Anita Baker Has Officially Retired: Our Tribute Video
In 2004 the singer told Essence magazine that she had no regrets looking back. In the mid nineties she left music to look after her two boys and ailing relatives. Bakers said, “Every time I would leave to do music, my mother would go into the hospital,” Baker calls her aunt her earth mother since that’s who raised her. He real mother was a drug addict. “And eventually I decided, you know what, I’m not leaving, because it’s just not worth it to me to leave her. She added, “I put my family over my career for the last 10 years, and I didn’t intend to, but it just happened that way, and as it started to happen, it was like, this feels right,” she says.
Baker has nothing more to prove with five platinum albums and millions in sales all around the globe and lets remember she’s been doing this for a long time. At 16 Baker was singing R&B in Detroit clubs. Interestingly on her first night she was discovered by bandleader David Washington that lead her into the band Chapter 8 in 1975. Baker left music for the first time after that group was dropped by their label. She became a receptionist and a waitress but with a voice like that opportunity always knocks.
She was convinced to her first solo album ‘The Songstress’ in 1983. It produced a few R&B hits but most of us were introduced to Anita Baker in 1986 with “The Rapture” an album that she helped finance. When she ran out of money from Elektra Records Baker paid for the rest. It sold 8 Million copies worldwide and her very first Top 40 hit was “Sweet Love.’ The project also gave us Caught Up in the Rapture”, “No One in the World” and “Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)”.
In 1988 Baker released the follow up “Giving You the Best That I Got.” With two hits, the title track and “Just Because’ it went triple platinum and was her only #1 album.
She had her third platinum with “Compositions” two years later. Though she didn’t score any Top 40 hits she had three on the R&B charts. “Rhythm of Love” in 1994 was different, It went double platinum and gave the singer her first hits single since 1989 with “Body and Soul.” Then came her hiatus.
Since 1994 Baker has only released two studio projects, “My Everything” from 2004 and her holiday album “Christmas Fantasy” the year after.
Her two boys are grown up Walter is 24 and and Edward 22. I hope she enjoys the sand between her toes. She gave us some great years. – By John Beaudin
John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 33 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.
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