Thanks to reigning over Billboard R&B charts with hits like ‘Giving You the Best That I Got,’ ‘Just Because,’ and ‘Body & Soul’ over her 40-year career, R&B icon Anita Baker has been dubbed the Queen of Quiet Storm.
And though she hasn’t released an album of new material since 2004, the ‘Sweet Love’ singer’s iconic catalog continues to get love from all ages on the likes of digital download outlets (iTunes, Apple Music) and streaming services (Spotify, Pandora, etc.).
For some artists that intergenerational reverence is just a dream, but for Baker – thanks to what could soon be a tumultuous legal battle – it’s a nightmare.
In a string of tweets lifted to her official Twitter account recently , the ‘I Apologize’ hitmaker was hardly sorry for slamming streaming outlets (which she referred to as ‘thieves’).
Responding to a shout out from a fan, Baker shockingly suggested her supporters stop revisiting her music on digital outlets.
“Hello Sweetheart Thank You 4 Sending Me, Your Love. But, let’s not Advertise *Spotify Streaming, which is, a Publicly Traded Company, with a $50 Million Valuation… but doesn’t pay Artists/Creators what their Worth.”
That’s not all she said.
The stance above may yield a clue as to why the beloved Baker has not released a new album in nearly 20 years. Nevertheless, music lovers know Anita isn’t alone in this fight.
Since the introduction of streaming, a number of artists have complained about the pay structure and reportedly low profit sharing.
As the topic of ownership is brought more and more to the forefront, up-and-coming singer-songwriters are being schooled about the importance of understanding contracts and the roles record labels play with master recordings. Because labels often finance the creation and promotion of singles and albums, they own the “master recording” – thereby giving them a large stake in the song or album’s copyright.
At the time of this report, Baker’s previous labels have not responded to her comments.
[main photo source: Getty Images/BET]