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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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Straight golden!
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One of GOD's gift to the world of R&B!!!!!
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SPEACHLESS
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Just because!
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matratus
Looking Good Anita!
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I was born on her Birthday and I loved her since I was little girl. She's my aunt favorite Artist and I grew up listening and singing all her songs. Luckily my Aunt had taste to pass down to me, because Anita is classic and timeless.
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richardtate0 1
Grown Folks,yes
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artist685
All I can say is WOW, whenever I hear you sing Anita!
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"Just Because" now Anita Baker song this song! And I love you......
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arobbsbk
Listening to Anita Baker, WOW! her smooth alto, a glass of wine, fireplace.. Couldn't get any better... She is a class act.. Love her music...
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You gotta have a old soul to understand Anita I love her so much! Listening to her until I fall asleep������
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Anita baker is also one of my favorite r&b singers
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That's what's up
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I'm 17 and this woman's amazing voice moves and inspires me!
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Love this song!!!
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khorg64
I'd give anything to go back in time for this MUSIC !!!
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A one of a kind voice.... simply enchanting from her Rapture release to preset day recordings I had the pleasure to see her on tour with Luther awesome performances ! ! !
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They don't even make music like this anymore�� this generation is clueless
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Love this album
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Inspiring, no one can do it like Anita. She has a Soulful voice. She takes you to a beautiful place within....
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elisendosanc h e z
beautiful
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it is a uplifting song in this wonder always love
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sexy music...
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love her she beautiful sound and look
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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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