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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

(www.genesis 4 2 1 . c o m )
Check us out.
nrivers16
;)
rdb2610
Really...... . . . . . S m i l e
She brought me through it hard time
My hometown favorite. The best way to see her is at Chene Park in Detroit by the river on a cool summer evening. Laid back with that special one and just let her take you away...Whew. . . . . . D a s it righ there!.
That voice...just like heaven I would imagine.
My all time favorite
Great Woman and Great sound love her!!!!!!
love this song beautiful an
nrivers16
From beginning to end 365 days I wanna share my life wit uuuuuu
If you don't know anything about Anita something is wrong she paved they way for alot of women singers
dragonlady60 8 8
i still listen to anita for years...amaz i n g voice and style
Best song ever and I'm a kid that spud tell you something
i would love to run to his arms again
beanie3alpha
I love this woman, please release some music
Hands-down, the best voice in R&B. Anita's voice is so different and unique from the rest. One of the great talents in the past 30-40 years in ALL genres of music. God knows the music industry could use more productivity out of Anita Baker. Get to work, woman!
The Siren of R and B, a beautiful woman with a lovely voice, love your music, Ms Baker
I will always be in love will your music there is no voice like yours looking forward to hearing something from you soon
Her voice....bea u t i f u l
Beautiful voice..I love Anita Baker's music..espec i a l l y her song 'Watch Your Step'
The Best
smooth mellow music at its best
dragonlady60 8 8
Where did this music go!!!???
dragonlady60 8 8
Love anita...beai t i f u l voice
Love her
Arista record execs were idiots for dropping her but hey a talent like hers will always find a way to the top. She is a one of a kind singer. Sensual vocals ... Amazing talent.
Beautiful song ..one of my favorites
Sweet music mmmm! *,*
Queen of the romantic music! *,*
That's my girl she has the Answer to Everyone's trials & tribulations In Beautiful Songs! ! Thanks Ms. Anita
BODY&SOUL... . . L O V E IT!!!!!:-)
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....
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