Anita Baker will resume Songstress tour alone after harassment from Babyface fans

A split head-and-shoulders image of Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds at left and Anita Baker at right. Both are smiling.
R&B icon Anita Baker, right, has been clapping back at cyberbullies since Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds appeared to blame her for missing a May show at the Prudential Center during Baker’s Songstress tour.
(Richard Shotwell; Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)

Anita Baker is dropping special guests and supporting acts from her Songstress tour after being harassed by fans of Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.

In a Tuesday tweet, the R&B icon announced that she would tour solo “after silently enduring cyberbullying/verbal abuse and threats of violence” from Babyface’s fan base.

“In the Interest of Personal Safety. I will continue, The Songstress Tour, alone. Appropriate refunds will be made. Blessings ABXO,” she wrote, posting her updated concert schedule.


Edmonds addressed Baker’s announcement later in the day, posting to both Twitter and Instagram.

“I am saddened by the news that Anita Baker has decided to remove me from ‘The Songstress Tour.’ 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 pair of R&B legends seemed to be at odds after an ill-fated May concert where Baker performed but Babyface didn’t — and his fans registered their displeasure. Baker, the Grammy-winning “Sweet Love” and “Giving You the Best That I Got” artist, was suffering no fools on Twitter as fans began harassing her.

Baker called on her former collaborator to rein in his fans, dubbing them “Kenny’s Creepy Crazies” for blaming her for Babyface not performing at the May 10 show at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

“Kenny’s Crazies are online Bullies,” she tweeted Monday. “@Babyface Please call off, your fans. I have been Only Kind and Supportive, of You, as the Special Guest/Support, on My Tour.”


Baker, 65, also not-so-subtly flexed that Edmonds, 64, joined her long-awaited tour as a supporting act — not a co-headliner — amid the drama that has been percolating since early May.

“Yes, Babyface is Special Guest/Support Act, on My Tour,” she tweeted Sunday. “This False Narrative, of A Co-headliner is creating Unrealistic Expectations & Aggression, from his fans towards me. He should tell you guys, the Truth.”

Baker, one of the most prized vocalists to emerge in the 1980s, has been clapping back at cyberbullies for nearly a week since Edmonds seemed to blame her after not performing at the Newark show. (Babyface had been slated to join her for a June 30 show in Chicago and a July 2 show in Clarkston, Mich.)

“I was asked not to perform in order to give Ms. Baker her space and time to perform her show in its entirety,” the “Everytime I Close My Eyes” singer wrote on Instagram at the time. The singer-songwriter did not further address the statements that erupted in his comments section, but on Twitter two days later, he praised Baker when they shared the stage in Elmont, N.Y.

“THEE Songstress, THEE Legend… what an incredible night! Thank YOU,” he tweeted on May 12 in response to her praise about their “lovely sold out concert.”


Nonetheless, his fans have continued to cut down Baker, prompting her to hit back tweet-by-tweet.

Earlier this month, a Twitter user accused her of feuding with Edmonds, along with other major acts such as Maxwell. But Baker, who has gained a reputation for being a prickly marquee companion, responded with her own set of allegations about Babyface and the music industry and accusing the user of “public slander.”

“Dear Sir. My Companies, have No contract for Co-headling concerts. My Corps execute Percentage Agreements, with its Trademark as headliner. I have Never, worked with my friend Maxwell. Your statements, constitute Slander & create libility. abxo,” she wrote in June 6 tweet.

When another user chimed in accusing her of having similar issues with her past co-headliner Luther Vandross, Baker politely but pointedly rebutted.

“Dear Ma’am. Mr. Vandross & I were one of the Most Successful R&B/Pop, Sold Out, Arena Concert Tours, of its Time. We Created Joy, Jobs & Commerce for Our Community. As, Successful Business Partners often do? We had disagreements. We also, had Joy *Balance abxo,” she wrote, adding, “When your Trademark/Name & Companies, Create Jobs, Commerce... and, Joy. It deserves, the benefits of Truth and, Protection I Come, in Peace... Drinking water & Always, minding, My *OWN (synonym) Businesses*.”


She also blamed concert promoter Live Nation for Babyface’s no-show after another user alleged that it was her fault.

“Dear Sir, Live Nation, took Full responsibility. I Went on My Stage, at the appropriate time. Did my job without benefit of full production. I have Never, been in Concert, with my Friend Maxwell I *Did, my Job/Lifelong Profession. Your public statements are false,” she wrote.

Baker contended that her company defended and prevailed in a bygone lawsuit filed by Babyface’s reps in 2006 and that Edmonds came to her years ago “in the Spirit of Community” and they put their differences behind them. Edmond’s team contended at the time that Baker had breached her contract by canceling two shows and that he was owed producer’s royalties on the song “Like You Used to Do.”

R&B icon Anita Baker announced her return to the road with a 15-show tour, including a 2023 concert at Los Angeles’ Arena.

Nov. 11, 2022

As for why Edmonds didn’t perform at Prudential? Baker alleged that it was 9:30 p.m. and “WAAAY Past time” for the headliner (her) to perform: “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.”

She also claimed that Babyface’s equipment was onstage for hours prior to her set “amid a video wall failure” and said she did nothing to prevent his performance, repeatedly referring to Edmonds as a “support act.”

“I’m Praying the Truth reaches My Global Fan Base & My Reputation is Restored,” she tweeted.


Representatives for Babyface and Live Nation did not immediately respond Tuesday to The Times’ requests for comment.

Baker also alleged that “There is A White man, behind these Grown Black Men... harrassing Me & Gaslighting, My Fans. Because he Cant take over, this Tour... sO? He wants to Destroy it. Kenny’s Crazy Narcissist @Babyface call off, your Boys,” she tweeted Monday.