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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

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Track List: Lately (Single)

Comments

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Anita Baker's groove GrownFOLK style....... . . . . . w h a t e v e r it takes, sounding real good to me rigt now! Love it!!
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My aunt Angela carpenter put me down with Anitabaker in the 80s, damn Cookie, you always knew how to make me think. Love you, and Anita. Your nephew Cold Duck.
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elkatehar
Will always love this song. met my wife in the summer of 86' and this was number 1.
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dragonlady60 8 8
Love Anitas voice and her style
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sound good
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Been so long!!!!
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denisecollie r 0 9
Real music!��
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shake a hall in Las Vegas!!!$
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Just because I love you wont mean I want disappear! ☑️ that!
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love this song
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Great singer
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I love all of her songs
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Rapture nice album......y e s s s s album I still have it! lol Anita ruled the late 80's/early 90's with her smooth R&B style.
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Anita Baker is truely remarkable
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dragonlady60 8 8
Come back anita
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mariusjhayne s
She is a legend. Not many have remained relevant my entire lifetime (1987-presen t ) and can still slay! !!! Shes the bomb.com
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Remarkable Singer she still got it!
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Unforgettabl e R&B iconic voice ... Wow !!!
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jnharris28
Beautiful voice, always will be a fan of her music!
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phenomenal singer amazing voice so soft and sweet... I fell in love with her music when i was little young girl..
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denisecollie r 0 9
Bring back memories
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Brings me back to good times listening to anita on the radio in the back seat of my mom's Honda..me, my twin and mommie singing in harmony to sweet love....
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I love her i started to listen to her back when I was in love for the first time
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dragonlady60 8 8
AMAZING VOICE
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gillagkc
Anita Baker had a song for every situation when I was in college...Di s t i n c t i v e voice; regal attitude...a true Queen...Love you Anita Baker....
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You can't go wrong with anita
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I want to hear more from Anita baker
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YES YES YES WHAT I BEEN WAITING FOR. I NEED SOME ANITA!
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Anita Baker she is my favorite Artist I'm in love with her she gave me strength when i needed it with my battle with Cancer.20 year's later im cancer free let the Church say AMEN...... Thanks Mrs.Baker wish I could meet you one day just to say thanks
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Still in top #5 artist even now
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Please don't tell me that you're through you have so much more music in you it takes one to no one Sweta BMS productions waiting on you
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This is a beautiful
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This song gave me what I needed!
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I love, love, love this woman....she is one of the best, true and most soulful female singers today. I have been lucky enough to have seen her several times shopping and doing other things here in the Detroit area and she has always been so nice and humble to her fans. What a great performer on stage she is as well.
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genieneturne r
True that, artist685!! She still remains among my favorites!
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artist685
Anita Bakers voice is the soul/pop equivalent to Country's Patsy Cline. Smooth as velvet, amazing range, powerful with love, anger & soul in her voice. True artist which is very hard to find now on radio or TV. LOVE HER!
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I love Anita your music bring me joy.
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jubujack
Love, love, love her! So mesmerizing, so soulful, so jazzy, so soothing along with being beautiful. .Wow, Anita you won me over years ago. So unique, so down to earth, such class. What else can I say.
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I love her!
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She is more then good and speechless it self there is no words for this DIAMOND that GOD gave to us
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What a sultry voice and amazingly gorgeous physique!!!
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dragonlady60 8 8
god bless..shawa n d a
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dragonlady60 8 8
Rapture is my fave song!!!!
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dragonlady60 8 8
Very Amazing Voice...her. voice haunts me its so beautiful
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Listening to Anita brings back good memories!!
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Nothing but talent and bad as hell
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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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