Diva (Annie Lennox album)

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 US, where it was a top 30 hit and has been certified double platinum.[2] Diva won the Brit Award for British Album of the Year at the 1993 Brit Awards. The album received nominations for Album of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Long Form Music Video, winning the latter award at the Grammy Awards the same year.

Annie Lennox - Diva Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released6 April 1992
StudioMayfair Studios and The Church, London
GenrePop, soul
LabelRCA (UK), Arista (US)
ProducerStephen 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

Background and receptionEdit

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 on the UK Albums Chart 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 receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [4]
Chicago Sun-Times    [5]
Entertainment WeeklyC[6]
Los Angeles Times    [7]
Q     [9]
Rolling Stone     [10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [11]
Slant Magazine     [12]
The Village VoiceC+[13]

In 1993 the album was included in Q magazine's list of the "50 Best Albums of 1992". Rolling Stone described the album as "...state-of-the-art soul pop..." and it is included in Rolling Stone's "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.[10]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Annie Lennox, except where otherwise noted.

1."Why" 4:53
2."Walking on Broken Glass" 4:12
3."Precious" 5:08
4."Legend in My Living Room"Lennox, Peter-John Vettese3:45
5."Cold" 4:20
6."Money Can't Buy It" 5:00
7."Little Bird" 4:48
8."Primitive" 4:19
9."Stay by Me" 6:28
10."The Gift"Lennox, Paul Buchanan, Robert Bell, Paul Joseph Moore4:52
Total length:47:45
CD bonus track
11."Keep Young and Beautiful"Al Dubin, Harry Warren2:17
Total length:50:02
Japanese edition bonus track
12."Step by Step"Lennox4:49
Total length:52:34


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 albumEdit

Lennox simultaneously released a video album for Diva, featuring promotional videos for seven of the album's tracks along with an excerpt of a track entitled "Remember", which has never been released elsewhere. 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 an additional promotional video that had been made since the original release ("Walking on Broken Glass"). The only omissions from the video album were "Little Bird" (the video for which had not yet been made at that time), and the album track "Stay By Me" for which no video was made.


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

Track listingEdit

  1. "Why"
  2. "Legend in My Living Room"
  3. "Money Can't Buy It"
  4. "Cold"
  5. "Remember (excerpt)"
  6. "Primitive"
  7. "The Gift"
  8. "Keep Young and Beautiful"

Track listing (reissue)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



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[33] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[34] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[35] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[36] Platinum 20,000 
Germany (BVMI)[37] Gold 250,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[33] Platinum 15,000^
Italy (FIMI)[33] Platinum 250,000[38]
Netherlands (NVPI)[39] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[40] Platinum 15,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[41] Gold 25,000*
Sweden (GLF)[42] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[33] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[43] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[44] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


Brit AwardsEdit

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 AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1993 Diva Album of the Year[46] Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Performance - Female[47] Nominated
(Performer: Annie Lennox; Director: Sophie Muller; Producer: Rob Small)
Best Long Form Music Video[48] Won


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  2. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Database Archived 22 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
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