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Interview:
Anita Baker's In No Rush For New Project
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

It’s been nearly four years since Anita Baker’s last album, the gold-certified “My Everything,” and nearly three since her holiday album, “Christmas Fantasy.”

Some would say she’s due for something new, and Baker acknowledges that “everybody’s pushing me to get something done ... I’m just not there yet.”

And, the Toledo-born singer, an eighttime Grammy Award winner who resides in Grosse Pointe Shores with her husband, Walter Bridgeforth, and their two sons, says she’s not worried about that at all.

“I’m just waiting for inspiration to show up,” explains Baker, 50, adding that touring and “being around musicians ... that’s gonna be the catalyst, I hope.

“And if I were smart, I would do something before everybody goes away, ’cause as quickly as people are knockin’ at the door, they can go away. That’s all the more reason not to tempt the fates and get something done before too long.”

Turning 50 could be its own catalyst, of course, but while many music ingenues feel the agist strictures of the music industry, Baker says she feels somewhat immune to that prejudice.

“I always hoped that I didn’t have to sing to a trend, because the downside of that is what happens when it’s over?” says Baker, who sang on a version of “Somewhere” from “West Side Story” for saxophonist Dave Koz’s 2007 album “At the Movies” album and is working on a variety of projects with her “mentor,” keyboardist George Duke.

“I mean, what if I’m a sex symbol. What happens to me at 50? Do I have to make some kind of huge transition? So thank God we’re just a singer, just a rhythm section singer. We can do that forever, hopefully.”



Anita Baker performs at 8 p.m. Saturday (July 12) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $65 and $45 pavilion, $15 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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