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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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Stations Featuring
Anita Baker

    Grown Folks Music

    Grown Folks Music
    17 songs

    Classic Soul

    Classic Soul
    6 songs

    Smooth Jazz

    Smooth Jazz
    8 songs

    New Smooth Jazz

    New Smooth Jazz
    8 songs

    R&B Holiday

    3 songs

    Smooth Vocals

    4 songs

    Jazz Holiday

    1 song

    R&B and Soul Mix

    11 songs

    R&B Smooth Jams

    4 songs

    '90s R&B

    3 songs

Albums by
Anita Baker

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.   I Apologize
  11.   Good Love
  12.   Moonlight Sleighride
  13.   Lately
  14.   Fairy Tales
  15.   Been So Long
  16.   Talk to Me
  17.   Mystery
  18.   It's Been You
  19.   Christmas Time Is Here
  20.   I'll Be Home for Christmas
  21.   Just Because
  22.   No More Tears
  23.   Whatever It Takes
  24.   You're My Everything
  25.   Christmas Fantasy
  26.   My Favorite Things
  27.   God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  28.   You Belong to Me
  29.   How Does It Feel
  30.   Lead Me Into Love
  31.   Feel the Need
  32.   Baby
  33.   When You Love Someone (With James Ingram)
  34.   Sometimes
  35.   You're the Best Thing Yet
  36.   Will You Be Mine
  37.   Soul Inspiration
  38.   Wrong Man
  39.   More Than You Know
  40.   Lonely
  41.   Love You to the Letter
  42.   The Look of Love
  43.   Rhythm of Love
  44.   Perfect Love Affair
  45.   Rules
  46.   Sometimes I Wonder Why
  47.   One to Blame
  48.   In My Heart
  49.   Watch Your Step
  50.   You've Changed
  51.   Only for a While
  52.   Priceless
  53.   Close Your Eyes
  54.   How Could You
  55.   Good Enough
  56.   My Funny Valentine
  57.   Men in My Life
  58.   You're My Everything Revisited
  59.   Like You Used to Do
  60.   Serious
  61.   When You Love Someone by James Ingram
  62.   Squeeze Me
  63.   Plenty of Room
  64.   Caught Up in the Rapture of You
  65.   How Fast, How Far
  66.   Lovely
  67.   No One to Blame
  68.   One Night of Rapture
  69.   Give You Teh Best That I Got
  70.   Giving You the Best That I've Got
  71.   Family of Man
  72.   O Come, All Ye Faithful by Yellowjackets
  73.   Frosty's Rag (Frosty the Snowman)
  74.   Angel
  75.   Caught Up in the Rapture of Love
  76.   Been So Long
  77.   Sweet Love
  78.   Giving You the Best That I Got
  79.   No One in the World
  80.   Same Ole Love
  81.   Moondance
  82.   Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)
  83.   Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  84.   Final Frontier
  85.   Do You Believe Me
  86.   I Can't Sleep
  87.   Mad About You - The Final Frontier
  88.   The Christmas Song
  89.   Just Because