Diva (Annie Lennox album)

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Annie Lennox - Diva Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by Annie Lennox
Released 6 April 1992
Genre Pop, soul, adult alternative
Length 49:55
Label RCA (UK)
Arista (US)
Producer Steve Lipson
Annie Lennox chronology
Singles from Diva
  1. "Why"
    Released: March 1992
  2. "Precious"
    Released: May 1992
  3. "Walking on Broken Glass"
    Released: August 1992
  4. "Cold"
    Released: October 1992
  5. "Little Bird"
    Released: February 1993

Diva is the debut solo album by the Scottish singer-songwriter Annie Lennox, released in 1992. The album entered the UK album chart at number 1 and has since sold over 1.2 million copies in the UK alone, being certified quadruple platinum.[1] It was also a success in the U.S. where it was a top 30 hit and has been certified double platinum.[2] Diva won Album of the Year at the 1993 Brit Awards, and was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards the same year.

Background and reception[edit]

Following the informal dissolution of Eurythmics in 1990, Lennox took some time away from the music industry, during which she gave birth to her eldest daughter. She commenced working on her first solo album in 1991 with producer Stephen Lipson. Though she had been accustomed to co-writing material with Dave Stewart during her years with Eurythmics, eight of the ten tracks on Diva were written solely by Lennox herself, with two tracks being co-written by her. Upon its release, the album debuted at number one in the UK Album Charts and would eventually yield five hit singles, three of which reached the Top 10 (although they had continued to achieve number one albums, Eurythmics had not scored a UK Top 10 single since 1986). Diva was ultimately certified quadruple platinum in the UK, more than any of Eurythmics' studio albums.

The song "Keep Young and Beautiful" was included on the CD release as a bonus track (the original vinyl album had only ten tracks). Another bonus track, "Step by Step", appeared on the Mexican and Japanese editions of the album and was also included as the B-Side on the single "Precious". The song was later recorded by Whitney Houston for the 1996 film soundtrack The Preacher's Wife and subsequently became a hit single.

The headdress worn by Lennox on the album's cover (and seen in several of the album's videos) was obtained from the London-based costume company Angels. It had been used previously in the James Bond film Octopussy.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly 5/12 stars(C)[5]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[6]
The New York Times (Positive)[7]
Q 4/5 stars[8]
Robert Christgau C+[9]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[10]
Slant Magazine 4.5/5 stars[11]

In 1993 the album was included in Q magazine's list of the "50 Best Albums Of 1992". Rolling Stone magazine (6/25/92, p. 41) described the album as "...state-of-the-art soul pop..." and it is included in Rolling Stone's (5/13/99, p. 56) "Essential Recordings of the 90's" list.

In their review, Rolling Stone commented:

State-of-the-art soul pop, Annie Lennox's solo debut is sonically gorgeous; it also declares her aesthetic independence. Ace sessionmen polish Diva's gloss, and producer Stephen Lipson (Pet Shop Boys, Propaganda) operates in hyperdrive, but these eleven songs are fiercely those of a sister doing things for herself. Three years after her last outing with Dave Stewart, her cohort in Eurythmics, Lennox voids any notion that he was her Svengali and she merely the MTV beauty with stunning pipes. Writing nearly all of Diva, she manages a whirlwind tour of mainstream R&B and retains her singular persona – an ice queen thirsting to be melted by love.(RS 633)[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Lennox, except where otherwise noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Why"   Annie Lennox 4:53
2. "Walking on Broken Glass"   Lennox 4:12
3. "Precious"   Lennox 5:08
4. "Legend in My Living Room"   Lennox, Peter-John Vettese 3:45
5. "Cold"   Lennox 4:20
6. "Money Can't Buy It"   Lennox 5:00
7. "Little Bird"   Lennox 4:48
8. "Primitive"   Lennox 4:19
9. "Stay by Me"   Lennox 6:28
10. "The Gift"   Lennox, The Blue Nile 4:52


Title A-side(s)
"Step by Step" "Precious"
"Don't Let Me Down" "Walking on Broken Glass"
"River Deep, Mountain High" (Live) "Cold"
"Feel the Need" (Live)
"Love Song for a Vampire" "Little Bird" (double A-side)

Diva video album[edit]

Lennox simultaneously released a video album for Diva, featuring promotional videos for seven of the album's tracks. The video album was directed by Sophie Muller who had worked with Lennox during her later years with Eurythmics. Some months after its first release, the Diva video album was reissued as Totally Diva, and featured two additional promotional videos that had been made since the original release ("Walking On Broken Glass" and "Precious"). The only omissions from the video album were "Little Bird" (the video for which had not yet been made at this time), and the album track "Stay By Me" for which no video has ever been made.


  • Director: Sophie Muller
  • VHS release date: 6 April 1992
  • DVD release date: 26 September 2000
  • Label: Sony BMG
  • Run time: 45 minutes

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Why"
  2. "Legend In My Living Room"
  3. "Precious"
  4. "Money Can't Buy It"
  5. "Cold"
  6. "Primitive"
  7. "The Gift"
  8. "Walking On Broken Glass"
  9. "Keep Young And Beautiful"



  • Produced by Stephen Lipson
  • Recorded and engineered by Heff Moraes (also MIDI manager)
  • Mixed by William (Bill) O'Donovan
  • Ian Cooper – mastering
  • Anton Corbijn – photography (inner cover)
  • Satoshi – photography (front cover)
  • Laurence Stevens – design


Brit Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
Diva Best British Album Won
Annie Lennox (performer) Best British Female Artist Won
Stephen Lipson (producer) Best British Producer Nominated
"Walking on Broken Glass" Best British Video Nominated

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
1993 Diva Album of the Year[14] Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Performance - Female[15] Nominated
(Performer: Annie Lennox; Director: Sophie Muller; Producer: Rob Small)
Best Long Form Music Video[16] Won


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Austria (IFPI Austria)[17] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[18] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Germany (BVMI)[19] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[20] Gold 50,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[21] Gold 25,000*
Sweden (GLF)[22] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[24] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
Adrenalize by Def Leppard
Walthamstow by East 17
UK number-one album
18 – 24 April 1992
6 – 12 March 1993
Succeeded by
Up by Right Said Fred
Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz
Preceded by
Carboni by Luca Carboni
Italian FIMI Chart number-one album
11 May – 1 June 1992
Succeeded by
Live at Wembley '86 by Queen


  1. ^ BPI Searchable database
  2. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Database
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  4. ^ Parisien, Roch. Diva (Annie Lennox album) at AllMusic
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  6. ^ Hunt, Dennis (1992-05-24). "Record Rack: ANNIE LENNOX; "Diva" Arista". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  7. ^ Holden, Stephen (1992-09-11). "Critic's Notebook; For Adult Pop Music, A Quiet Sonic Boom". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  8. ^ Q (5/92, p.79)
  9. ^ Robert Christgau review
  10. ^ Rolling Stone (6/25/92, p.41)
  11. ^ Slant Magazine review
  12. ^ [1]
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  14. ^ "GRAMMYs' Best Albums 1990–1999". grammy.org. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
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  18. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Annie Lennox – Diva". Music Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
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