Anita Baker’s Songstress Tour will no longer feature R&B icon Babyface as the special guest. This decision was made after Baker alleged cyberbullying and harassment from Babyface’s fans online.
“After Silently, Enduring Cyber Bulling/Verbal Abuse & Threats of Violence from the Fan Base, of Our Special Guest/Support Act. In the Interest of Personal Safety. I will continue, The Songstress Tour, alone. Appropriate refunds will be made,” Baker wrote in a tweet for a photo of a tour flyer without mention of Babyface.
Babyface confirmed his removal from the tour.
“I am saddened by the news that Anita Baker has decided to remove me from The Songstress Tour,” Babyface said in a statement. “It’s unfortunate and disheartening to see how things have played out via social media. While I was looking forward to the rest of the dates, I have nothing but love & respect for Anita and I wish her the best for the remainder of the tour.”
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Baker has been trending online due to defending herself against individuals who spoke negatively about her name after Babyface did not perform at a May 10 show in Newark, New Jersey.
“I am truly sorry to my fans who have been waiting for us to hit the stage this evening at the Prudential Center. I was asked not to perform in order to give Ms. Baker her space and time to perform her show in its entirety. My band and I are extremely saddened we didn’t get to perform for y’all tonight,” wrote Babyface.
Attendees and non-concert goers expressed outrage online that Babyface wasn’t present at the event, and they criticized Live Nation, the show producer, as well as the venue and Baker.
Baker ignored the controversy and continued with her next show at Belmont Park in New York on May 12. Babyface also took the stage that evening, sharing a moment with Baker that was posted on social media.
“@babyface Thank You. So Much, Love and Respect… We did iiiit… Another, Lovely Sold Out Concert,” tweeted Baker.
THEE Songstress, THEE Legend… what an incredible night! Thank YOU ❤️ https://t.co/3OUTIyVBNS
— Babyface (@babyface) May 13, 2023
Babyface responded, “THEE Songstress, THEE Legend… what an incredible night! Thank YOU.”
Weeks passed before Baker began alert to the pointed remarks made by fans online who claimed she had similar alleged diva situations between her and other male artists, including Maxwell and Luther Vandross.
“Dear Sir. My Companies, have NO contract for Co-heading concerts. My Corps execute Percentage Agreements, with its Trademark as headliner. I have Never, worked with my friend Maxwell. Your statements, constitute Slander & create liability,” Baker tweeted a user, whose tweet as now been deleted.
A user wrote, “I concur. She’s also had major beef with Luther when touring together years ago.” Baker defended the tweet, writing, “Dear Ma’am. Mr. Vandross & I were one of the Most Successful R&B/Pop, Sol Out, Arena Concert Tours, of its Time. We Created Joy, Jobs & Commerce for Our Community. As, Successful Business Partners often do? We had disagreements. We also, had Joy.”
Baker eventually spoke out about the May 12 show, replying to another user, “Dear Sir, Live Nation, took full responsibility. I Went on My Stage, at the appropriate time. Did my job without benefit of full production.”
Live Nation, took Full responsibility.
I Went on My Stage, at the appropriate time. Did my job without benefit of full production.
I have Never, been in Concert, with my Friend Maxwell
I *Did, my Job/Lifelong Profession.
Your public statements are false. https://t.co/A9Dh50gJDN
— Anita Baker (@IAMANITABAKER) June 6, 2023
Baker has since been exchanging tweets with Babyface supporters, urging him to intervene and ask his fans to stop making hateful comments.
The Songstress Tour continues on June 30 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois, and will only feature Baker. The details of the other shows are listed below.
Most recently, Babyface performed for NPR’s Tiny Desk series in honor of Black Music Month. He was joined by Avery Wilson, Chanté Moore and Tank.
Anita Baker Songstress Tour Dates
Jun 30 – Chicago, IL @ United Center
Jul 2 – Detroit, MI @ Pine Knob Music Theatre
Nov 18 – Greensboro, NC @ Greensboro Coliseum Complex
Nov 22 – Memphis, TN @ FedExForum
Nov 24 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena*
Dec 15 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
Dec 17 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
Dec 22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Crypto.com Arena
Dec 23 – Oakland, CA @ Oakland Arena
Tickets are on sale now on livenation.com.
*Not a Live Nation date