Anita Baker was born on January 26, 1958 in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She began singing in church choir when she was 12 and at 16 sang in a local group along with high school friends. In 1975 she successfully auditioned for the group Chapter 8, having been approached by bass player David Washington, and spent the next few years playing in and around Detroit.
In 1981 she signed to Otis Smith’s Beverly Glenn label, releasing her debut album "Songstress" in 1983, which featured her signature song “Angel”. In 1986 she signed with Elektra Records, and understanding that creative control was essential, functioned as executive producer on her megahit album “Rapture”, which sold over 6 million records worldwide. The album went multi-platinum and practically all of its tracks found rotation on nationwide radio playlists, including the tender "Caught Up in the Rapture" and "Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)." This album brought her first two Grammy awards: Best R&B Female Performance for the album "Rapture" and Best R&B Song for "Sweet Love", a Top 10 Pop and No. 2 R&B hit.
In 1987, Anita began work on her follow-up album "Giving You The Best That I Got" in between an extremely busy performance schedule. This album was also awarded three Grammies: one in 1989 for Best R&B Female Performance, one in 1990 for Best R&B Song ("Giving You The Best That I Got") and one for Best R&B Song ("Just Because"). She took a more involved role in the song-writing for her third album, “Compositions”, also moving towards experimenting with jazz. The album contained 7 self-penned songs and was mostly cut live; the album would go on to win her a 7th Grammy award for Best R&B Female Performance.
In 1993 Anita started working on her next project, "Rhythm of Love" and on which she wrote 5 out of the 12 songs. In September 1994 the album was released and brought an 8th Grammy for Best R&B Song ("I Apologize") in 1995.
In 2004 Anita released “My Everything” for Blue Note Records. In 2005, Baker released “Christmas Fantasy”, receiving a Grammy nomination for the song, "Christmas Time Is Here". In May 2005, Baker was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. Starting in 2007, Baker embarked on a two-year concert tour titled An Evening with Anita Baker.
Regarded as one of the most popular vocalists of soulful romantic ballads, and an integral part in helping to launch the quiet storm period of contemporary R&B in the 80’s, Anita Baker’s career spans over 3 decades and includes 8 Grammy awards, 4 American Music awards, 7 Soul Train awards, 7 platinum albums and 6 world tours. Her music continues to influence the industry across the playing field to this day.
Ms. Baker has two sons and spends her time between Michigan and California.