Anita Baker Revealed Surprising Family Secret That Plagued Her For Years

Posted On : March 3, 2017
Anita Baker In Concert At The Royal Albert Hall, London, Britain - 26 Jun 2007, Anita Baker (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)
Anita Baker (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

Anita Baker reached unprecedented heights during her many years as a successful R&B singer in the music industry. Like many others, her rise to fame wasn’t the result of an easy journey. She faced many obstacles along the way. In fact, the singer has shared details about the family secrets she was plagued with for many years and how she managed to overcome. You won’t believe all Anita’s been through.

The Family Secret Revealed: She Learned Her Mother Gave Her Away

Many fans probably have no idea Anita Baker’s mother gave her up for adoption when she was just a baby. The daunting realization of her mother’s decision actually made her question her worth and the purpose of her life. During an interview with Essence, she spoke openly about her life:

“It started with the fact that my mother gave me up when I was a baby,” she said. “Not because she was a bad person or because she was some monster or something. She was just a child and could not care for me. It has taken me a long time to find peace within my own heart.”

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of Anita BAKER (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)

There’s More To Her Story Apparently…

JRank also reported that the woman Anita once believed was her mother, was a woman by the name of Mary Lewis. Although it was never publicly confirmed who Mary actually was, it wasn’t until Anita was 13 years old, when Mary died, that she found out she was actually a foster child and Mary was her foster parent. Anita’s aunt, Lois Landry, was the beautician who Anita reportedly thought was originally her older sister. But after Mary’s passing, Lois reportedly informed Anita that she was her aunt and that she was actually given away by her birth mother, to Mary. Afterwards, Lois and her husband, Walter Landry, officially adopted little Anita and raised her as their own. Anita now refers to Lois as her “earth Mother.”

HOLLYWOOD - JANUARY 31: Singer Anita Baker attends the 2010 EMI GRAMMY Party at the W Hollywood Hotel and Residences on January 31, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

JRRank also quoted Anita as having stated this to Essence Magazine about the neglect and pain she felt for a long time after learning she was given away by her 16 year old mother:

“That child believed her mother abandoned her,” [Anita Baker] said (referring to herself), “because there was something bad about her. Something terrible that made her unlovable. And until Walter [Baker’s then husband], that is how I felt about me—that I was not good enough. Not good, period.”

“It started with the fact that my mother gave me up when I was a baby,” she says of the event that made her question her own worth and try to prove herself all her life. “Not because she was a bad person or because she was some monster or something. She was just a child and could not care for me. It has taken me a long time to find peace within my own heart.”


LOS ANGELES - CIRCA 1995: Singer Anita Baker poses for a portrait circa 1995 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)

So despite her humble beginnings, Anita was blessed to be adopted by a loving family and she managed to prevail. However, for every level of success, there are more problems. Anita also revealed the parental battle she faced after rising to success. Whenever she’d have music obligations, her adopted mother would take sick:

“Every time I would leave to do music, my mother would go into the hospital,” she said. “And eventually I decided, you know what, I’m not leaving, because it’s just not worth it to me to leave her.”

So she came up with what she believed would be a solution to the problem:

“I set up a studio at home. My producer would be flying in, and we’d be in the middle of something, and I would get a call from the hospital, and I’d have to go.”

She Turned 59 & Is Aging Like Fine Wine!

Now, those days are behind the “Sweet Love” singer. For her 59th birthday, Anita made a surprise announcement many fans probably didn’t expect. After 38 years in the music industry, Anita announced her retirement and you can probably guess one of the reasons for her decision. The I Apologize songstress has made it clear family comes first.

We appreciate Anita’s honesty with her story. She has probably just helped someone else out there deal with any feelings of belongingness they may have been questioning about themselves, or their self worth. Now when I listen to her music, the pain I feel in her voice, seems that much more real and relatable. Much respect to Anita for pouring her soul/pain into her work and helping her fans get through tough times, great times, and for helping them make a few babies along the way, LOL. Gotta love the power of REAL R&B soul music!