b. Anita D. Baker, 26th January 1958, Toledo, Ohio, U.S.A.
Anita Baker was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1958.
She was the grand-daughter of a minister, and, consequently, at the age of 12, she began singing a gospel choir.
By the age of 16 she was performing with several local bands in Ohio.
In 1975, she successfully auditioned for the Soul Group, Chapter 8.
Anita featured on the groups first album for the Ariola imprint in 1979, simply entitled 'Chapter 8'.
anita in 1979
Recorded at the Cloudborn Studios, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, that album was produced by Derek Dirckson and Michael Powell and featured the songs 'I Just Wanna Be Your Girl' and the modern dancer, 'Let's Get Together'.
By the early Eighties Anita had left Chapter 8, after Ariola was taken over by Arista, and was working in a law firm.
In 1982, Otis Smith (who had worked with Chapter 8) contacted Anita about recording for his new label Beverly Glen.
She was reluctant at first, but eventually flew out to the West Coast to record her debut album, 'The Songstress', in 1983.
Produced by the late Patrick Moten and Otis Smith, 'The Songstress' was a highly regarded debut and Anita relocated from Beverly Glen to Elektra Records.
She teamed up with her old Chapter 8 colleague Michael Powell for her second solo offering, the highly successful 'Rapture'.
Anita funded the album partly from her own purse which allowed her to act as an Executive Producer, additionally.
The album contained the songs 'Sweet Love', 'Caught Up In The Rapture' and the popular 'Same Ole Love'.
Two years later, she released 'Giving You The Best That I Got', whose title track received heavy rotation on the Soul radio stations.
Anita won two Grammys for Best Female R & B vocal and best R & B song, for the title track.
The album also contained the excellent 'Good Enough'.
By 1990, the album 'Compositions' was released.
A 'live' studio recorded album, most of the songs were penned by Anita herself.
Anita's fourth Elektra album, the 'Rhythm Of Love', was released in 1994, there being a slight release delay due to the birth of her first child.
She concentrated on family chores for the latter part of the 1990's.
Anita then became involved with contractual disputes with Elektra, differences which eventually led her to pay Elektra in order to move to Atlantic Records.
She began working on a new album in 2000.
Anita then hit a setback and she ended up filing a suit in the US District Court in Detroit against Zomba Recording Corp. and its Dreamhire division, whom she alleged supplied her with a 24-track tape recording machine that left popping noises all over tracks she'd been recording.
Despite all attempts to save the music she had to start the project again.
Further troubles hit her personal life with her mother developing Alzheimers disease and her father developing bone cancer.
They both passed away within a 3 and a half year period (her mother passing in 2002) at the beginning of the new millennium.
A new album was in the offing, although Anita stated 'I just could not write. I was at the nursing home every day. The stuff that I did write during that time, it was so dark that I just kind of threw it in the fireplace. I do regret that I wasn't able to sing for them.'
In 2003, Anita sang the national anthem at the Pistons' NBA playoff games in Detroit.
She joined Blue Note Records and has a new album completed, produced by George Duke and Barry Eastmond.
'My Everything' was released in 2004 and the Christmas album, 'Christmas Fantasy' followed in 2005.
Thesedays Anita is known as Anita Baker Bridgeforth.
The Songstress (Beverly Glen 1983)
Rapture (Elektra 1986)
Giving You The Best That I've Got (Elektra 1988)
Compositions (Elektra 1990)
Rhythm Of Love (Elektra 1994)
The Best Of Anita Baker (Atlantic / WEA 2002)
My Everything (Blue Note 2004)
Christmas Fantasy (Blue Note 2005)