Anita Baker Announces ‘Farewell Tour’ for 2018

Anita Baker sings the national anthem before Game 4 of the 2010 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics on June 10, 2010, at TD Garden in Boston. (Elsa/Getty Images)
Anita Baker sings the national anthem before Game 4 of the 2010 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics on June 10, 2010, at TD Garden in Boston. (Elsa/Getty Images)

When R&B songstress Anita Baker hit the scene in the mid-’80s, it was as if we didn’t know what we’d been missing. Her cool, low register gifted us hits like “Angel,” “Sweet Love” and “Rapture,” and with all our hearts we loved it, baby.

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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.

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Soul Tracks chronicles 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.”

On Jan. 1, Baker tweeted some solace to those of us who miss her so: “So much 2 celebrate with you in #2018,” she began. “60th Bday in 25 days … Farewell Concert Series beginning in March … We’ll paint pictures together 2 last a lifetime … “Let’s party!” #OneLastTime abxo damn … Where does the time go?!”

Anita Baker is 60?!

But moreover, we can see her live again? Her fans, predictably, lost it.

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A few days later, Baker gave us more concrete details, saying that she would be headlining the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which runs from April 27 through March 6.

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So whether it’s in N’Awlins or a city near you, this may be your last chance to see one of the great R&B singers of our time.

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Stay tuned ...

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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DISCUSSION

Her voice causes my skin to break out in chills and goosepimples, every time I hear that opening line of “You Bring Me Joy”.

I always equate her songs to nighttime. I think it has to do with the fact that once those Anita Baker albums had gone on, it was a signal for my brother and me to take our butts to bed, so my mom could clean up the living room.