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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
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Stations Featuring
Anita Baker

    Grown Folks Music

    Grown Folks Music
    17 songs

    Classic Soul

    Classic Soul
    6 songs

    Smooth Jazz

    Smooth Jazz
    8 songs

    R&B and Soul Mix

    R&B and Soul Mix
    11 songs

    R&B Holiday

    3 songs

    Jazz Holiday

    1 song

    R&B Smooth Jams

    4 songs

    '90s R&B

    3 songs

    Love Songs

    1 song

Albums by
Anita Baker

Top Songs by
Anita Baker

  1.   Song
  2.   Sweet Love
  3.   Caught Up in the Rapture
  4.   Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)
  5.   No One in the World
  6.   Body and Soul
  7.   You Bring Me Joy
  8.   Angel
  9.   Good Love
  10.   Lately
  11.   Moonlight Sleighride
  12.   It's Been You
  13.   Christmas Time Is Here
  14.   I'll Be Home for Christmas
  15.   Mystery
  16.   Just Because
  17.   No More Tears
  18.   My Favorite Things
  19.   God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  20.   Christmas Fantasy
  21.   You're My Everything
  22.   Will You Be Mine
  23.   You Belong to Me
  24.   You're the Best Thing Yet
  25.   Feel the Need
  26.   Lead Me Into Love
  27.   Soul Inspiration
  28.   Sometimes
  29.   One to Blame
  30.   More Than You Know
  31.   My Funny Valentine
  32.   The Look of Love
  33.   Squeeze Me
  34.   In My Heart
  35.   Do You Believe Me
  36.   Family of Man
  37.   O Come, All Ye Faithful by Yellowjackets
  38.   Frosty's Rag (Frosty the Snowman)
  39.   You're My Everything Revisited
  40.   Serious
  41.   Priceless
  42.   You've Changed
  43.   Only for a While
  44.   Love You to the Letter
  45.   I Can't Sleep
  46.   Close Your Eyes
  47.   Like You Used to Do
  48.   Sometimes I Wonder Why
  49.   Rules
  50.   The Christmas Song
  51.   Mad About You - The Final Frontier
  52.   How Does It Feel

Artists Related to Anita Baker

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