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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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And Classic!
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CLASSY!!!
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Yes!!
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Greatest love song ever
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Best song ever
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I love this song!
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
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Love me Anita ��
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HER VOICE IS GOLDEN. LOVE THIS SONG. BODY AND SOUL
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Were @re you at Anita Baker I muss you happy birthday love
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would like see her on unsung
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queenie baillie anita spitting fire
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This one of my favorite song
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I love all her music
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What I sleep too.
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Love her voice. However, I've heard that she's nasty to work with and that's what killed her career.
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The greatest
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Love all of her music!!!
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Another god given talent to enjoy thanks panda
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Untouched
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I LOVE all of Anita's songs. They are all nice love songs
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Lord help
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I met her at a grocery store in Detroit. Yes, she does her kwn shopping. She was a classy lady, down to earth, and very pleasant. You wouldn't think she was famous because she didn't act like a diva. This made me a fan for life.
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Got all of Anita Baker's albums (YES ALBUMS, lol) from 1985 - 1994. Love me some Anita Baker.
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dragonlady60 8 8
Amazing...wh a t happen to all
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I luv this Lady
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This is my girl
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whittind
I love Anita Baker.....ke e p them coming Anita
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Simply The Best
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this is and always acut lead me into lovee
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I like her cut no more tears.
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I'm always in ��..she's sings the ballad of my love story!! #1Anita aka neet neet..
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SUCH A BEAUTIFUL SULTRY VOICE !!!!!
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The heart of soul.anita baker...
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dariusprathe r 6 4
I LOVE YOU ANITA !!!
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dariusprathe r 6 4
ONE Of DETROITS GREATEST SONGDRESS ! QUEEN ANITA BAKER !
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ANITA BAKER IS MY FAVORITE SINGER IN THE WORLD TO ME
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love this song
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love it
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anita baker fan foreveer
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I love this song and this Lady .....everyth i n g she sing .


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Love this woman
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I miss her music so much I wish she would take a break from taking a break love you
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Lyrics of heartbreak and soulful longing. Couldn't listen for a few years because it hurt so bad. Better now. Love Anita.
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Beautiful classy singer with a magical voice. I love it!
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1 OF DA BEAUTIFUL'ES T , GREAT'EST SONG'EST SHE MY BIG SIS!!!
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Grew up on Anita... she's truly the real deal...
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p
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Smokin
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Anita B, is the real deal, she allays my disenchantme n t with her soulful music!
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