Baker announced Tuesday, that she’ll be moving on – alone, due to what she called online “bullying.”
She said, “#AnitaBaker After Silently, Enduring Cyber Bulling/Verbal Abuse & Threats of Violence from the Fan Base, of Our Special Guest/Support Act,” Baker posted, “In the Interest of Personal Safety. I will continue, The Songstress Tour, alone. Appropriate refunds will be made. Blessings ABXO.”
Baker and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds have been on the road since February on The Songstress tour. The two hitmakers with unimpeachable catalogs that include songs like Baker’s “Angel,” “No One In the Word,” and “Sweet Love,” along with Babyface’s “Never Keeping Secrets,” “Whip Appeal” and “For the Cool in You” seemed a great pairing for those who appreciate classic soul music.
But on May 10, prior to the Newark, N.J. date, Babyface announced that he would not be performing to accommodate technical difficulties in Baker’s show that forced a late start.
“I am truly sorry to my fans who have been waiting for us to hit the stage this evening at @PruCenter. I was asked not to perform in order to give Ms. Baker her space and time to perform her show in its entirety,” Babyface posted. “My band and I are extremely saddened we didn’t get to perform for y’all tonight.”
Seemed innocuous enough, but apparently fans started harassing Baker on social media about why Babyface was booted from the show. On June 9, she tweeted, “When A friend, is being attacked, by Your friends?…because, of Mis-information/fake news And, You have an Opportunity, to Say Something/Correct it? … It’s the Right thing to do,” she wrote, ending with “Reputation, Peace & Safety Matters.”
Baker asserts that a white man, presumably a manager or promoter, was trying to sabotage the tour. She called him Kenny’s Crazy Narcissist and said, “Kenny call off your boys.”
In her attempt to explain what happened with the show, Baker told a fan that it was too late for a “support act” to go on at 9:30 p.m.
“It was 9:30pm. *Contractually?… It was WAAAY Past time 4 the Headline Performer, to be On Stage/Anita Baker Support Act did Not Perform. I have No Contract with Support Act Not my Call I Did what i was *Contracted 2 do & Love, as Headline Performer, of my Sold Out Concert.”
When he questioned her use of the term “support act” Baker also responded.
“Dearest one. You are Not, privy to *The Contracts*. Yes, Babyface is Special Guest/Support Act, on My Tour. This False Narrative, of A Co-headliner is creating Unrealistic Expectations & Aggression, from his fans towards me. He should tell you guys, the Truth.”
As far as we can see, Baker asked Babyface to give up his slot on the tour due to a late start that made it past time for him to be able to perform. Baker simply wanted to clear up that Babyface was a guest on her tour as is her right. Also, in many cases, if a show goes past its allotted time, the headliner has to pay a significant fee.
However, Baker and Luther Vandross reportedly had epic clashes on their co-headlining 51-date Giving You The Best That I Got tour in 1988. As reported back then, each blamed the other for diva-like behavior, something a fan alluded to in a tweet.
Baker responded to this as well, clapping back with, “Hello demon🤣 I’m right #AnitaBaker here. You Need, Followers, Dont cha🤣… lemme put you, on Blast right Quick. @Nice is My Friend. Luther made me my First Million. And, @Babyface’s Contract was for My Special Guest/ Support Act❤️ And, we Treated, him like A King #AskHim.”
Evidently, Baker had time today to set the record straight. Perhaps people forgot that despite her soothing music she was raised in Detroit.
Sigh. All we know is our auntie and unc shouldn’t be fighting but should instead be merrily rolling down the road together. And, some things don’t need to be aired out on social media but could likely be resolved so much more easily over a phone or Zoom call.
Baker’s now solo tour will end on Dec. 23 in Oakland.
See how Twitter’s reacting to the Babyface drama below.
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