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Anita Baker was born in Toledo, OH, and raised in nearby Detroit, where she grew up listening to female jazz singers like Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, and Ella Fitzgerald. In 1975, she successfully auditioned for Chapter 8, one of Detroit's most popular acts at the time; the group eventually signed with Ariola and released an album in 1979, but was immediately dropped when the label was acquired by Arista (which didn't care for Baker's vocals). She dropped out of the recording scene until encouraged by Otis Smith to record her debut album, The Songstress, which debuted in 1983. By 1985 she was signed by Elektra.
Baker’s major-label debut album was Rapture in 1986. It was a platinum, Grammy-winning smash, crossing demographics of both urban and adult contemporary listeners. Her voice is a rich, romantic contralto, her songs are steeped in passion and feeling. she has earned five Grammy Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, four Soul Train Music Awards, and two American Music Awards.
Being real and down-to-earth is important to Anita Baker. This perspective includes a woman who shuns fancy clothes and makeup, a grown-up who delights in riding her bike and otherwise cutting up with the neighborhood children. She is the homemaker, the ordinary person who loves pizza and Chinese food. She is the somewhat shy young woman who admits that she isn't too good at making new friends, but is especially close to her family. She is also the talented but astute artist who sings, writes music and co-produces her own albums.
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Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American recording artist, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all-time.
Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs, including those of "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Thriller", were credited with transforming the medium into an art form.
In the year 2000, Aguilera consolidated her stardom by performing at the White House Christmas gala and the Super Bowl halftime show, and winning a Grammy for Best New Artist.
Michael McDonald has a unique and immediately recognizable voice that has soared through pop, rock and R&B hits for four decades. He has enjoyed sustained success while retaining his personal sound and values.
Anita Baker's voice is a rich, romantic contralto, her songs steeped in passion and feeling. She grew up listening to female jazz singers like Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, and Ella Fitzgerald.
A singer, songwriter, actor, and producer, Timberlake’s solo recording career began in 2001 and his brand of pop has been so successful that he's been branded ‘The new King of Pop.’
Blind from the age of seven, Charles was a gifted pianist and saxophonist who taught himself to compose and arrange music by Braille, then became one of the most successful artists of the 20th century.
Johnny Mathis has combined the microphone mastery of the crooners, the vocal depth and technique from classical training, and the image of innocence connected with the teen idols of the 1950s and 1960s.
Usher has risen from genuine teen idol to mature pop star. He received a 1998 Grammy award nomination for Best Male R&B vocal performance and has launched a successful acting career and media empire.
National Museum of African American Music
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The National Museum of African American Music will stand as an international iconic cultural museum dedicated to the vast contributions African Americans have made in music.