Anita Baker Bumps Babyface From Tour After Drama With His Fans
R&B legend said she’ll “continue, The Songstress Tour, alone” after a not-so-quiet tweet storm over a controversial concert last month
ANITA BAKER ANNOUNCED that Babyface will no longer provide support on the rest of her North American tour after sparring with some of the songwriter/producer’s fans on Twitter.
On Tuesday, June 13, Baker tweeted, “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.”
A rep for Baker did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s requests for comment.
“I am saddened by the news that Anita Baker has decided to remove me from ‘The Songstress Tour,” Babyface said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “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 her tour.”
The news came after Baker spent much of the past two days arguing with Babyface’s fans on social media — and ostensibly taking a few shots at Babyface, as well — with the drama dating back to a show in May at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. According to reports at the time, there were technical issues, which delayed the show by a couple of hours. When everything was ready to go, it was decided that Babyface’s set would be called off, so that Baker would have enough time to perform her headlining set.
Despite this occurring more than a month ago, some hard feelings clearly still lingered. Baker defended the decision to bump Babyface that night, saying, “It was WAAAY Past time 4 the Headline Performer, to be On Stage… I have No Contract with Support Act❤️Not my Call. I Did what i was *Contracted 2 do & Love, as Headline Performer, of my Sold Out Concert.”
Of the delay, and the decision to nix Babyface’s set in Newark, Baker said, “It was WAAAY Past time 4 the Headline Performer, to be On Stage/Anita Baker Support Act ❤️did Not Perform. I have No Contract with Support Act❤️Not my Call. I Did what i was *Contracted 2 do & Love, as Headline Performer, of my Sold Out Concert.”
Baker appeared to foist some of the blame for the delay on Babyface, saying his “equipment was On Stage For HOURS” and wondering, “Why did they, Not Perform? I/Anita did Nothing to Prevent their Live/to Track, Performance.😩… Other ppl? Tech issue?” She also earned the ire of Babyface’s fans by repeatedly referring to him as “Support Act,” which was technically true in the context of “The Songstress” tour, but also a wild way to refer to one of the most accomplished songwriters and producers in pop history.