Anita Baker has thanked Chance the Rapper for helping her regain the master recordings of some of her classic albums. The singer’s manager, Kim Burrell, told Billboard that she is working with Chance on a project to restore the music of Baker, who died in April at age 59 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Burrell also told Billboard that she was surprised when Baker released an album in 1994 that didn’t include any songs from the two previous albums she recorded for Elektra Records — Rapture (1986) and Compositions (1987).”That’s when I started doing my homework.”
Anita Baker Is Thanking Chance The Rapper
Baker was born in Toledo, Ohio on January 26, 1950. She grew up singing gospel music with her mother, grandmother, and other family members at the New Hope Baptist Church in Toledo’s Old West End neighborhood. Baker began singing in church at the age of three years old before moving to Detroit when she was 16 years old to go to college at the University of Michigan’s School of Music.
Baker’s 1987 debut album, The Songstress, was released on the Elektra Records label and sold millions of copies worldwide. According to a new Hollywood Reporter interview with Baker, Chance helped her regain control of her masters when they were at risk of being lost forever in bankruptcy proceedings.
“Anita is one of my favorite artists and I am so happy that she has been able to get back into the studio,” Chance said in a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter. The Grammy-winning soul singer was left devastated when she discovered that a burglar had stolen the original recordings from her home in Los Angeles.
Anita Baker Grammy Winner
Anita Baker, the Grammy-winning singer whose hits include “Caught Up in the Rapture,” “Sweet Love,” and “Giving You the Best That I Got,” has thanked Chance the Rapper for helping her regain master recordings of her music.
The singer tweeted a link to an article about Chance’s ongoing battle with Sony Music Entertainment, which owns some of Baker’s masters. The rapper has been fighting to regain ownership of his music so he can release it on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music without paying hefty fees to his former label, Def Jam Recordings.
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Baker said she was “pleasantly surprised” at how quickly Sony agreed to return her masters after asking for them in December 2018. She thanked Chance for helping her regain ownership of her music and said he has a special place in her heart because he performed on stage with her.
But in 2008, she lost ownership of all her masters to former manager Barry Hankerson, who passed away last year. Baker sued Hankerson in 2017 and claimed that he never transferred ownership of her music to her.
In March, a judge ruled in favor of Hankerson’s estate, which filed a counter lawsuit seeking $100 million from Baker because it claimed she had failed to pay royalties on time. Baker was so distraught over losing control over her music that she considered killing herself. But Chance came to her rescue and helped raise money for an attorney so that she could get back what was rightfully hers.