The Road to Stardom

The “road to stardom” can be an “easy drive” or one maneuvering around curves, rocks and boulders. For poor and low socioeconomic level people, it is hardly ever straight and smooth. Such was the road for R&B, Soul Singer Anita Baker. Her journey began as a baby when her teenage mother gave her up for adoption, and she was reared by foster parents in Detroit. Learning that your mother gave you away, is hardly a path to positive self-esteem. Navigating through those emotions is a journey in itself.

Anita Baker had a curvy and disappointing road to stardom.

An Emotional Journey

At age 12, Young Anita witnessed the death of foster parents, and once again, was left parentless. It is easy to understand if she came to believe having stable parents was not “in the cards.” So, music became a significant force in her life. Like many African Americans, the church was her catalyst to singing. This experience led to a gateway of performances in Detroit night clubs.

Saxophonist Duane Parham shares his connection with Anita Baker as she maneuvered the road to stardom.

Night Clubs to Chapter 8

During a Writers Monthly Interview, Saxophonist Duane Parham highlighted the time Anita’s management approached him to enhance her career. She sang and recorded with his band in a downtown Detroit nightclub. Later, when he received a call from a band leader in search of a vocalist, he recommended Vocalist Janet McGrudger. However, McGrudger had signed with another band and was not available. Parham recalls it was then that he suggested Anita Baker.

That recommendation led to Anita’s discovery, which may have paved the way for an audition with a funk band called Chapter 8.

Chapter 8 was the first band that gave Anita a pathway to stardom.

Emergence of Rocks and Boulders

The audition resulted in Baker becoming lead vocalist for Chapter 8. In 1979, Chapter 8 signed with Ariola Records for release of its first album. Baker’s contribution to the album was a single entitled I Just Want to Be Your Girl. Things were “glowing” until Ariola Records was bought out by Arista Records. Management at Arista did not see “star potential” in Anita and dropped her from the label. Bang! The pitfalls and boulders loomed like mountains and Ms. Baker left the music world, returned to Detroit, and became a waitress and receptionist. The road to stardom had ended.

The roadway for success finally opens for Anita Baker and showers her with success.

The Road to Stardom Ignited

In 1983, Otis Smith, an associate of Ariola Records, lit the fuse that cleared the obstacles blocking the road to success for Anita. She was picked up by Beverly Glen Records, and her single titled Angel, reached #5 on the R&B charts. The boulders were gone, and road was clear! The journey to success was happening! In 1985, after winning a lawsuit brought by Beverly Glen for breach of contract, Baker signed with Elektra Records. This contract allowed her to produce her own music. From 1989 to 1996, Ms. Baker won eight (8) Grammys with her Single “I Apologize” selling over 2 million copies. The road had been long and hard, but the destination was “sweet!”

The road to stardom is no longer a became a reality years ago.

Anita Baker Mastered the Road to Stardom

Where is Ms. Baker in 2022? With her masters in hand after a struggle with Elektra, (as reported by the Detroit News) a 15-city tour will begin in February 2023. The tour will launch in Florida and conclude in California, December 2023. Detroit area fans can grab tickets to a performance at Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI on July 2, 2023. This writer applauds Ms. Baker for her confidence, courage and tenacity to “hang in there,” climb over the boulders and reach the road to stardom!

Quick Information

Date of Birth:26-01-1958
Birth Place:Toledo, Ohio, United States
Ex. Husband:Walter Bridgforth Jr
Marriage Date:1988
Divorced Date:2008
Birth Sign:Aquarius
Net Worth:$80 Million
Alma Mater:David Glasgow Farragut High school In Chicago, Illinois
Height:4′ 11″ (150 cm)
T.V. Show(s):American Music Awards
Marital Status:Divorced
Children:Edward Carlton Bridgaforth, Walter Baker Bridgforth
Birth Date:26 Jan, 1958
Age:62 yrs
Citizenship:United States of America
Birth Place:Toledo
Description:American singer-songwriter
Net Worth 2021:40 million