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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: A Night Of Rapture - Live

1. Caught Up In The Rapture (Live)

2. Mystery (Live)

3. Been So Long (Live)

4. No One In The World (Live)

5. Same Ole Love (365 Days A Year) (Live)

6. Watch Your Step (Live)

8. You Bring Me Joy (Live)

9. Sweet Love (Live)

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: 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: 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: 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

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

Comments

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I love her music she is awesome singer.�����
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Love this song im a anita baker fan anyway love her music she a true legend frfr
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ing.patt55
Love her music
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I can never get enough of listening to her music!!!
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Just lovely music❤❤❤❤
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Timeless Classic by the ever Beautiful Ms Anita Baker....I truly Love this Woman's voice!!!
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Love her music grew up to this.
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Classic artist, her music is timeless. Brings back so many good memories.
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I love this women yes i do sing it girl!
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A great stylist and a great voice!! Sorry that she stopped recoding!!!
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Anita Baker is one of my FAVES!!!
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I love Anita Baker one of my faves!!!
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She is the best ever... great music to make babies :)
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I love me some Anita Baker !!!
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dragonlady60 8 8
My fave to this day have her cds
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Anita stole my heart from the first moment I heard her,what a beautiful voice!
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1980's Great Artist. She came to Pittsburgh Pa. Awesome Concert with Luther Vandross
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beakmanbob
One of the warmest, sexiest voices I have ever heard! Love everything that Anita does.
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Love this cut, like her I'm sweet not weak body and soul.
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Have always loved Anita Baket
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I love Anita Baker, I listen to a lot of her music when I am trying to calm dowm
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I �� all her music
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Anita voice is so unique and I could hear it everyday all day still put me in a very peaceful and lay laid-back mood!!!
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I love her so much !!!!!!!
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@Carter So very true there could never be another Anita Baker. I remember when she did the Rhythm of Love tour. One of the best concerts I've gone too!!
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There is no one like Anita baker!
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Love her , have had her in my life since I can remember ������������
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Magnificent LOVE
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I love everything this beautiful lady has ever recorded
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RIP STANLEY GERSHON SR.
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Luv it....
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Marilyng1288 t h i love your music go girl
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Beautiful woman with a captivating voice, I really miss hearing music like this in today's r and b music
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I love this song too!!!
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Now I'm caught up n the rapture of love
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I love this song
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This is my best singer ever,thought I was going to grow up and marry her,my crush was so big on Mrs Baker,
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That is a good picture of Anita on the Rhythm of Love album, Body and Soul song
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dragonlady60 8 8
I love RAPTURE
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dragonlady60 8 8
AMAZING WOMAN WITH A AMAZING SINGER
..
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My girl Anita! She will always be #1 in my book
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Ahh yes the very elegant and smooth sounds of The Beautiful Ms Anita Baker!!
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They don't make music like this anymore. Love Anita Baker.
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Love me some anita baker she has a great awesome voice frfr miss ole school soul music
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Sweeeeeeet!! ! Smooth sultry sexy voice of Anita Baker
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MY FAVORITE SINGER
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I find it very comical that Arista was not to thrill with her voice.so therefore decided to not take her own. What a major loss that must have been for them, but not to the countless of fans she has across the world. Anita's voice is like no other, and no copy cats will do, she is the one and no one can match her vocals. Keep up the work Anita.
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Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful ....voice
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This woman has a beautiful voice
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this song has a lot of meaning to it, it was my dad's favorite song and I lost him 3 years ago, so every time I hear it, I know my dad is with me STHORNTON
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