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Anita Denise Baker is a singer-songwriter from the United States. During the peak of current R&B’s quiet storm period in the 1980s, she was one of the most prominent singers of soulful romantic ballads. Baker began her career with the funk band Chapter 8 in the late 1970s, and her debut solo album, The Songstress, was published in 1983. She became famous after the publication of her platinum-selling second album, Rapture, in 1986, which featured the Grammy-winning ballad “Sweet Love.”
Background and Age
Anita Denise Baker was born in Toledo, Ohio, on January 26, 1958. Baker’s mother abandoned her when she was two years old, and a foster family raised her in Detroit, Michigan. Baker was raised by her foster sister when her foster parents died when Baker was 12 years old. Baker began singing R&B in Detroit nightclubs when she was 16 years old. Bandleader David Washington spotted her after one performance, and he offered her a card to audition for the funk band, Chapter 8.
Baker joined Chapter 8 in 1975, and the band traveled until 1979 when they signed a deal with Ariola Records. That year, the group’s debut album, Chapter 8, was published, with the hits “Ready for Your Love,” a duet between Baker and bandmate Gerald Lyles, and “I Just Want to Be Your Girl,” Baker led. Arista Records acquired Ariola Records in 1979, and Chapter 8 was dropped by the company, which believed Baker, as the group’s lead singer, had “star potential.” Baker returned to Detroit and worked as a waitress and receptionist until Otis Smith, a former Ariola partner, persuaded Baker to launch a solo career under his Beverly Glen label in 1982.
Career and Net Worth
Anita Baker started her career in singing when she was sixteen years old. She worked in a Detroit nightclub as a singer. David Washington discovered Anita when he saw her performing and offered her an invitation to audition for the funk band, Chapter 8. Baker released her two most famous and award-winning albums, “The Songstress” in 1983 and ‘Rapture,’ in 1986. Baker won a Grammy award for Sweet Love from the album “Rapture.” She signed a deal in 1979 with Ariola Records, in which she invested a lot of time touring. Some of her famous song releases were “Ready for Your Love,” “I Just Want to Be Your Girl,” and “Will You Be Mine.”
Despite her early success, Baker complained that she hadn’t received any royalties from work. By 1984, Baker sought to leave the label but was sued by Smith for breach of contract in 1985. 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. Baker then signed with the Warner Music Group associated Elektra Records label in 1985 and began working on her next album. Her Elektra contract allowed the singer creative control and produce her music, something she didn’t do at Beverly Glen. Baker used her old Chapter 8 bandmate, songwriter, and producer Michael J. Powell on her first Elektra album even though label execs were initially unhappy with her choice of Powell over more established producers.
Baker came up with a new solo, “Giving You the Best That I Got,” which was a great hit being at the top list of Billboard 200. All of her releases during this time became one of the top ten songs of Billboard 200. “Giving You the Best That I Got” reached the third position, “Just Because” was in the top twenty, and a third “Lead Me into Love” reached the top ten as well. A few of her other songs, “Talk to me,” “Fairy Tales, “Soul Inspiration,” also fetched her good numbers.
Baker released a new solo album, ‘My Everything, which was in 4th position on Billboard 200 and as number one on R&B charts. Along with R&B albums, Baker also sang Christmas songs and performed the National Anthem. Her track, “Lately,” got a Grammy Award in 2013. In 2018, Anita Baker announced that she had decided to retire from her iconic singing career after three decades. Surprise guest Stevie Wonder echoed that sentiment as Baker closed her second sold-out date at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles with her signature song “Angel.”.
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Not ‘Giving Him the Best That She’s Got’: Anita Baker in Court for Reneging on Divorce Settlement
Grammy Award-winning singer Anita Baker is fighting tooth and nail to avoid having to share the rights to royalty payments from her most popular songs with her now ex-husband, Walter Bridgfoth Jr. The two came to terms in their divorce settlement, but Baker is now refusing to sign the documents because she, “didn’t understand the documents and thought it wasn’t in her best interest to sign them,” Bridforth’s lawyer, Hanley Gurwin, says.
The songstress is expected back in court today following the drama-filled hearing on Thursday over the dispute.
“It’s typical of Anita,” Gurwin told the press this morning. “She is a very fine talent and she is a magnificent singer. But she is very emotional at times and likes to control her own destiny and doesn’t always want to follow the advice of her counsel.”
Chief Judge Pro Tem Lita M. Popke of Wayne County Circuit Court has ordered both sides back to the Coleman A. Young Building at 11 a.m. today.
The judge threatened to send Baker to jail if the singer continued to refuse to sign authorizations for record companies to release royalty payment information. Popke appointed Howard Hertz, a Detroit-area music industry expert, to analyze the documents and divide payments made to Baker during her marriage to Bridgforth, whom she divorced in 2007. Baker and Bridgforth have two teenage sons together.
It would be a shame to see our beloved Baker end up behind bars over this. Just sign the papers, Anita … just sign them. -Gerald Radford
RIDING LIFE’S WAVE
I hear her before I see her. Anita Baker is sitting at the piano in a lounge at the office of Blue Note Records in Manhattan, the label that’s putting out her latest CD, My Everything, her first in ten years. How perfect. She’s playing a jazzy, bluesy, sweet sliver of melody she has been working on for a while. It’s a song for which she has no words. It’s not even a song for herself. She’s thinking of it for Mary J. Blige, a younger voice she admires.
She has a pixie cut similar to what you remember. But she’s rounder than she was in her old studio shots and has what she calls “mother hips.” Now, at 46, she looks like a suburban mom, which she is, in her white capri pants, black tee and black mules that turn out to be Nine West. You might have a pair in your own closet, which tells you more than words how regular she is.
She likes doing things right, and this song is not ready yet. “It’s a sad song,” she says of the lyrics that first came to her. “I don’t want it to be. The music is speaking something else, and I want to wait till it finishes talking.”
That’s how her life has been. All these years she has been caught up in somebody else’s song, the reality of life’s calling and needing her, and she has had no choice but to live it. To this day she speaks of her ten-year absence from the public as if she were hit over the head and pulled into a dream state. The music could wait, would have to wait; it could not coexist with a more urgent life in progress.
She tried to write songs that would not come, tried to produce a record that demanded more than she had. “I made numerous attempts to find a way to do it all,” she says, “to be a creative singer, songwriter, producer, and to be the mother, daughter, sister, lover, wife. And the thing about music is, with me, that she’s a harsh mistress. She does not come to me in the midst of stress. She sits back and she waits. She’s like, ‘You know what? Come see me when you’re done.’
“When I came to that realization, then I understood that I can’t force music if it’s not there. I simply have to learn how to ride the wave that comes onto shore for me, at any particular time.”
What lay ahead of her was the decline and passing of all the people who made her who she was: the woman who gave birth to her and gave her away; the beautician aunt who took her in and raised her to be a churchgoing, piano-playing singer who also knew her way around a sewing machine and a pressing comb; the beautician’s husband who became the only daddy she knew. She had to come to terms with their passing, and also with the patchwork quilt of a family whose secrets were deeper than she knew.
And ultimately she had to come to terms with herself and what had propelled her for so long. “It started with the fact that my mother gave me up when I was a baby,” she says of the event that made her question her own worth and try to prove herself all her life. “Not because she was a bad person or because she was some monster or something. She was just a child and could not care for me. It has taken me a long time to find peace within my own heart.”
All these parent figures started getting sick and dying when she was a new mother herself, with two little boys, Eddie, now 10, and Walter, 11. And each time she tried to get back to the music, something else stepped in front of it. “Every time I would leave to do music, my mother would go into the hospital,” she says of the aunt she calls her earth mother, as opposed to her birth mother. “And eventually I decided, you know what, I’m not leaving, because it’s just not worth it to me to leave her.
Anita baker husband divorce reason
anita baker husband divorce reason