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Top 5 Songs From Sade’s Debut Album ‘Diamond Life’

One of the most iconic albums in music history celebrated its anniversary this week.

Sade’s Diamond Life, a critical and commercial success in the U.S. and United Kingdom, celebrated its 35 anniversary Tuesday.

The album, known for hit songs “Smooth Operator” and “Your Love Is King,” catapulted the group to fame and made lead vocalist Helen Folasade Adu not only a music superstar but a timeless fashion and beauty inspiration.

To celebrate the album’s anniversary, we’ve picked five songs from the album that you need to listen to ASAP.


01 – “When Am I Going To Make A Living”

Released as the album’s second single, “When Am I Going To Make A Living” still feels familiar. Caught between the struggles of being financially unstable, everyday and white-collar thieves, and remaining optimistic, the single is a song a lot of us can relate to today.

02 – “Hang On To Your Love”

More upbeat than other songs on the album, “Hang On To Your Love” was America’s introduction to Sade. The song was the group’s first single on the US Billboard R&B chart. Producer Robin Millar said in an interview that it was US A&R man Cliff Crist who pushed the group to release the song, explaining, “He said a very sensible thing: ‘In my opinion, if you don’t get the black audience first in America, you won’t get them. If you get them first, and if you crossover, they’ll stay with you.’ I believe it was crucial, because it linked Sade with a black audience, and it gave her credibility.”

03 – “Cherry Pie”

If you’ve ever loved, even briefly, and had your heartbroken, then “Cherry Pie” is a song you’ll likely deeply relate to. Perfectly capturing the butterfly feeling of that first encounter and the later heartache of love lost, “Cherry Pie” is a song you need to press play on now.

04 – “Frankie’s First Affair”

As the saying goes: karma’s a b—h. “Frankie’s First Affair” tells the story of a heart-breaker who finally gets a taste of his own medicine. Feeling like a woman scorned but trying to keep your fury at bay? Turn on “Frankie’s First Affair.”

05 – “I Will Be Your Friend”

Sade offers enduring love, support, and friendship with “I Will Be Your Friend.” The song was later sampled by Drake on “Free Spirit.”

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