Anita Baker will be presented with BET’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 ceremony. Baker, 60, is widely considered to be one of the most successful and influential R&B artists of the 1980s, with eight Grammy Awards and several chart-topping singles. She announced her retirement earlier this year, and is currently in the midst of her farewell tour, according to Billboard.
Anita Baker Net Worth is $80 million
Baker’s solo success, as well as her contributions to the funk group Chapter 8, have allowed her to accrue a sizable fortune over her five-decade career. She has an estimated net worth of $80 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. She has encountered various legal issues over the past few years, however, including a lawsuit for failing to pay music royalties in 2010.
Here’s what you need to know about Anita Baker’s net worth:
1. She’s Released 5 Platinum Albums & 1 Gold Album
Baker started her career with Chapter 8 in the late 1970s. The group had a minor hit with Baker as the lead singer, “Ready for You Love”, but she went solo soon after, and became a megastar on the strength of her 1986 album Rapture. The album spawned the Top 10 single “Sweet Love”, and went on to sell a whopping 8 million copies worldwide. At the 1987 Grammys, Baker won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for “Sweet Love.”
1988’s Giving You the Best That I Got was an ever greater success. The title track was a Top 5 single, which remains Baker’s highest charter to date, and the album was certified 3x platinum. Baker’s next two releases earned platinum certification as well. She is one of a handful of artists whose first four albums sold over a million copies each.
She also spent 109 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 during the 1980s, making her one of the most consistent R&B singers of the decade, according to Rate Your Music.
Baker has won a total of seven Grammys during her career, including the aforementioned pair for Rapture and three consecutive wins for Best R&B Vocal Performance, for “Giving You the Best That I Got”, its accompanying album, and “Compositions”, respectively.
2. She’s Helped Raise Millions of Dollars for Charity
Baker has used her commercial clout and musical talent to raise millions of dollars for those less fortunate than she. According to a 1992 issue of Ebony, Baker adopted a class of Detroit high school students and later helped finance their college education.
Baker participated in the 2012 Art for Life charity alongside Soledad O’Brien, MC Lyte, and Rocsi Diaz. The event was hosted by Russell Simmons, and helped raise over $2 million to help improve the lives of underprivileged youths.
In 2017, Baker came out of retirement to perform on the Tom Joyner Foundation Cruise. “Man do I have a treat! Oooooo… I can’t keep a secret. I’ll explode!” Joyner said in a radio interview. “She’s coming on the boat… She’s coming out of retirement…ANITA BAKER is coming on the cruise. Anita’s coming out of retirement as I go into retirement…and she can come out of retirement for the cruise…Thank you, Lord!”
According to the Tom Joyner Foundation site, the cruise raised thousands of dollars for programming initiatives and scholarships in support of historically black colleges and universities.
3. She Nearly Went to Jail for Unpaid Royalties In 2010
Baker married Walter Bridgeforth, Jr. in 1988, and separated from him in 2005. They finalized their divorce a few years later, but a settlement that granted Bridgeforth a percentage of Baker’s music royalties was not upheld on her end. CBS News reports that Baker faced a deadline to sign documents that empowered a court-appointed music expert to look into the royalties, but when the deadline came and went without her cooperation, she was forced to sign under the threat of jail time.
Eventually, Baker signed the documents, and the settlement made it so that Bridgeforth received royalties from two albums released during their marriage: 1990’s Compositions and 1994’s Rhythms of Love.
“I’m so happy. … I have never been in such a position before,” Baker said outside the court room. “And we don’t intend to ever be in such a position ever again. I just wanna go home, and I’m happy to go home. … As horrific as it could have been, it was lovely to feel supported, though, on the other end.”
Bridgeforth was not present for the court decision, but his attorney Hanley Gurwin told CBS News: “It wasn’t easy. Obviously, it took us two days to get this done. But we did get it done.” Baker and Bridgeforth have two children together; Walter Baker Bridgeforth, born 1993, and Edward Carlton Bridgeforth, born 1994. The former attended Berklee College of Music, where he majored in Music Production & Engineering.
4. She Was Sued for Failing to Pay $15K to a Company In 2014
Baker was accused of not paying an estimated $15K for work done to her home in Grosse Pointe, Michigan in late 2010. According to NY Daily News, Baker was sued by Ray Smith Painting & Decoration without her knowledge, and a warrant was later put out for her arrest while she was on tour.
She reacted to the news of her warrant on Twitter, writing: “WHATTT??!!… sittin’ in the kitchen watching this on TV. BIG time crazy. Atty on his way to TV Station. Devil sho is busy.”
In an interview with The Insider, the singer explained that she was taken aback by the accusations. She said that she felt that the company was taking advantage of her celebrity, and that the whole situation was “almost [like] a form of extortion.” Baker’s attorney claimed that Ray Smith Painting & Decoration “intended to put her in as embarrassing a light as possible.”
“It’s sinister and I don’t know how to handle sinister,” Baker added. She claimed that the paid Ray Smith Painting & Decorating an insurance claim of $60,000 upfront, and that the painter who did the drywall in her home didn’t do a good job, so she decided to do the rest of the work herself. Baker eventually countersued Ray Smith Painting & Decorating, and the lawsuit against her was dropped in 2014.
5. She & André 3000 Have Discussed Starting a Fashion Line
While Baker has been relatively quiet on the merchandising front, she did state that she would be interested in going into business with rap legend and former OutKast member André 3000. In a 2017 interview with GQ, André spoke of his admiration for Baker and his plans to start a custom line of T-shirts with her likeness.
“I’m an artist, and I’m buying bootleg shirts of another artist, so I felt bad”, he said. “So I was like, Maybe, so my conscience feels good, let me try to find an address for Anita and send her a little check. And it’ll be a joke, like, ‘Anita, I just bought these shirts, I feel bad about it, here’s $50.’ Then I started thinking, Wouldn’t it be great to design a line of Anita Baker tees and present the line to Anita? Maybe she needs some merch.”
Baker responded to André’s offer via Twitter, where she wrote: “Ur an artist we isolate S’times, become solitary & Yes, its true the Artistry of Others pull us out. I know. I understand. We’ll talk ABXO.” Since the exchange last year, there’s yet to be any announcements regarding Baker and André’s plans.
Currently, there are sites that sell unofficial merchandise based on André’s “I Need a Baker” design, and they sell between $30-$60.