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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

I remember the first time I heard her sing this on the Applo and I love it then and still love it now
shirleymitch e l l 6 5 . s m
About Baker is definitely a REAL R&B DIVA!!!!! Along with Phyllis Hyman & Angela Bofilll.
My first gift to my mother was an Anita Baker tape. Yes! Tapes still exist. Love you 4 life!
ANITA YOU WERE ALWAYS THE S**T EVEN WEN YOU WERE SINGING WIT CHAPTER 8** LUVS YOUR MUSIC
If only today's female could sing as good as miss baker. One classy songstress, say no more.
keidraed
Oh now I can exhale....A simple thank u
My pop's playing this in the tape deck in our 78 Buick
I love me some Anita music the best.
Ms.Baker your the best that ever did it,love you.3������u p
Love u ms baker ur music is priceless sorry to hear abt these ppl suing u smh I'll pray for you ur the best!!!
She Sings & Touches Your Soul:)
amazing...st i l l today and forever.
sweet
It doesn't get any better than this truly.....tr u l y timeless
These songs are timeless...* s i n g i n g along*
Love this song.
Old. School. Music bring back sooooo many memories.
NOONE can hold a candle to Anita....... . b u t it would sure be awesome for Adele to do an Anita cover!
Excellent singer.
butch8428
The queen of romantic R&B...
Seem her in concert many times...she kills it...I love you Anita!
913rlw
12/28/11.... . R h o n d a peek headen thank you for everything mom......rip . . . . . . until we meet again
Love this song
Anita Baker has one of the BEST voices I've ever heard.
gillagkc
There is only once in a life time when you love just because...RI P Carlos McNair...Jus t because...I have always loved this song for that person that is no longer here with his daughter...
i wii always love this black Queen.
Love her voice, queen of R&B.
been with Anita from the begining thats my girl!!!!
BABY :D
YOU....
aliciawesley 7 2
Anita Baker is in every apartment I ever lived in in every car I ever owned and anybody that knows me know I will be playing Anita Baker in my car
phil.thom52
I just love where she is coming from with her music !!!
No one can compare!
Love sweet
Ms. Baker YOU are the Bomb! Everything you make is the Bomb! And you are so Beautiful! :-)
Love her
MOTOWN EARGASM....l o v e nita my uncle Darryl Roberts was blessed to write Same ole love on rapture
Missing my man s**t BLOOP
I love Anita baker I'm her number one fan
So in love with her music. Love love love Anita
Can't get enough of listening to her.
Her must gives me chills. She has a majestic voice
mstinahll
Absolutely amazing voice! saw her perform live recently and she has STILL got it!
Oh OH.....
Beautiful song by Anita Baker Caught Up In The Rapture a smooth sophisticate d R N B Classic!
This lady with her smooth sexy sound is pleasing to the ears
That my lady.....son g on sister....ni c e . . .
I have love this lady and her music ever since I was a kid :-) Her music is just TIMELESS!
Anita. Anita. Anita love this song and this lady
Truly in love with the songstress
mmmkimber0
This is going my Karaoke song!!! Love Anita Baker! "When we met always knew I would feel that magic for you on my mind constantly in my arms where you should be"! My mom use to play this album out! Oh yeah!
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