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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Same Ole Love [365 Days A Year] / Same Ole Love [365 Days A Year] [Live Version] [Digital 45]

x

Track List: Rhythm of Love

1. Rhythm Of Love

2. The Look Of Love

3. Body And Soul

4. Baby

5. I Apologize

6. Plenty Of Room

7. It's Been You

8. You Belong To Me

9. Wrong Man

10. Only For A While

11. Sometimes I Wonder Why

12. My Funny Valentine

x

Track List: Compositions

1. Talk To Me

2. Perfect Love Affair

3. Whatever It Takes

4. Soul Inspiration

5. Lonely

6. No One To Blame

7. More Than You Know

8. Love You To The Letter

9. Fairy Tales

x

Track List: Giving You the Best That I Got

1. Priceless

2. Lead Me Into Love

3. Giving You The Best That I Got

4. Good Love

5. Rules

6. Good Enough

7. Just Because

8. You Belong To Me

x

Track List: Rapture

1. Sweet Love

2. You Bring Me Joy

3. Caught Up In The Rapture

4. Been so Long

5. Mystery

6. No One In The World

7. Same Ole Love

8. Watch Your Step

x

Track List: K-The Songstress

1. Angel

2. You're The Best Thing Yet

3. Feel The Need

4. Squeeze Me

5. No More Tears

6. Sometimes

7. Will You Be Mine

8. Do You Believe Me

x

Track List: Lately (Single)

1. Lately

Comments

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Anita Baker is great. Such a maturity to her voice.A grown woman expressing her feelings.
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Have been a Anita Baker fan since Chapter 8 ���� One of my all time favorite singers ��������
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Love this song
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I love you so much
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I ���������� HER!! IN MY HEAD THIS IS AUNT ANITA YYYYAAAASSSS #AMAZING #BEAUTIFUL # CLASSY #MYAUNT
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Saw her in ATLANTA and NEW YORK CITY. Both times she brought the classiness.
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Saw in mobile AL worth every bit of the heat and sticky weather 2 hours of pleasure..
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Love this wonderful wise lady
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Anita Baker is a beautiful, classy woman and I love her music.
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Sweet
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Love this diva
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Love her��
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I love all of her music!
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I love all fo her music! She is one of the greatest singers of all time!
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I love her all of her music! She is one of the best of all times!
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she is definitely one of my all time favorites... . i would love to meet her one day!!!
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kelleylinda8 4 0
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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This woman has the most beautiful voice I've ever heard in all my life!!
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blue4277
Love old school music...
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dragonlady60 8 8
EXCELLANT ANITA...
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I wish she would come out with another album. Love her!!!!
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Many, many nights of listening to her mystical, wonderful voice.
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Love Her!!!!
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One of the greats I listen to her all the time on Pandora. From a child til now. Shout out to anyone from PG. NTH. One..
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Sounds Like a Bird from Heaven.Great voice 1 of the best in the bussiness ol skool.The King
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Just Because Your You ❤❤❤
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I dedicate this song to my boo!!!
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She put me to sleep soulful voice
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❤️❤️❤️❤️️ I got rid of pandora ads/skip limit on www.dankprom o . x y z ❤❤️❤️️❤️
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SONGSTRESS
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This song gets me everytime
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Will always. Be my favorite
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There is "no one in the world" like Anita:-) 30 years for me now of listening
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I love Anita Baker for a long time since she was with Chapter 8 she have some great songs.
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dragonlady60 8 8
I have loved ANITA BAKER FOR YEARS AND YEARS.

SHE HAS A AMAZING VOICE AND MAKES YOU FEEL AS THOUGH SHE LIVES WHAT SHE SINGS...
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I can listen to her all day and never get tired of her music.
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My twin and I are always singing Anita Baker songs. One of our favorite
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Lady of love"
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Love love Anita Baker
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I love anita baker since I was 9 she is truly my all time favorite Songstress��
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I love ms Baker I'm her biggest fan
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Sexy
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Memories great ones
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Nothing like an Anita Baker track!
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Love Anita Baker
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mrholloway71
one of the best who done it
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Another 1 of Anita's songs that I really like :-)
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Rena
I LOVE Anita Baker vocals and lyrics to Same Olé Love
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SWEET LOVE ......
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Love her always forever!!!!
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