Anita Baker Offers Amazing Update to Fans After Long-Running Music Rights Dispute

Anita Baker fans are rejoicing as the soulful singing legend has given them the OK to stream her music after she previously asked fans not to as she fought for the rights to own her masters. Baker, known for powerful ballads like “Caught Up In the Rapture,” “You Bring Me Joy,” and “Sweet Love,” tweeted on Sept. 3 that the legal battle has come to an end.

“All My Children Are Coming Home,” the 8x Grammy-winner wrote, along with a photo of five of her albums on vinyl. “Catalog. Impossible Things Happen…Every. Single. Day. Gratefully.” Per a report from Revolt, she asked fans to not download any of her music as she wasn’t profiting from streaming. “Miraculously…I have out-lived ALL, of my Artist Contracts,” she tweeted in March 2021. “They no longer ‘Own’ My Name & Likeness. And, by Law…30-year-old masters are to be returned to Me. Unfortunately, they’re gonna make me Fight 4 it. I’m Prepared 2 do that. Please Don’t advertise/buy them.”

The revelation in March came after a fan tweeted the singer that she was dedicating a music playlist featuring Baker’s classic. Baker asked the fan to hold off on doing so, noting, “doesn’t pay artists/creators what they’re worth.”

She then gave a breakdown of how artists are paid from streaming and downloads, writing in a tweet: “2020 Streaming rate: $0.003 – $0.005, [which is] 1/3 – 1/2 A PENNY Per Stream for Artists minus…*fees *taxes *etc. etc. They need to leave me alone fr.”

This isn’t Baker’s first legal fight in regards to her music and overall artistry. According to Eurweb, Basker fought her ex-husband Walter Bridgforth Jr. in court and nearly went to jail for contempt over their divorce settlement.

The pair married in 1988, separated in 2005, and divorced in 2007. Throughout their 18-year-marriage, Bridgforth Jr. played a role in Baker’s career. He took her to court in 2010, alleging Baker was refusing to sign documents that would earn him a share in her music royalties. She avoided jail time after speaking with the judge in the case, claiming the music royalty payment to her ex wasn’t part of their agreement. 

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