Anita Baker (born January 26, 1958) is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter. To date, Baker has won eight Grammy Awards, and has four platinum albums and two gold albums to her credit.
Baker released her debut album, “The Songstress,” in 1983. Produced by the late Patrick Moten and Otis Smith, the album was released on a small label, Beverly Glen Records. The album helped launch Baker's career as it found minor success on the R&B chart. Baker herself co-wrote the album's opening track, “Angel”.
In 1985, Baker signed a contract with Elektra Records, a division of Warner Music Group. She released her second album, “Rapture,” in 1986. Baker wrote several tracks for the album herself including “Been So Long” and “Watch Your Step,” and co-wrote the single “Sweet Love” which became her first mainstream hit, peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and at #2 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
“Rapture” ultimately went on to sell eight million copies worldwide and earned Baker two Grammy Awards in 1987 for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female for the album and Best Rhythm & Blues Song for “Sweet Love”.
Baker's third album, “Giving You the Best That I Got,” was released in 1988. The album became a critical and commercial success, reaching #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and selling five million copies worldwide. It featured such hits as “Just Because” and the title track, which became Baker's biggest pop hit, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 while topping both the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts.
Baker returned to the studio in 1990 for her fourth album (her third for Elektra), entitled “Compositions.” The album peaked at #5 on Billboard 200 and was certified platinum in 1990, making it Baker's third platinum selling album. The album also won the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1991 Grammy Awards.
Baker's fifth album, “Rhythm of Love,” was issued in September 1994. The album was another commercial success, peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and eventually was certified double platinum by the RIAA. The first single, “Body and Soul,” became Baker's first Billboard Top 40 hit in over five years. Baker won the award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the single “I Apologize” at the 1996 Grammy Awards, her fifth Grammy Award in this category and her eighth overall.
In September 2004, a decade after her last studio album, Baker released a new album, entitled “My Everything.” The album was a success and debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album was certified gold by the RIAA.