Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is the one holiday where love is truly appreciated, and for those who are single, completely shunned. Along with candy, flowers and gift baskets, music about love also plays a big part in the celebration.
So The Boombox rounded up some of the "sweetest" love songs from your favorite artists in honor of Cupid's day. R&B singers Sade, Marvin Gaye, Tinashe, Anita Baker, T-Pain, Mariah Carey, Tyrese and others have some fantastic ballads of loveworthy confection in their discography.
With our 10 ‘Sweet’ R&B Love Songs list we want to show that no matter the holiday - Valentine’s Day or otherwise - love will never go out of style. Peep our list below.
"How Sweet It Is To Be Loved by You"Marvin Gaye
We are going to start off this sweet list with a oldie but a goodie. Soul icon Marvin Gaye serenaded the ladies with his 1964 song, “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved by You.” Produced and written by Motown’s legendary in-house hitmakers Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, it’s a straight-forward song in which Gaye thanks his ladylove for her sweet devotion that has touched his “emotions.”
T-Pain sings about a night of sweet love making on the melodic “Sweet.” “Bottom line, you are the greatest / Have you ever heard of a Love TKO / Well girl you are Mike Tyson and I like it,” he sings. Teddy Penderazdoun’s song is perfect for your bedroom playlist.
R. Kelly celebrates the love of his late mother Joanne Kelly, on the touching ballad, “(Sweet) Sadie,” which is a soulful flip of the Spinners’ classic 1975 of the same name. Whether it’s on Valentine’s Day or not, a mother’s love is the greatest love of all.
"You Are the Sweetest One"Luther Vandeross
When it comes to singing love ballads, no one does it better than the late Luther Vandross. This 1980 love confection features the singer praising his woman for being the sweetest love that he’s ever known. “The world's sweetest lady / Live around my way / And I think that I'm in love / Hey there sweet one / You don't know what you've done / I was once so lonely / Now I only think of love, of love sweet love / And you're the sweetest one,” he sings. How sweet it is.
Tinashe is one of the hottest singers in the R&B game right now. But back in 2012, when she was relatively unknown, she dropped her second mixtape called Reverie. The tape helped build her loyal fan base and subsequently landed her deal with RCA Records. On the tape, there was a hidden track called “Sweet Sensation” but it was only a snippet.
Fast forward to 2015. Tinashe released the full version of the song via her new mixtape, Amethyst. The uptempo ballads features Tinashe letting her man know that she’s hankering for some of his sweet satisfaction ASAP. “‘Cause I’m fallin’ for you boy in a hurry,” she sings, adding, “you love me with a fire and a passion / I think I’m falling hard for you too / So please touch me, give me sweet satisfaction.”
Anita Baker’s classic ballad “Sweet Love” is, arguably, one of the greatest love songs of all time and will give you warm fuzzies in your heart. It’s a beautiful tune both melodically and lyrically. On the song, Baker’s confirms her undying commitment to her boo. “Your heart has called me closer to you / I will be all that you need / Just trust in what we're feeling / Never leave, 'cause baby, I believe in this love,” she sings. Watch the video below and see why Baker is one of R&B’s greatest vocal singers and be saddened by the fact that she’s now retiring from music.
Music trivia: Rap superstar Drake sampled "Sweet Love" for his 9th Wonder-produced song "Think Good Thoughts” on his 2007 mixtape, Comeback Season.
"One Sweet Day"Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men
In 1995, Mariah Carey scored a big hit with her collaborative song “One Sweet Day” with Boyz II Men. The song was dedicated to specific people in both Carey and Boyz II Men’s lives who have passed away from AIDS, an epidemic that was prevalent at that time. The song spent 16 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and one of the most successful songs of the 1990s.
Before he became a big-screen action hero, Tyrese was a soulful balladeer in the late ‘90s. In 1998, the California native released “Sweet Lady,” a sumptuous ballad from his self-titled album. On the song, the crooner professes his affection for a woman that catches his eye. “Sweet lady would you be my / Sweet love for a lifetime / I'll be there when you need me / Just call and receive me,” he sings. The single earned Tyrese a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance.
"Sweet Baby"George Duke & Stanley Clarke
Now this is a really sweet song both in its lyrics and production. Over a melodic piano riff, bass violins and twangy guitars, George Duke and Stanley Clarke created arguably one of the most infectious love ballads in the R&B genre. On the song, Duke asks for a second chance at love with a former flame. “Oh it's you sweet baby / Though we've had such a long hard road to climb, sweet baby / Only hopin' it's not too late to try again / It's you, sweet baby,” he pleads.
We has to end our list with the sweetest love song of all time -- Sade’s “Sweetest Taboo.” The sumptuous ballad has become a long-standing mainstay on Quiet Storm radio formats. The song is about a man who brings Sade to the height of ultimate sexual satisfaction. “There's a quiet storm and it never felt like this before / There's a quiet storm, that is you,” she sings.