Sweet Love – Anita Baker | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#8), R&B (#2) and Adult Contemporary (#3); 1986

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

By the time Anita Baker joined Detroit’s Chapter 8 as lead singer in 1976, the group had already done time as the Detroit Emeralds backing band, and were popular, yet, without a label deal. In 1979 and 1980, Chapter 8 landed several singles on the lower half of the R&B chart on Ariola America.

Unfortunately, Ariola was soon acquired by Arista, which didn’t like Anita’s singing and promptly dropped the band. Anita ended up supporting herself through clerical work until signed up by an indie label in 1983. The resulting Songstress album reached #12 on the R&B list, paving the way for her major label debut, Rapture.

After Watch Your Step hit #23 R&B, Sweet Love – written by Anita, jazz saxophonist Gary Bias, and writing partner Louis Johnson – stormed the charts, and kicked Rapture sales into multi-platinum territory. At the Grammies, Sweet Love took home the Best R&B Song award.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Michael J. Powell

Lyrics Written by:

  • Anita Baker
  • Louis A. Johnson
  • Gary Bias


  • “Sweet Love” won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song at the 29th Annual Grammy Awards (1987)