Anita Baker
Singer-songwriter
Anita Baker
Anita Baker is an American R&B/soul jazz singer-songwriter. To date, Baker has won eight Grammy Awards, and has four platinum albums and two gold albums to her credit.
Biography
Anita Baker's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Anita Baker from around the web
BET's Donnie Simpson Returns to the Air
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Inside of Radio One's Silver Spring, Md., office, there's a jam session taking place within the WMMJ Majic 102.3 studio. Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" is playing on-air and the luminary behind the boards, Donnie Simpson, is enthralled. His black loafers are off of his feet, laying beneath his desk. He's clapping to the rhythm, humming on-key, and strumming the chords of his air-guitar to the riffs in the song. He is at home. Just two-and-a-half months ago, Simpson, 61, returned to the airwaves in Washington D.C. after a five-year hiatus. His retirement was cut short due to an incessant demand from locals pleading he come back to reinvigorate radio in the city he has served and soothed for over three decades. Donnie was missed. Majic, the station that prides itself as "the real sound of the DMV," went through extravagant measures to welcome him back. Advertisements bearing Simpson's charismatic smile and signature green eyes peppered the streets of D.C., loc ...
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Huffington Post article
Trumping <i>Saturday Night Live</i>
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Saturday Night Live may well be the longest running comedy show in the history of television. The first cast was a few years older than me, though I still considered them my peers. We didn't know each other personally, but it felt like we did. The original cast of Saturday Night Live was much more than the clique, or the in-crowd, they were the anti-in-crowd. They were the outsiders who became the insiders which is what made them heroes. Gilda, Larraine, and Jane were the girls who didn't make the cheerleading squad. Dan and John and Garrett and later Bill Murray weren't the best looking football players. They were popular because they were funny. Funny is always king, or queen, and that first season of SNL featured Lily Tomlin, Madeline Kahn, Louise Lasser, Jill Clayburgh, the great Buck Henry and Anthony Perkins, among others. In those days we all thought the hosts and the cast hung out together. They all seemed to live in the same world, and that was part of the magic and the cha ...
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Huffington Post article
'The Voice' Recap: On The Knockout Rounds Part 2, Nerves Take Down Singers In Season 5, Episode 12
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 5, Episode 12 of NBC's "The Voice" titled "Knockout Rounds, Part 2" I still remember representing my seventh-grade class in the middle school spelling bee. I was kind of a shoe-in to win. But up in front of everybody, feeling their eyes and expectations, I physically shook with nerves. Finally, I choked, spitting out a letter I knew didn't fit. Remembering how hard my heart beat 15 years later, it's no surprise those nerves did their best to knock out some of our favorite singers on Tuesday night's two-hour episode of "The Voice." For the second Knockout rounds, these contestants have just one song standing between them and the live shows. Everybody wants it. Bad. "It all comes down to song choice," Adam says during the show. But the wrong song can derail everything. Even confidence, as we see tonight. Team Adam: Lena Gaudenzi picks "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James. Preston Pohl wants to sing an upbeat take on Bob Marley's " ...
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Huffington Post article
Laverne Cox: Kokumo: Transgender Recording Artist and Activist Talks About Her New EP and What Empowerment for T.G.I. People of Color Means
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Speaking with Chicago-based transgender activist and recording artist Kokumo, I feel as if I'm truly speaking to one who is anointed, one who has a strong sense of purpose and vision, one who has a profound consciousness around spirituality and history. The opening paragraph of her bio on her official website, Kokumomedia.com, says it all: "KOKUMỌ is an African-American transgender woman and product of Chicago's South Side. While growing up, the only messaging she received in regards to her identity was that it would lead to either death or institutionalization. Therefore, upon reaching the age of opportunity she was behooved to give herself a name that spoke of life. After an extensive search and emotional journey she discovered KOKUMỌ. KOKUMỌ means, "This one will not die" in Yoruba, a West African language." With the release of her new EP, There Will Come a Day, I wanted to speak with Kokumo about the intersections of art and activism in her life and work. ...
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Huffington Post article
55th Annual Grammy Awards Nominees!
US Magazine - about 4 years
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards have arrived. LL Cool J is hosting the show live at the Staples Center in L.A. on Sunday, Feb. 10.   Before the show kicks off, take a look back at this year's list of top nominees. Though 18-year-old pop phenom Justin Bieber was completely shut out when nominations were announced on Dec, many of his peers -- including Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepson, Kelly Clarkson, Frank Ocean and others -- fared much better. Check out the list of major nominees below and tell Us: Which artist do you want to see win? Album of the Year El Camino, The Black Keys Some Nights, fun. Babel, Mumford &amp; Sons Channel Orange, Frank Ocean Blunderbuss, Jack White PHOTOS: What all the stars wore at the 2012 Grammys Record of the Year "Lonely Boy," The Black Keys "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," Kelly Clarkson "We Are Young," fun. featuring Janelle Monáe "Somebody That I Used to Know," Gotye featuring Kimbra "Thinkin' Bout You," Frank Ocean&lt; "We Are Never Eve ...
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US Magazine article
Mike Ragogna: Friday Fourplay 2: Chatting with Harvey Mason & Nathan East
Huffington Post - over 4 years
A Conversation With Fourplay's Harvey Mason Mike Ragogna: It's Harvey Mason, not only drummer for Fourplay, but on many project that are in everyone's record collection. Welcome to solar-powered KRUU-FM, the midwest's only solar-powered station, Harvey. What do you say about all that, sir? Harvey Mason: Mike, I heard it, I'm happy to be here and I'm impressed. You're the only solar radio station in the Midwest, that's amazing. MR: Thank you very, very much. I don't understand. If we can do it, everybody else can to. HM: Oh, they'll get there. MR: Yeah, hopefully it's a growing thing. All right, we have to get right to Fourplay, Esprit De Four. I've spoken with two of your brothers so far, Bob James and Chuck Loeb. They were so enthusiastic about this combo. Let that be the first question. How excited are you about this latest project? HM: Well, I'm very fortunate to call myself one of the founding members. We go back now twenty-two years and I'm still as ...
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Huffington Post article
Playlist: 50 Cent, Anita Baker, Michael Jackson
USA Today - over 4 years
The rapper seems re-energized on 'New Day.' Baker sings a mesmerizing ballad. And it's the 25th anniversary of the 'Thriller' follow-up.
Article Link:
USA Today article
Review: Esperanza Spalding, Anita Baker jazz up the Hollywood Bowl
LATimes - over 4 years
Going into Wednesday night's show at the Hollywood Bowl with Anita Baker and Esperanza Spalding, it was hard not to wonder if a more interesting (and surely bolder) bill could have developed if only the headliner and opener were reversed.
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LATimes article
Anita Baker is still giving the best she's got on new album
USA Today - over 4 years
'Only Forever,' her first album since 2005, is due Sept. 25.
Article Link:
USA Today article
The Sunday Conversation: Esperanza Starling
LATimes - over 4 years
The jazz musician, a Grammy best new artist winner, discusses the difficulties of taking jazz to a wider audience in an image-drive culture. Jazz bassist, singer and composer Esperanza Spalding made a news splash when she beat out pop phenom Justin Bieber for the new artist trophy at the 53rd Grammy Awards last year. Spalding, 27, and her Radio Music Society ensemble come to Southern California this month for an Aug. 21 performance at San Diego's Humphreys Concerts by the Bay and an Aug. 22 double bill with Anita Baker at the Hollywood Bowl.
Article Link:
LATimes article
PHOTOS: Russell Simmons' 13th Annual 'Art for Life' Gala
Huffington Post - over 4 years
This weekend dozens of stars showed off their style and generosity at Russell Simmons 13th annual 'Art For Life' Gala in the Hamptons. Journalist Soledad O'Brien hosted the event, which raised over $2 million dollars for charity. Celebrities like Mariah Carey, Vanessa Williams, LaLa Vazquez, Taraji P. Henson, and Anita Baker came out to Russell's Hampton estate to raise money to provide inner-city youth with access to the arts. And of course the many members of the stylish Simmons clan were in attendance as well. Diggy Simmons effortlessly colorblocked with a neon yellow blazer and some very dapper teal shoes. Angela Simmons opted for a body-con boldy patterned dress, complete with a hem draped luxuriously in gold. Russell's daughters with ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons, Aoki Lee and Ming Lee, looked all grown up in their frilly white and pink tulle mini dresses. Style clearly runs in the family. Songstress Melanie Fiona followed in the colorblocking trend with a ho ...
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Huffington Post article
Top US jazz greats to share stage
Cape Times - over 4 years
Top US jazz musicians David Sanborn and Joe Sample are to give a concert in Cape Town next month. ||| JAZZ greats David Sanborn and Joe Sample are to give a concert in Cape Town next month. American alto saxophonist Sanborn, 66, and Sample, 73, are to share a stage at the GrandWest Grand Arena on July 10. Sanborn has been hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the greatest saxophonists of the past four decades. The award-winning musician has performed with such musical greats as James Brown and Stevie Wonder, David Bowie and Eric Clapton. Pianist and composer Sample has treated audiences for 40 years to his interpretations of classics by such renowned jazz composers as Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, the Gershwins, Al Jolson, Duke Ellington, and Fats Waller. A pioneer of contemporary jazz piano, Sample has toured with many well-known musicians, including Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, BB King, Eric Clapton, Randy Crawford and Anita Baker. He was a co-founder of legenda ...
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Cape Times article
BENEFITS
San Francisco Chronicle - over 4 years
BENEFITS Asylum ActionThe Summer Soiree &amp; Auction is a cocktail buffet and auction in support of this organization's global refugee rights efforts and also features a panel discussion by former refugees, including chef Charles Phan. 6 p.m. Thursday. Marin Community ClinicsSummer Solstice is theme for this 40th anniversary gala that honors the work of Dr. Kevin Harrington and health care consultant Bobbie Wunsch at this celebration featuring wine tasting, Mexican food, jazz and more. 5:30 p.m. Friday. The Legacy Gala features the Glide Ensemble and DJ KingMost at this cocktail buffet that honors the community work of former 49er Vernon Davis and filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom in support of Glide's food, housing and health programs for individuals in need. 7 p.m. July 28. INVITE OF THE WEEK Stern Grove FestivalThe Big Picnic features a catered, VIP lunch for Stern Grove supporters prior to the 75th opening day of this free summer music festival that kicks o ...
Article Link:
San Francisco Chronicle article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Anita Baker
    FIFTIES
  • 2014
    Age 56
    On March 19, 2014, a bench warrant was issued for her arrest pertaining to a lawsuit that alleges she failed to pay more than $15,000 for work done on her Grosse Pointe home; it was lifted days later. The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Baker has received eight awards from 17 nominations. The American Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony created by Dick Clark in 1973.
    More Details Hide Details Baker has received four awards from nine nominations. The Soul Train Music Awards is an annual award show aired in national broadcast syndication that honors the best in African American music and entertainment established in 1987.
  • 2013
    Age 55
    In February 2013, Baker returned to the national spotlight, performing "Lately" and "Same Ole Love" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
    More Details Hide Details That same month, she appeared at the Grammys where "Lately" was nominated for a Grammy Award.
  • 2012
    Age 54
    Though Blue Note set release dates for the album in October and December 2012, Baker decided she still needed to work on the album, causing delays.
    More Details Hide Details Currently the album has no release date.
    In August 2012, Baker released her version of Tyrese's hit, "Lately".
    More Details Hide Details The song made headlines for Baker after the song was played on every single hour of the hour throughout the day on urban adult contemporary radio, making her the first artist to make this kind of debut. Baker has been working on the album featuring the single, "Only Forever", since 2010.
  • 2011
    Age 53
    In December 2011, Baker had been scheduled to sing "Sweet Love" during a tribute show for Detroit R&B music.
    More Details Hide Details Rumors of friction between Baker and fellow performer Jill Scott were initially seen as a possible cause of Baker leaving the show at the last minute. However, Baker attributed her exit to its producers refusing to allow her to properly rehearse her number with the other performers who would be singing with her, presumably Marsha Ambrosius and Ledisi, who sang "Sweet Love" on the show's broadcast.
  • 2010
    Age 52
    In June 2010, she sang the national anthem at Game 4 of that year's NBA Finals at the TD Garden, though her performance was roundly criticized by viewers, who discussed the matter on Twitter.
    More Details Hide Details Baker has also sung the national anthem at season-opening baseball games at Comerica Park in Detroit and Progressive Field in Cleveland (the former due to being a Detroit-area resident, the latter due to being a native Ohioan), and twice sang the national anthem at World Series hosted by the Detroit Tigers (Game 2 in 2006, Game 3 in 2012). A recording of Baker's rendition of the National Anthem is still used at Comerica Park on occasion.
  • FORTIES
  • 2007
    Age 49
    Starting in 2007, Baker embarked on a two-year concert tour titled An Evening with Anita Baker.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2005
    Age 47
    In 2005, Baker released the Christmas album, Christmas Fantasy, winning a Grammy nomination for the song, "Christmas Time Is Here".
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2004
    Age 46
    That year, Baker returned to live performing which inspired her to seek a new recording deal, eventually signing with Blue Note Records in March 2004.
    More Details Hide Details That September, Baker released the album, My Everything. Despite her decade-long absence from the charts, the album peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 and number-one on the R&B charts, eventually being certified gold.
  • 2002
    Age 44
    During this hiatus, Rhino Records released the compilation, The Best of Anita Baker (named Sweet Love: The Very Best of Anita Baker in the UK) in June 2002.
    More Details Hide Details The album eventually was certified platinum by the RIAA, denoting sales in excess of 1,000,000 units in the US.
  • 2001
    Age 43
    In May 2001, Baker filed a lawsuit in federal court against Zomba Recording Corp. and its Dreamhire division.
    More Details Hide Details Due to a label restructuring, Baker was let go from Atlantic that November without releasing any material with the company.
  • 2000
    Age 42
    Taking a hiatus after the end of the Rhythm of Love Tour to care for her two sons, Baker did not return to the studio until August 2000.
    More Details Hide Details However, the recordings she made during this period were ruined by random popping noises from the rented 24-track tape machine.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1996
    Age 38
    Baker was transferred to another label within the Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records, in 1996.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1994
    Age 36
    Baker undertook the Rhythm of Love World Tour from December 14, 1994 to November 14, 1995.
    More Details Hide Details
    After appearing on Frank Sinatra's Duets album, Baker officially returned to the charts with Rhythm of Love in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details The album featured the hit "Body and Soul", which became her first top 40 pop hit since 1989; the second single, the mid-tempo "I Apologize", later won Baker an eighth Grammy. The album eventually sold over 2 million copies, resulting in her fourth consecutive platinum-selling album.
  • 1991
    Age 33
    Also in 1991, Elektra re-issued Baker's first album, The Songstress, after buying rights to the album.
    More Details Hide Details It has sold more than 300,000 copies since its release.
    After the end of the album's touring and promotion schedule in 1991, Baker took a break from the business when she settled down with her husband at the time, later having two children together.
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  • 1990
    Age 32
    In 1990, Baker released Compositions, which had Baker more involved in the songwriting and production process and the first in which she began incorporating more jazz elements than in previous albums.
    More Details Hide Details The album launched the singles "Talk to Me", "Soul Inspiration" and "Fairy Tales", and eventually sold over a million copies.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1988
    Age 30
    Baker married Walter Bridgeforth, Jr. on December 24, 1988. The couple separated in 2005 and finalized their divorce two years later.
    More Details Hide Details They have two sons, Walter Baker Bridgeforth (born January 1993) and Edward Carlton Bridgeforth (born May 1994). Baker currently lives in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Her son Walter is now attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, as a drum principal, majoring in Music Production & Engineering. More than five years after her divorce, Baker filed for a legal name change from Bridgeforth to Baker in her private life. Since she had always used the name Anita Baker professionally, her name change meant nothing in terms of her career.
    Baker's follow-up, Giving You the Best That I Got, was released in October 1988 and immediately became a success, topping the Billboard 200 and selling 5 million copies worldwide, 3 million of which sold alone in the United States.
    More Details Hide Details The title track reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the R&B and adult contemporary charts, becoming her most successful charted single. The follow-up, "Just Because", reached the top 20 on the pop chart, while a third single, "Lead Me Into Love", became a top ten R&B hit. The album resulted in three more Grammy Awards for the singer.
  • 1987
    Age 29
    In 1987, Baker collaborated with The Winans on their song, "Ain't No Need to Worry", which gave Baker a third Grammy, this time in the Best Soul Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group, Choir or Chorus category.
    More Details Hide Details
    The album resulted in Baker's winning two Grammy Awards at the 1987 ceremony.
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  • 1986
    Age 28
    Throughout 1986 and 1987, Baker promoted the album by touring, headlining her first tour, The Rapture Tour, a show from which was later released on home video as A Night of Rapture.
    More Details Hide Details By 1988, the album had sold over 8 million copies worldwide, 5 million of which were sold in the United States alone.
    In March 1986, Baker released her second album, Rapture.
    More Details Hide Details While sales were initially slow following the release of the album's debut single, "Watch Your Step", Elektra released the mid-tempo ballad, "Sweet Love", which became her first pop hit, reaching number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and also reaching the UK Top 20. The album eventually launched three further hit singles, including "Caught Up in the Rapture", "No One in the World" and "Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)".
    In 1986, she rose to stardom following the release of her platinum-selling second album, Rapture, which included the Grammy-winning single "Sweet Love".
    More Details Hide Details To date, Baker has won eight Grammy Awards and has five platinum albums and one gold album to her credit. Baker's vocal range is contralto.
  • 1985
    Age 27
    Baker eventually signed with the Warner Music Group-associated Elektra Records label in 1985 and began working on her next album.
    More Details Hide Details Her Elektra contract allowed the singer to have creative control and produce her own music, something she wasn't allowed to do at Beverly Glen. Baker eventually picked her old Chapter 8 band mate, songwriter and producer Michael J. Powell to work with her on her first Elektra album, though label execs were initially unhappy with her choice of Powell over more established producers.
  • 1984
    Age 26
    By 1984, after two years, Baker sought to leave the label but was sued by Smith for breach of contract in 1985.
    More Details Hide Details After months in court debating the matter, it was concluded that Baker should be allowed to record for other labels, winning the case against Smith.
  • 1983
    Age 25
    The album produced four singles: "No More Tears" and its B-side, "Will You Be Mine", "Angel" and "You're the Best Thing Yet". "Angel" became Baker's first top ten single, reaching number five on the R&B charts in late 1983. "You're the Best Thing Yet" followed it in the R&B top 40 early the following year.
    More Details Hide Details Despite this early success, Baker later complained that she hadn't received any royalties from the work. In addition, the label delayed work on Baker's follow-up of The Songstress.
    Baker eventually signed with the company, releasing her debut solo album, The Songstress, in 1983.
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  • 1982
    Age 24
    Baker returned to Detroit and became a waitress and a receptionist for a law firm. Otis Smith, a former associate of Ariola, called Baker up in 1982 and convinced her to start a solo career under his Beverly Glen label.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1979
    Age 21
    After Ariola was bought out by Arista Records in 1979, Chapter 8 was dropped by the label who were convinced that Baker, as the group's lead singer, didn't have "star potential."
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1975
    Age 17
    Baker joined the group in 1975 and the group toured until securing a deal with Ariola Records in 1979.
    More Details Hide Details The group's first album, Chapter 8, was released that year and featured the singles "Ready for Your Love," a duet between Baker and bandmate Gerald Lyles, and the Baker-led "I Just Want to Be Your Girl."
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1958
    Age 0
    Anita Baker was born on January 26, 1958 in Toledo, Ohio.
    More Details Hide Details When she was two, her mother abandoned her and Baker was raised by a foster family in Detroit, Michigan. When Baker was 12, her foster parents died and her foster sister raised her afterwards. By the time Baker was 16, she began singing R&B at Detroit nightclubs. After one performance, she was discovered by bandleader David Washington, who gave her a card to audition for the funk band, Chapter 8.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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