ANITA DENISE BAKER
January 26, 1958
MULTI AWARD SINGER, SONGWRITER AND COMPOSER
Anita born January 26, 1958 is an American singer, songwriter, and composer. Starting her career in the late-1970s with the funk band Chapter 8, Baker eventually released her first solo album, The Songstress, in 1983. In 1986, she rose to stardom following the release of her platinum-selling second album, Rapture, which included the Grammy-winning single “Sweet Love”. To date, Baker has won eight Grammy Awards and has five platinum albums and one gold album to her credit. Baker’s vocal range is contralto. Anita Baker progressed and crossed mainstream after she signed with Elektra Records, in 1985 and began working on her album. Her Elektra contract allowed Anita to have full creative control and produce her own music, something she wasn’t allowed to do at Beverly Glen Baker. She did eventually picked her old Chapter 8 band mate, songwriter and producer Michael J. Powell to work with her on her first Elektra album, and Spike Lee as a video producer. Although label execs were initially unhappy with her choice of Powell over more established producers.
In March 1986, Anita released her now famous recording album Rapture. The initial first single released was not as well received. Due to her talent the labile released the mid-tempo ballad, “Sweet Love”, which became her first main stream cross over pop hit, reaching number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and also reaching the UK Top 20. The album eventually launched three further hit singles
Anita Baker third album the follow up to Rapture was giving you the Best That I Got. The Album was released in October 1988 and immediately became a success in main stream music genres, topping the Billboard 200 and selling five million copies worldwide, three million of which sold alone in the states. The title track reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the R&B and adult contemporary charts, becoming her most successful charted single. After touring and promotion in 1991, Anita did take a break from the business when she settled down with her husband at the time, later having two boy children together. Also in 1991, Elektra re-issued Baker’s first album, The Songstress, after buying rights to the album. It has sold more than 300,000 copies since its release.
After appearing on Frank Sinatra’s Duet album, Baker officially returned to the charts with Rhythm of Love in 1994. The album featured the hit “Body and Soul”, which became her first top 40 pop hit since 1989; the second single, the mid-tempo “I Apologize”, later won Baker an eighth Grammy. The album eventually sold over two million copies, resulting in her fourth consecutive platinum-selling album. Baker undertook the Rhythm of Love Tour from December 14, 1994 to November 14, 1995. Baker was transferred to another label within the Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records, in 1996.
Anita after a long separation from the music industry because she wanted to have children which she did, and had suffered a miss carriage during her busy earlier career. Eventually when all was settled within her personal life she signed with BLUE NOTE RECORDINGS and released the album, My Everything. Despite her decade-long absence from the charts, the album became successful, peaking at number four on the Billboard 200 and number-one on the R&B charts, eventually being certified gold. In 2005, Baker released the Christmas album, Christmas Fantasy winning a Grammy nomination for the song, “Christmas Time Is Here”. Starting in 2007, Baker embarked on a two-year concert tour titled An Evening with Anita Baker. In June 2010, she sang the National Anthem at Game 4 of that year’s NBA Finals at the TD Garden.
Anita Baker married Walter Bridgeforth, Jr. on December 24, 1988. The couple separated in 2005 and finalized their divorce two years later.They have two sons, Walter Baker Bridgforth who was born January 1993 and Edward Carlton Bridgeforth who was born May 199. Anita currently lives in Grosse Pointe, Michigan Her son Walter is now attending Berkley College of Music in Boston MA as a drumming principal.