The R&B legend is looking to regain control of her music.
At 63-years-old, Anita Baker should be enjoying the fruits of her decades of success in the music industry. Instead, she’s fighting for the rights to her own records. The legendary R&B star recently took her fight with her label public by asking fans not to stream her songs while she tries to secure ownership of her master recordings.
"Miraculously… i have out-lived *ALL, of my Artists Contracts They no longer ‘Own’, My Name & Likeness. And, by Law…30 yr old, Mstrs are 2B Returned, 2 Me Unfortunately, They’re gonna make me Fight 4 it. I’m Prepared, 2 do that. Please Don't advertise/buy them ABXO," Baker tweeted.
Most major label contracts provide upfront financing for recording and releasing an album with the stipulation that the label retains ownership of the final product. Over the years, artists like Prince, Little Richard, and more have spoken out against these business structures, saying they deny artists the rights to their own creations. Black artists, in particular, have often watched their work deliver massive profits without reaping the financial benefits.
In following tweets, Baker broke down rates of streaming services and even referenced streaming service giants as “thieves in the temple” who use her name and likeness for free advertising.
Since Baker’s tweet about boycotting her music, fans have rallied behind Baker to make sure she receives the money that she deserves.