30 years ago this week the English group Sade released their worldwide smash hit debut album Diamond Life. Coming out at the height of the slick, glitzy, video-driven R&B era – as typified by Michael Jackson and Prince – the album’s chill grooves and lush melodies seduced listeners and announced the arrival of a new, uniquely British style of soul music. Though named after their sultry singer Sade Adu, the group coalesced in London in the early ’80s and have retained the same lineup for over three decades. Unsure of what to do with the band, US labels didn’t release the album until early 1985 and then saw it rise up the charts on the strength of the hit song and video “Smooth Operator.” To date the album has sold over 7.5 million copies worldwide. Watch founding members Sade Adu and Stuart Matthewman discuss the band’s origins and hear noted music journalist and MSNBC host Touré talk about the album’s lasting impact.
View Photo Gallery