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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

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Track List: Lately (Single)

Comments

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Beautiful sound from a beautiful woman I used to love going to her concerts God I miss them and her. Nothing but Loire love and soul and sexy!
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My wife love all your music .........
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One of the best......
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I still remember her Chapter 8 days (dating myself) as a runny nose kid in the 70's. Watching her career grow was one of the true pleasures of my life.
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artist685
SWEET LOVE, I LOVE ANITA BAKER! Velvet voice and natural vocals...... d o e s it get better than her?
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Love her!
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shawnda_wash i n g t o n
This is my aunt favorite's singer... Thanks got helping her through chemotherapy Anita... R.I.P. Auntie Stella I miss you.
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my favorite !! in a class of her own..love her!!
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Love me some Anita
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I love her!
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Real love music!
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Classic sultry voice i love Mrs. Anita Baker... Songs of my Life
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Caught up in the rapture favorite song by Ms Baker
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I absolutely love anita Baker. She's a very classy artist. She truly has a gift from God; there's no one else like her.
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No one can do it better!
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My ultimate singing experience is to do a duet with you Anita!! Contact me on LinkedIn. Barry Drexler
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mooredonna5
I absolutely love love love Anita Baker! SHE'S MY FAVORITE FEMALE SINGER
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Great voice and a real treat to see live. Her hand gestures while singing are awesome
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My favorite female singer. Just can't get enough of Anita Baker. Her songs will be in my wedding. Chief Keith
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Love love me some Anita Baker baby
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I love the way you sing. best ever.
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Man rapture,,,so many memories...
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In my feelings with this one ��
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One of the greatest singers!!!
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msaishajarre t t 0 7
I must see her in concert, love Ms.Baker
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Love ballads for the soul...... Thanks anita
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supersusieq2 0 0 2
This song puts me in the mood to do something... . . m m m !
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I'm in love
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rlwhite94
The most soulful singer of my time. Love is good when u got the special one! Thanks Pandora for taking me back to the Anita Baker days!!
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This song ,put me back in love again
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nancytx1
Think she's my all-time favorite female soul singer, too. You can just get swallowed up in the silkiness of her voice..... :-)
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Love this song baby all day
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She helped me alone the way in life
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lindamayfiel d 2 1
Oh yes! Love that song, just took a stroll down memory lane
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I grew up at a time everything was change.your music ms baker realy help me with change.
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Anita Baker has to be a vocal genius. My dream is hear her perform live
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OMG!!! I just saw Anita Baker at the Summer Set shopping mall earlier today and she is such a beautiful and classy woman. She looked great, she was very polite and gracious when a few people asked her for an autograph. It was really nice to see her being so humble and thankful for having fans that appreciate her artistry. I have always loved her music since she became a big name songstress.

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Love the song Body and soul
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Love me some Anita!! BEAUTIFUL !!
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She's just fantastic and beautiful!
MrCRS1964.MM @ g m a i l . c o m
Michael
The Precisions
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Just love Anita Baker nobody does it better!!!!!
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stunning and real tunes


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Beautiful artist
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my Girl!!
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nrivers16
;P
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One of the best... Enough said..
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catinhat.cd
you have a romantic spirit Scorpio like that they love romance lot of it. Yeah romantic people.
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Ijmhknj,mghk k n n j k n k n j n l
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I always thought that anita baker was white when I was little
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