Anita Baker is an iconic singer-songwriter, and she was honored tonight at the BET Awards with the Lifetime Achievement Award! Here’s everything you need to know about the ‘Angel’ singer.
Anita Baker, 60, has had a long career as a singer, beginning her career in the ’70s as part of the group Chapter 8, and then going solo in the mid-’80s! The singer received BET’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the June 24 show and Tyler Perry gave her a wonderful introduction, detailing the hardships and heartbreak Anita endured throughout her long career. Then, the evening’s host Jamie Foxx honored her with a stunning tribute at the piano, and Marsha Ambrosius blew everyone away singing Anita’s “Caught Up In The Rapture,” and Yolanda Adams sang her “You Bring Me Joy.” This woman has a long resume you won’t even believe, and you can learn all you need to know here!
1. Anita toured with Chapter 8 in 1975.
She joined the group and was featured on their first album Chapter 8, and she sang “Ready for Your Love,” with bandmate Gerald Lyles, and led the vocals on “I Just Want to Be Your Girl.” However, once the band was dropped from their label, they were convinced Anita didn’t have “star power” and fired her as their lead singer.
2. Anita was waitressing when a record label approached her to go solo.
After she was dropped by Chapter 8, Anita returned to Detroit to be a waitress. Former Ariola associate Otis Smith located her and convinced her to start a solo career under his Beverly Glen label. However, after she released her first album Songstress under the label, she revealed she didn’t receive any royalties from her work, even though the album was met with rave reviews. She was sued by Smith for breach of contract in 1985, but won the case against him and was able to record with other labels.
3. Anita appeared on Frank Sinatra’s Duets album.
The singer worked with Frank on the song “Witchcraft” on his first Duets album, in 1993. The collaboration convinced her to finally return with her third album, Rhythm Of Love, in 1994. The album featured “Body And Soul,” which was her first Top 40 hit since 1989!
4. Anita came out of retirement in 2018.
Anita announced she was going into retirment in January 2017, but then on New Years Day 2018, she revealed she was going to do a “Farewell Concert Series.”
5. Anita is a mother to two children.
The musical legend was married to Walter Bridgeforth, Jr. on December 24, 1988, but they separated in 2005 and were divorced in 2007. The pair had two children, Walter Baker Bridgeforth, born January 1993, and Edward Carlton Bridgeforth, born May 1994. Anita’s son Walter is currently pursuing a degree in Music Production & Engineering at Berklee College of Music in Boston.