On January 1, 2018, Songstress Anita Baker, who is set to celebrate her 60th birthday this month, sent fans into a frenzy when she announced she would be the one imparting gifts to them: a farewell concert series.
Baker gave more concrete details a few days later, saying she would be headlining the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which runs from April 27 through March 6. So whether it’s in New Orleans or a city near you, this may be your last chance to see one of the great singers of our time.
Anita Baker is 60?! But moreover, we can see her live again? We thought we’d seen the last of her live performances. In January 2017 longtime fans of Ms. Baker were devastated when the singer announced she was set to retire after a 30-year career had seen her deliver some of the genre’s most prized numbers. Indeed, despite a 13-year wait since 2004’s ‘My Everything,’ (her last LP) she informed followers there was “no new music or tour” in the works.
When Anita Baker hit the scene in the mid-’80s, it was like we didn’t know what we’d been missing. Her cool, low register gifted us hits like “Angel,” “Sweet Love” and “You Bring Me Joy,” and with all our hearts we loved it, baby.
And then she disappeared.
Baker, who hails from Detroit, said she was retiring from music in 1994, after dropping three uncontested classics on Elektra: Rapture, Giving You the Best That I’ve Got and Rhythm of Love. She pretty much disappeared from public view to raise her family.
Soul Tracks chronicled her career, and notes her importance, saying that “along with Luther Vandross, she virtually created Urban Adult Contemporary as a viable radio format in the ’80s, and countless subsequent singers owe a huge debt to Baker for demonstrating that a mature soul audience would buy music and for creating a pathway for artists to reach that audience.”
As a fan of Miss Baker myself, I couldn’t be more thrilled that she’s set to hit the road one last time. With gems like ‘Giving You the Best That I Got,’ ‘I Apologize’ and ‘Been So Long,’ we hope to be in the house with the legions of her other fans hearing her croon the hits one last time. Kicking off in March, no official news on other dates and ticket prices yet.