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Anita Baker

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Anita Baker
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The winner of eight Grammy Awards, Anita Baker is this era’s definitive jazz-soul singer, much loved for her rich tones and intuitive phrasing. The Detroit-based vocalist’s decade-long career with Elektra began when Chairman/CEO Bob Krasnow heard her independently released 1983 debut album and sensed something extraordinary in Baker’s lush, mellow alto. As such, he cranked up the Elektra promotion and sales force to full power for her 1986 label debut, Rapture. The album – which included the Billboard top 10 smash, “Sweet Love,” as well as a number of other R&B and AC hits – earned five-times platinum certification from the RIAA while also making Baker an international superstar with total worldwide sales in excess of 8 million. What’s more, Rapture earned the singer her first two Grammy Awards, for “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female” and “Best R&B Song” (for “Sweet Love”).
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Giving You The Best That I Got was among 1988’s most anticipated releases and quickly warranted the buzz, reaching the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 – Baker’s only #1 – on its way to three-times platinum certification. What more, the album’s title track is Baker’s highest charting mainstream hit, peaking at #3 on Billboard’s “Hot 100” before winning the 1989 Grammy Award for “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female.” The album itself was honored with the “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female” Grammy at the 1990 ceremonies. 1990’s Compositions saw Baker backed by an ace combo featuring jazz guitarist Earl Klugh and longtime members of Eric Clapton’s backing band. The singer’s third consecutive platinum album, it also earned Baker her fourth Grammy for “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female.” Rhythm of Love came four long years later, but proved worth the wait – the album peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 with double platinum sales in excess of 2 million. Executive produced by Baker herself, the album featured a number of hits, including the top 40 single, “Body and Soul,” and “I Apologize,” which won Baker yet another Grammy Award for “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female.” Baker went on extended hiatus following Rhythm of Love, returning after nearly 10 years to begin making records once more. With her unmistakably smooth, sophisticated style, she remains one of the most popular romantic singers of her generation.
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