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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

Ms Anita Baker she is the best. Her voice is one of a kind.
I love her music and voice is remarkable
Love her music. Beautiful voice.
sweet pea
fantastic forever
We might forget it...we fight just like the movie. Notebook .....but in the end we going end up back with each......ne x t fight coming soon.....get your gloves...... h a h a h a
Great song
Good song! It makes me think of my X-husband and what he did to me. LOL!
boost1234.bm
Oid school
a601divaiam
Talk to me. Pick up the phone...call me or text me. Love you and yours❤️
Fairy Tales is that real
Sweet Love my wedding song still gives me chills and sweet memories! Love you Anita
Always loved Anita Baker and her music
Anita Baker now then forever always Awesome pure, a vocal angel among us. Anthony Mann
I love Anita Baker's music frfr
One of the best singers of our time one of a kind
luckyisa
Ms. Anita Baker!!! Ohhh weee
boost1234.bm
I like Anita Bakers music
whatzdat
;-*
I could never go wrong with Anita
m-lanier
Love me some Anita B. So soulful. My jam always & forever.
beakmanbob
Anita has such a unique, soulful and expressive voice. I could listen to her sing anything! Thanks, Anita.
Yes I understand u only got two hands talk to me she snapped and also on you bring me Joy and many others me my little sissy use to sing her songs my mom had all her tapes lol yea tapes
It touches your soul without a doubt! My husband loves her music as well. I love you Ms. Anita Baker!
I was 15 yrs old when I began to listen to her music and I fell in love with her voice, music and so did my 3yr old at the time. Saturday mornings were all about Anita cause that's what my son wanted to listen to. He's now 30yrs old, still loves her music!
randyanddee2 0 0 3
where are the lyrics?
This song sound revealing her self
I love love Anita Bakers music. Soul food music.
ANITA I LOVE YOUR MUSIC
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
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