Last night, I had a chance to chat with R&B star Sade before she performed at 1st Mariner Arena—the first date on her first North American tour in almost ten years.
I asked her why she chose to launch the tour in Baltimore and she made clear it wasn't just a random choice.
"We’ve had good times in Baltimore in the past—I just love it here," she said. "I’ve always had a romantic memory from when I first heard Nina Simone’s 'Baltimore.'"
It's not surprising to hear the Nigerian-British singer cite Simone's 1978 version of the song (below), which was actually written and recorded by Randy Newman in 1977, since their voices share a smoky quality and emotional resonance.
I reviewed the show last night for Rolling Stone, where I used to work. You can read that here.