Anita Baker was unveiled as the recipient of the 2018 BET Award’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Honors. While the Grammy-winning singer had shared her gratitude via Twitter, she made a displeasing statement as well. Baker revealed that she wouldn’t be gracing the stage due to an upper respiratory infection. The network hasn’t disclosed who will pay tribute to the veteran R&B singer, so here's suggestions of who should:
Anita Baker and Regina Belle share a longtime sisterhood. When reunited during Baker’s set at the Capital Jazz Fest, Regina Belle had credited Anita for receiving her first record deal. Divulging the backstory, Regina informed Anita that she was a background singer for The Manhattans and was once the opening act for the doo wop-influenced quintet performing Baker’s ballad, “You Bring Me Joy.” The R&B divas proceeded to perform the song, where Belle made it evident that she could tribute her beloved friend, as she dominated the duet.
Being a deep-voiced female singer instantly drew comparisons to Anita Baker. Toni Braxton couldn’t identify with a female vocalist with her sonorous tone until Baker emerged. “Once Anita Baker came along, she was perfect for me,” Braxton said. Despite the breathy, sultrier styling Toni chooses to sing in currently, the similarities between them vocally still aren’t far-fetched.
Musicality runs in her family as she’s the daughter of the late soul legend Donny Hathaway. Before recording it for her live album, Hathaway had already incorporated Anita Baker’s 1983 hit “Angel” into her repertoire. Backed by electric guitar riffs, Hathaway’s rich voice made for a soothing rendition on the live album. Hathaway’s cover had even ascended to No. 1 on Urban AC Radio.