“The Sweetest Taboo” is a song by English band Sade, taken from their second album Promise (1985). While the song peaked at #31 on the UK Singles Chart, it fared considerably better in the United States, where it reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1986, remaining in the Top 40 for 13 weeks. It also became the band’s second consecutive number-one hit on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, following “Smooth Operator”. It is considered the group’s signature song.
“The Sweetest Taboo” is mentioned in the lyrics of Prince’s 2005 charity single “S.S.T.”, as well as in Mos Def’s 1999 song “Ms. Fat Booty”.
The French duo Les Nubians recorded a song called “Tabou” on their 1998 album Princesses Nubiennes, credited as a French adaptation of “The Sweetest Taboo”, although the lyrics are significantly different.
British artists Glamma Kid and Shola Ama sampled the song in 1999 in a somewhat more upbeat version with both a ragga and R&B feel to it. It was released as a single only.
The song was featured in a 1985 episode of the US daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless.