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Anita Baker

With her classy, refined brand of romantic soul, Anita Baker was one of the definitive quiet storm singers of the '80s. Gifted with a strong, supple alto, Baker was influenced not only by R&B, but jazz, gospel, and traditional pop, which gave her music a distinctly adult sophistication. Smooth and mellow, but hardly lifeless, it made her one of the most popular romantic singers of her time.

Baker was born January 26, 1958, in Toledo, Ohio, and raised in nearby Detroit, where she grew up listening to female jazz singers like Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, and Ella Fitzgerald. At age 12, she began singing in a gospel choir, and by age 16 she was performing with several local bands. In 1975, she successfully auditioned for Chapter 8, one of Detroit's most popular acts at the time; the group eventually signed with Ariola and released an album in 1979, but was immediately dropped when the label was acquired by Arista (which didn't care for Baker's vocals). Chastened, Baker worked low-paying jobs in Detroit and eventually found steady work as a receptionist at a law firm. In 1982, Otis Smith -- an executive who'd worked with Chapter 8 -- contacted Baker about recording for his new label, Beverly Glen. Happy with her employment benefits and skittish over the experience with Arista, Baker was reluctant at first, but eventually flew out to the West Coast to record her debut album, The Songstress, in 1983. Though it didn't gain quite enough exposure to become a hit, it did help Baker build a strong fan base through word-of-mouth, and she was signed by Elektra in 1985.

Working with producer Michael J. Powell (an old Chapter 8 cohort), Baker released her major-label debut, Rapture, in 1986. It was a platinum, Grammy-winning smash, appealing to both urban and adult contemporary listeners and producing two all-time quiet storm classics in "Caught Up in the Rapture" and "Sweet Love." Baker toured the world in 1987 and her guest appearance on the Winans track "Ain't Got No Need to Worry" won a Grammy. Her equally stylish follow-up album, Giving You the Best That I Got, appeared in 1988, spawning more staples in the title track and "Just Because." "Giving You the Best That I Got" also won Baker two more Grammys, for Best Female R&B Vocal and Best R&B Song. For her third Elektra album, Baker decided to handle a greater share of the songwriting, hence the title Compositions, which was released in 1990 and featured even stronger jazz inflections than Baker's previous work (not to mention all live instruments).

Following Compositions, Baker took a break from recording and touring; after having her first son in 1993, she returned to the studio to craft Rhythm of Love, which was released in 1994. In the years that followed, Baker was mostly silent, despite her fans' clamoring for a jazz album; instead, she raised her family and became embroiled in contract disputes with Elektra, which eventually led her to move to Atlantic. She began working on a new album in 2000, but had to start over from scratch due to defective recording equipment that made the original tracks unsalvageable. In 2004 it was announced that she had signed with Blue Note and was still working on her new album. In the meantime, the Atlantic imprint Rhino released Night of Rapture: Live, a 1987 concert originally available on video. Baker finally returned to the studio in 2003 and issued My Everything, her first album in ten years. Two years later she released her first holiday album, Christmas Fantasy. The 2012 return single "Lately," a Tyrese cover, received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Traditional R&B Performance. Its parent album, Only Forever, was prepared for 2013. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Lately (Single)

Comments

Theres only one Anita Baker
She is like no other
Mrs baker's music is timeless a thing of beauty there will never b another!
Anita has a beautiful voice
Her voice is an instrument.. .
The best ever....
Can't lie Anita been pimpin since pimpin since pimpin I love her
Still new school dont got ish on my old school.
blueyedmom00 7
What a beautiful voice!!! Just Because...br i n g s tears to my eyes.
nrivers16
Just because your invisible just because I doooooooooo
Beautiful sista!!!
You are still simply the best
I think everyone had this album
Darling, I stand alone before you, offer you the best that I posses , a strong good love, time tested, guaranteed to stand to the test of time, I'm a man with slow hands and with the understandin g your needs come first and foremost, love's desire, I offer you, guaranteed to fulfill the need
Fantastic album, and fantastic singer!
Love this album it is very good one
I'm in love!!! And I love to be loved!!!!!
She remind me of back when females were natural beauty not ta minus her beautiful voice
..... damn Anita....
The greatest gift to my ears
Good music.
Always LOVE MRS. BAKER, SHE FROM THE HOME TOWN, YEAH1, YEAH1
LUVS ME SME ANITA BAKER
nrivers16
2 thumbs up
Anita music" touch the soul!Just because I do,I just love u jesus,O:-)
Great versatile voice - love it!
Man, Anita had a bunch woman rockin her hair style
I Love Ms. Baker, Listening to Her Music Has Bought me Out of Some Dark Times. Bless You, Ms. baker
Love me some Anita .. Her voice never gets old
You have beautiful spirit only person i love more my bestfriend. I just love you, you Can't imagine how much .
None of my friends touch my heart all sweethearts not one look at as a girlfriend nice people
franklin.pag e n
There is only 1 and only 1 with a voice like hers that can NEVER EVER be duplicated!! !
Anita .....please go back on tour !!!!!
msaishajarre t t 0 7
Absolutely love her
❤️❤️
Talk to you i have pride i don't stand in the way: of family.
Okay ,Sorry
Trust you G.Baby cause of your sweet love
Need leave Pandora alone...i love you don't. Headache with crazy women
I'm always here might be sleep. Lol just shake me G .Baby.
GBABY is not us fight to make up sometime fighting was for the wild passion and making up.
Your music kept me sane back in the day...still timeless
No one has a voice soul and tone like she does. She could not ever be copied it could and would only one of her. Beautiful Lady
This was our song when we first meet 20 yrs. Ago. Miss you Carlos..
Life time lover of your music.love& god bless you
I love you anita all your music.
The Ocean is the best u can experience.. .
Usher
You have know what you want.G you have life I'm a problem you don't need.
G.BABY wish had more give you what little have share.
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