Anita Baker Biography
Anita Baker—multiple Grammy Award winner, composer, producer, mother and all-around superstar—contemplated long and hard before she got ready to take her show on the road again. But finally, in early 2003, the woman who gave birth to “fireside love songs” and such classic gems as “Giving You The Best That I Got,” “Just Because” and “Fairy Tales” pulled together her tight rhythm section and her faithful background singers and rehearsed; hoping to start a buzz and see if the timing was right, for a Welcome Back. She thought that her return would be like many singers, who, if gifted enough, have the opportunity to take a break and return to what they do best. Her “break” had now spanned 10 years and the tone and the texture of the industry had changed. The singers were young and flexible; many of the songs were trite and questionable. Anita wondered if she built it, would they come. And come they did, in droves. They came because most singers are not Anita Baker.
Just as soon as she decided to get back onstage, amphitheatres and arenas came calling and legions of fans came running, taking the 8-time Grammy winner around the country, before crowds of excited music lovers who were as overwhelmed by her return as they were stunned by her departure. “I needed to get away to rest, to take care of my family and to just spend some time with Anita, and my husband and my boys.” But in her time away, her singular and stellar voice could still be faithfully heard on R&B, Jazz and Adult Contemporary stations throughout the nation. However, the most peculiar thing is that it seemed that the rap/hip-hop genre, known as the Conscious of Music and often known to speak on things that others wouldn’t, seem to herald her return before anyone, making reference to her to several songs, including the recent #1 hit single “Slow Jamz” by Twista and Kanye West. So powerful is her name in music that she is the only artist who is acknowledged in the song by only her first name. ANITA. Now, this musical icon has joined the illustrious roster of Blue Note Records, with her long-awaited project MY EVERYTHING.
Anita’s Blue Note Records debut MY EVERYTHING is just that, a collection of the best attributes of Anita Baker—singer, songwriter, producer—wrapped in a lush package of ten (10) brilliant songs. Her offerings are not just aural pleasure. Something about her music is visceral and tactile and you don’t just hear it, you feel it, you visit it and it washes over you. The first single, “YOU’RE MY EVERYTHING,” shows that the singer’s amazing alto is bell clear and full. Produced by long-time musical director and industry heavyweight Barry Eastmond (as is the most of the project), something about the song is familiar and will have you singing along by the second verse. It’s warm and summer-filled love that feels like you’re sitting at an outdoor concert, wishing that days like this would never end.
Other masterful pieces of art from the project include “LIKE YOU USED TO DO,” a duet with fellow singer/songwriter/producer Babyface. The song is a bonafide smash already, just by the brilliant coupling of these two geniuses of love. It’s a woeful tale of a couple who both seem to realize that they had a good thing. The song begs to be heard and boldly steps forward as an anthem for trying harder, for love’s sake, in these days of instant marriages and temperamental annulments. “SERIOUS” is the only composition on MY EVERYTHING that Baker didn’t play a role in writing. The song was penned by Dawn Thomas, who composed “Only For A While,” from 1994’s Rhythm of Love and the two, who have never spoken or met, seem to be in sync. “I CAN’T SLEEP,” mature and sexy in its tone, was originally done by the Yellowjackets and was recorded live with the musicians and Anita simultaneously. It sounds like the songstress at her best—wailing and romping with her band and taking us higher, in love, for love! It’s soulful. It’s jazzy. It’s pure. It’s powerful. It’s what’s been missing since her departure: an unadulterated passion for LOVE! But the standout selection of the project is “MEN IN MY LIFE.”
Written by Anita Baker, but sung by Mrs. Anita Bridgeforth (her married name) and dedicated to Walter Sr., Walter Jr. and Eddie (her husband and two sons), “MEN IN MY LIFE” is something so sweet and sincere, powerful and so poignant that we may have never heard before in music: A True Tribute To Family. A loving wife, knowing that she is revered around the world and adored by millions, pauses, even as she prepares to return to music in glorious triumph, to center herself, assure her family and inform us as we await her arrival, that her truest and most triumphant joy in life is the love of the Men in her life. Offered in a voice so honest and vulnerable that you can almost hear the tears of joy roll down Anita’s eyes, this opus quiets any voice that wants to know why one of music’s most consistent composers has been gone so long. “MEN IN MY LIFE” speaks to priorities and Anita’s have clearly been on raising a wonderful family. Now, “as the boys grow up and branch out,” Anita has decided “that I wanted my day joy back” and she’s prepared to get back in the game on her own terms, just like she did from the beginning.
Anita Baker was born in Detroit, Michigan, always known as a musical hotbed, and started singing in church and later in groups throughout Detroit, before landing a gig with Chapter 8 (“they were the HOTTEST band in the land!”) with whom she had the hit “I Just Wanna Be Your Girl” in the early 80s. Anita later went solo and recorded the classic collection The Songstress (“Angel,” and “No More Tears”) before finding her way to Elektra Entertainment and a decade-long collaboration that birthed such completely perfected projects as Rapture, Giving You The Best That I Got, Compositions and The Rhythm Of Love, and honing a powerhouse songbook that includes such masterpieces as “Watch Your Step,” “Been So Long,” “Lead Me Into Love,” “Talk To Me,” “Body and Soul” and “I Apologize.” Her mantel is filled with Grammy, Soul Train, NAACP Image, Billboard and Rolling Stone Awards and she has been heralded as one of the great stylists of our time.
With MY EVERYTHING, Anita Baker is poised to return to the forefront of music, where’s she been a standout since her debut. Evidence of her impact can be heard on Any Street, USA, as “YOU’RE MY EVERYTHING,” the first single, can be heard blaring from beachfront homes and big SUVs bopping down urban streets. Anita Baker’s soulful alto has always been something special to music. She’s given us the best that she’s got for almost two decades now, and just when other singers would be coasting on their legacy, Anita Baker returns to give us her all and with that, we know what you are about to receive is a pure and powerful collection. Prepare to welcome MY EVERYTHING to your collection of finest and favorites, which is exactly where Anita Baker, and her classic style, belong.
Anita Baker Bio from Discogs
Anita Baker is an eight-time Grammy Award-winning, multi-Platinum rhythm and blues and soul singer and songwriter, renowned for her soaring alto vocal range. She is now known as Anita Baker Bridgeforth.