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Anita Baker

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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
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Albums by
Anita Baker

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    12 songs

    On Air

    Rhythm of Love

    8 songs

    On Air

    Giving You the Best That I Got

    9 songs

    On Air

    Compositions

    8 songs

    On Air

    Rapture

    8 songs

    On Air

    The Songstress

    1 song

    On Air

    Lately

    2 songs

    On Air

    Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)

    18 songs

    On Air

    The Best of Anita Baker

    10 songs

    On Air

    My Everything

    7 songs

    On Air

    One Night Only (Live)

    9 songs

    On Air

    Christmas Fantasy

    5 songs

    On Air

    Rhino Hi-Five: Anita Baker

    2 songs

    On Air

    You're My Everything

    2 songs

    On Air

    Serious

    2 songs

    On Air

    Sweet Love [Single]

    9 songs

    On Air

    A Night of Rapture [DVD]

    8 songs

    On Air

    The Songstress

    3 songs

    On Air

    Sweet Love

    8 songs

    On Air

    Rapture

    2 songs

    On Air

    Sweet Love/Watch Your Step

    6 songs

    On Air

    A Night of Rapture Live

    9 songs

    On Air

    Rapture Live

    9 songs

    On Air

    One Night of Rapture

    9 songs

    On Air

    One Night of Rapture


Top Songs by
Anita Baker

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Sweet Love
  3.   Caught Up in the Rapture
  4.   Giving You the Best That I Got
  5.   No One in the World
  6.   Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)
  7.   Body and Soul
  8.   Angel
  9.   You Bring Me Joy
  10.   Good Love
  11.   I Apologize
  12.   Lately
  13.   Moonlight Sleighride
  14.   It's Been You
  15.   Fairy Tales
  16.   Talk to Me
  17.   I'll Be Home for Christmas
  18.   Christmas Time Is Here
  19.   Mystery
  20.   Been So Long
  21.   Just Because
  22.   No More Tears
  23.   You're My Everything
  24.   Whatever It Takes
  25.   My Favorite Things
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Anita Baker

    On Air

    Classic Soul

    On Air

    His & Hers Radio

    On Air

    Smooth Jazz

    On Air

    A Very Soulful Christmas

    On Air

    Janet Jackson: DNA

    On Air

    Sam Smith: DNA

    On Air

    R&B Deep Dive

    On Air

    Jazz Christmas

    On Air

    Smooth Jams

    On Air

    Adult R&B

    On Air

    Beyoncé: DNA

    On Air

    The Wolf Lounge

    On Air

    Classic Soft Hits

    On Air

    Nothing But Love Songs

    On Air

    Vocal Hits


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