Anita Baker’s death was unexpected, but fortunately, the family has already begun planning her funeral. This widow, who had been married to Steve Tolliver for 31 years, is survived by her husband and son. She was a graduate of Central High School, and loved gardening, cooking, and Christmas. She also had many friends.
Anita was a devoted Christian who was active in the Loyall United Methodist Church. She loved the fellowship she found at church and also participated in many community events. She also enjoyed traveling with her family, especially to the beautiful mountains. Anita loved the people and left a lasting legacy in those she touched.
A soul singer, Anita Baker’s voice was renowned for its three-octave range, its powerful delivery, and its emotional range. The songwriter was born in Toledo, Ohio, to an unmarried mother. She was adopted by her aunt and uncle when she was a child. Her singing career was launched in Detroit after she joined a church gospel choir. This exposure to gospel music helped her discover her potential and inspire her subsequent career.
After releasing her fourth studio album, Rhythm of Love, Baker took a break from touring and focused on her family and career. She was let go from Atlantic Records in November 2001. The following year, she released her first compilation album, The Best of Anita Baker. In the UK, it was called Sweet Love: The Very Best of Anita Baker. The album achieved platinum status and went on to sell over one million copies.
Baker started singing at the age of 12 and was a member of a Detroit funk band called Chapter 8. She joined the group in 1975, and was discovered by David Washington. Washington recruited Baker to the group and they toured until Ariola Records signed them in 1979. Her solo career was also successful and she recorded an album with her own label, Beverly Glen Records.