Beyoncé has never shied away from supporting other artists in the music industry. The “Crazy In Love” singer often collaborates with her peers, including Nicki Minaj and Justin Timberlake. She recently took Megan Thee Stallion under her wing and made the rapper’s song, “Savage,” climb to the charts through her feature.
In addition to showing love and support to up-and-coming artists, Beyoncé pays homage to those who came before the singer. The mother of three once expressed her admiration for a popular R&B performer.
Beyoncé frequently listened to Anita Baker as a child
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles was born on Sept. 4, 1981. The Grammy winner spent her childhood in Houston, Texas, with her parents, Mathew and Tina Knowles, and sister Solange Knowles. When Beyoncé was a teenager, her singing group, Girls’ Tyme, turned into Destiny’s Child. During the late 1990s, she and her friends, Kelly Rowland, LeToya Luckett, and La’Tavia Roberson, became famous singers. In 2000, the group won their first Grammy for the hit song, “Say My Name.”
After several years with Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé started working on her solo career. In 2003, she debuted her album, Dangerously In Love. The project was the catalyst for Beyoncé’s reign to superstardom. However, she told BBC Radio in 2009 that she grew up with Anita Baker as her musical inspiration.
“I grew up in Houston, Texas, and my mother owned a hair salon,” Beyoncé explained. And they always listened to really smooth music, and I will never forget my childhood – I had my share of Anita Baker. She has the smoothest voice, and her tone is so beautiful. It doesn’t matter what lyrics or what melody [she’s singing], it’s just to hear her sing ‘ooh,’ ‘aah,’ or anything – it’s just so beautiful and soothing. I love how this song makes me feel, and Anita Baker is one of my inspirations.”
Beyoncé once covered an Anita Baker classic
Once Beyoncé became a music sensation in her own right, the “Single Ladies” singer crossed paths with Baker. She told BBC that she and the “Caught Up in the Rapture” performer met “quite a few times” and have always shared a positive rapport. Beyoncé also said she admires how Baker “embraces young talent” and is “one of my heroes.”
The “Irreplaceable” singer has expressed her love for Baker onstage as well. During her I Am…Yours performance at Wynn Las Vegas in 2011, Beyoncé added the singer’s hit song “Sweet Love” to the song “Sweet Dreams.” In addition to the performance, Blue Ivy’s mom presented the track on the live album from the concert.
Baker also admires Queen Bey
Throughout the years, Baker proved that she also loves Beyoncé. In 2019, the “Body and Soul” artist posted the lyrics to Queen Bey’s song from Disney’s The Lion King soundtrack, “Bigger.” Baker continued to praise the project, The Gift, on Twitter.
Will we ever get a Baker and Beyoncé collaboration? Only time will tell.