade was born into a royal family in Ondo to a church organist and a mother who was a trader.
He began his musical career when, after dropping out of grammer school, he drifted to Lagos and joined a highlife band. Inspired by the music of I.K. Dairo, he joined the Rhythm Dandies, led by Moses Olaiya (later known as Baba Sala, Nigeria’s preeminent funny man and a prolific film maker).
In 1966 he formed his own band, the Green Spots.
After more than a decade of resounding success in Africa, Adé was received to great acclaim in Europe and North America in 1982
In 1987, Sunny Adé returned to the international spotlight when Rykodisc released a live concert he did in Seattle and was given an astonishing embrace by fans across the globe who were eager for another international album release
In the 1980s Adé embarked on a career in Hollywood. His music was featured in the 1983 film Breathless, starring Richard Gere, and the 1986 comedy One More Saturday Night.