Anita Baker Biography

Review The Artist (24)

Anita Baker-photo
The sound of Anita Baker, brings peace to the soul, put an Anita cd on and everything is going to be all right. Her characteristic voice stands out and is truly the best R&B singer in the world today. Nothing happens overnight and it has been a struggle for her to be where she is today.

Anita began singing in a baptist church choir at the age of 12. At age 16 she was in a band called Humanity which included fellow high school friends and was playing with other local bands when she was approached by bass player David Washington of Chapter 8 to audition. She joined the group which was the most popular group of Detroit at the time, in 1975. They spend a few years playing in and around Detroit, and eventually got a record deal with Ariola. The self titled album came out in the fall of 1979, there where 2 R&B chart singles on it "Ready for your love" and "I just wanna be your girl". Ariola records ran into troubles and the company was bought by Arista, and when it was time to renew the contract, the executives at Arista told Anita that she couldn't sing and therefore used that reason, not to renew Chapter 8's contract.

Anita went home to Detroit and worked, first as a short order cook, then waited tables at a bar and finally getting a good job with a law firm as a receptionist. Otis Smith who was the man behind Chapter 8's contract, formed his own label in 1981, called Beverly Glenn. Remembering Anita's special voice, he got her telephone number from a Chapter 8 member and called her in 1982, first Anita said no, because of the 9-5 job, a steady income, health coverage and paid vacations, but when Otis Smith raised the first 10.000$ offer and her law firm, whom she was working for, approved the contract, was the answer, yes!.

The fabulous album "Songstress" hit the streets in 1983, Anita worked with Patrick Moten on an album that contains soul, jazz and gospel in a way that only Anita Baker can express. Spring 1984, Anita has had 4 chart hits and was close to a gold record. Her new followers screamed for a new album, and when asked Beverly Glenn, there where no answer. Disputes lead to a contract with Elektra in 1986.

Being an executive producer on her debut for Elektra (which was out of the ordinary) meant that Anita had complete control on the project. Choosing her friend from Chapter 8, Michael J. Powell as her Producer, they created a masterpiece called "Rapture". The album received US platinum in only 6 month and the success on the chart's meant a total sale of over 6 million records worldwide. The following Grammy awards gave her 2 Grammy's.

In November 1986 when she was returning to Detroit to receive the key of the city, she got engaged to Walter Bridgforth Jr. whom she had meet on a earlier trip home in January. They got married on Christmas Eve 1988.

1987, Anita worked on her follow-up album " Givin you the best that I got" in between a busy performance schedule. Again she worked with M.J Powell, and although the album received Grammy's later on, Anita wasn't comfortable with the final mix. As the perfectionist she is, she believed that if she wasn't satisfied with her work, the fans wouldn't be either, but later she has realized that the fans are with her in good and bad times, and the album became a critical and commercial success.

On her third project for Elektra, Anita wanted to be more involved in song writing and wished to experiment with jazz. The album contains 7 songs written by Anita and the album was mostly cut live, meaning that the rhythm section was playing as Anita sang. On the album produced by Michael J. Powell, there were musicians like Greg Philinganes, Nathan East, Paulinho da Costa, Vernon Fails, Ricky Lawson and Stephen Ferrone. Anitas involvement in the whole recording process gave the album a personal touch and for the effort she received her 7th Grammy award. The album is of course, "Compositions".

Anita now felt it was time to relax a little and ended her partnership with Michael J. Powell. She felt that on her next project she would like to be more in charge on how the record should sound and be the ultimate creative force. During her break away from the industry and 2 miscarriages in 1989 and 1991, Anita and Walter became parents in january 1993 to a son, Walter Baker Bridgforth. Five months later Anita started working on her next project, "Rhythm of love" and during the recording sessions she became pregnant again.

Anita produced most of the album, but famous producers like George Duke, Arif Mardin, Barry Eastmond and Tommy Lipuma also contributed to the album. "Rhythm of love" was mainly recorded in Anita's home due to the pregnancy, she wrote 5 out of 12 songs and beautyfully selected "My Funny Valentine" to be the last song, a song that proves that Anita should do an all jazz album in my opinion. After the birth of Edward Carlton Bridgforth in may 1994, "Rhythm of love" was released in september 1994 and received her 8th Grammy for "I apologize" in 1995. After "Rhythm of love" she has taking time of to spend with her family, until a tragedy occurred, when she lost her birth mother in 1996 and her father in 1998 and at the same time struggling with the record company on disagreements, naturally it has delayed a new cd for quite a while. But she has won the case against Elektra and has signed with Atlantic Records.

1998, 4 years after "Rhythm of love", Anita is again in the studio, but only for 2 appearances in jazz piano player Cyrus Chestnut self titled cd. The songs "My favorite things" and "Summertime" is your second prove that Anita should make an all jazz album and as a jazz lover, I encourage it.

2002 June 18th will see the first release of an "Best of Anita Baker" released on Rhino Records. The date for a completely new cd is still to be announced.

The Anita Baker story will continue and I will be the one to tell you.
Tommy Jensen
Webmaster
June 16th 2002

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love anita baker | Reviewer: kimberlee Thomas | 7/17/14

I apolgise,sometimes,just because and all the time they are my favourite songs in this world her voice charming when I feel down I just listen to her love you miss anita baker.

churchpens | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/23/13

my girlfriend who happens to be my wife now cant do without listening to best of anita since i bought the cd.she told me am a class higher than my peers for knowing and listening to anita baker's song.what a love!

My favorite singer | Reviewer: Lisa | 7/22/13

I felled in love with Anita B voice when the songstress album.came
Out, her first album. I was sleeping and the song, No More Tears
Played on the radio, when shr sang the second verse. It woke me up nearly
Blowed me away! That voice she made sounds that went from deep
Base alto to high church sound that nobody can hit but. Ms. Anita. I was
A fan for life bought all of her albums anf seen her perform on perdon.
AMAZING!!!!!!!!

Anita is the most beautiful (inside and out) singer- ever | Reviewer: Marcia Thomas | 10/8/12

I cherish my c.d.'s from Anita Baker- a voice from up above! Although I realize the songs are intended to be love songs, to me they remind me of my sons when they were babies and I'd blast the songs and sing them to my babies. The songs were my love songs to my babies.(Blasting the music is the only way to listen to Anita and get the emotion and full richness of her voice!) I felt a connection to her as we went through a miscarriage at the same time. I adore watching Anita sing on t.v. and seeing how she really "feels" the music. What a special gift to touch the soul. Thank you for giving me your music, Anita,at the lowest time in my life to strengthen me and uplift me. When I am lonesome for my adult children; I listen, remember how you got me through, and get melancholy remembering those special moments of dancing cheek to cheek with those precious babies of mine. Forever thankful and grateful to you for making music for the world and for sharing your hurt about your miscarriages, which made me feel I wasn't alone- we were going through the same heartache at the same time.

she is the best thing yet that I ever came into our lives | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/20/12

I dont have words to describe how muchve Anita' she is truly the best all of her songs are just so powerful and have meaning in our lives,I am 17years old and I have been listening to her songs from a very yung age. I have never seen her of been to any of her concerts because she only came to my country (south africa) when I was stil so young but her through her music I have met her

Sheer Class! | Reviewer: Amanda | 6/23/12

I have been a massive fan of Anita Baker,since rapture came on to the scene,and have been lucky enough to see her sing live in London 3 times,and after seeing ,Celine dion,Toni braxton,Mary j bilge,Roberts flack,Whitney Houston,I can honestly say,,that Anita Baker was the absolute best singer,I have seen to date,the last time I saw her,was Wembley Arena,London,and she was out of this world,she sang a mixture of songs,and was over here,to promote Compositions,she sat on some steps,on the stage,and she belted out you bring me joy,and she certainly did that,,it was outstanding,beautiful,powerful,and made a lot of people emotional,I will never forget that concert,as long as I live,it was one of the best days of my life,and although,it was 1990 when I last saw her live,she still has that amazing,incredible,voice,and I just can't wait for her next album,along with all her other fans,she is the best singer in the world,well,I am biast,she has been a big part of my life,through her music,and always will be.

Sheer Class! | Reviewer: Amanda | 6/22/12

I have been a massive fan of Anita Baker,since rapture came on to the scene,and have been lucky enough to see her sing live in London 3 times,and after seeing ,Celine dion,Toni braxton,Mary j bilge,Roberts flack,Whitney Houston,I can honestly say,,that Anita Baker was the absolute best singer,I have seen to date,the last time I saw her,was Wembley Arena,London,and she was out of this world,she sang a mixture of songs,and was over here,to promote Compositions,she sat on some steps,on the stage,and she belted out you bring me joy,and she certainly did that,,it was outstanding,beautiful,powerful,and made a lot of people emotional,I will never forget that concert,as long as I live,it was one of the best days of my life,and although,it was 1990 when I last saw her live,she still has that amazing,incredible,voice,and I just can't wait for her next album,along with all her other fans,she is the best singer in the world,well,I am biast,she has been a big part of my life,through her music,and always will be.

the best | Reviewer: salva | 8/29/11

I knowed Anita in 1986 with her Rapture,she ´s the best.Caught up in the rapture,Some ole love,Sweet love,etc,a masterpiece.In 1990 her Compasitions was another masterpiece,Wathever it takes,Talk to me,No one to blame,Lonely,Fairy tales,FANTASTIC.

SHE ´S THE BEST SINGER EVER

i used to | Reviewer: anita baker | 5/5/11

My name is Anita Baker and i was born on December 9th,i used to like your songs Anita but now I'm a christian and i have to put the world behind me and embrace the destiny god have planned for me.i love singing it's one of my most favorite hobby.Anita you have a great voice and i would like to advice you to use it for the glory of god.GOD BLESS YOU

I love Anita | Reviewer: Richard | 2/15/11

I had my first feel of Anita sometime in 1990 through my girl friend who loved Anita to a fault. Since then I have been in love with her unique voice, great delivery and great stage presence. There is no singer like Anita, no one in the world like her, Truly!

phenominal | Reviewer: Florence | 1/17/11

Anita is and always will be in my opinion the absolute bobm.She can sing her you know what off.She has a wonderful voice,and anyone who thinks she can't sing,is just stupid.I started listning to her when she came out in the 80's and now i am 65 and i still love her.I hope i get to see her one day in concert,brfore it is my time to go away from here.love,love,love me some Anita keep singing baby and don't let those fools tell you that you can't sing,this is flojuice singing off.

LOVE ANITA!!! | Reviewer: dbess72 | 12/2/10

I can't think of any words to write other than for the very first time i heard her voice at 11yrs old, i feel in love with this lady voice. i have been a fan since the and i'm 38 now, my family says when they hear her voice they think of me. when anita stop putting out albums to take care of family matters the fans didn't know what had happened to her including myself. i was like where is she? is she putting out another album, and not to much longer after that she surfaced. I LOVE HER SO MUCH!

No one in the world | Reviewer: Lazzelle Gelias | 10/4/10


Anita Baker's "Sweet Love," was the first song that I heard from her and continues to be one of my favourites. When I hear this song, it truly embraces me and makes me cry. All of Anita's songs are so moving, that I have to play them everyday. Whenever I can, "Sweet Love" is the song I love to sing and people love to hear. Keep the music coming Anita because, "You bring me Joy."

Soulful and soothing | Reviewer: Neisha | 7/3/10

I've always loved Anita. She came to Jamaica Jazz and Blues Fest and I wasn't able to attend. When I saw the highlights of her performance I totally cried because I missed an opportunity of a lifetime.She's just amazingly soulful

The voice that lifts my spirit | Reviewer: Emma Addo-Owusu | 7/1/10

I started listening to Anita in my teens and now I'm almost 40yrs young. When I feel low and there is no one to turn to I reach for God and my Anita's CD. She brings me Joy and sweet love 365 days of the year. This is no fairy tale I assure you. I love your music Anita you inspire me.


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