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Anita Baker Live Caught Up In The Rapture

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Uploaded on May 23, 2008

Anita Baker (born January 26, 1958) is an eight-time Grammy Award-winning, multi-Platinum rhythm and blues and soul singer and songwriter, renowned for her soaring alto vocal range.

Born in Toledo, Ohio and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Anita Baker began singing in a Baptist church choir at the age of 12. Four years later, while singing with the band Humanity, Baker was approached by bass player David Washington of Chapter 8 to audition for the group.

In 1975, Baker subsequently joined Chapter 8, the most popular group of Detroit at the time. They spent a couple of years playing in and around Detroit and eventually signed a record deal with Ariola. The self-titled album came out in fall 1979, with two singles hitting the R&B charts: "Ready for Your Love" and "I Just Wanna Be Your Girl." The label Ariola Records later ran into financial trouble and the company was purchased by Arista. Arista's executives refused to renew Chapter 8's record deal while Baker was a part of the group. After being rejected, Baker went back home to Detroit and got a job as a receptionist for a local law firm.

In 1981, Otis Smith, the man behind Chapter 8's contract, formed his own label Beverly Glen. Remembering Baker's vocals, he got her telephone number from a Chapter 8 member and called her in late 1982. Baker refused the job at first due to her duties as a receptionist. However, she agreed to sign with the label and try again with a music career. In 1983, Baker released her debut album The Songstress. Two of the album's singles, "Angel" and "No More Tears", became smash hits on the R&B charts. By the spring of 1984, Baker had five chart hits and was close to a gold record.

In 1985, Baker got a major label contract with Elektra Records, a division of Warner Music Group. She released her second album, Rapture in 1986, produced by her friend from Chapter 8, Michael J. Powell This album reafforded her the opportunity to stretch her skills; she wrote "Been So Long", "Watch Your Step" and "Sweet Love". "Sweet Love", "Caught Up In the Rapture", "No One In The World", and "Same Ole Love" became major R&B and Adult Contemporary chart hits during 1986 and 1987, with "Sweet Love" becoming a top ten pop hit as well. By the time "Rapture" had completed its chart run, it had sold 8 million copies worldwide and also earned Baker two Grammys.

In November 1986 when she was returning to Detroit to receive the key of the city, she got engaged to Walter Bridgeforth Jr. whom she'd met on an earlier trip home in January. They were married on Christmas Eve 1987.

In 1987, Baker collaborated with The Winans on the single "Ain't No Need To Worry" and this single led Baker to her third Grammy award. At the same time, she also worked on her follow-up album Giving You The Best That I Got in between a busy performance schedule. This album was released in October 1988. She worked with Michael J. Powell again, and the album became a critical and commercial success, which sold another 5 million copies worldwide. It features such hits as "Just Because" and the title track, which became Baker's biggest pop hit, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 while going to number one R&B and Adult Contemporary. Critics noted that, single-handedly, through her first two albums, "Anita Baker has set a new standard and helped redefine the sound of contemporary music recorded by female vocalists in the '80s and the '90s."

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