By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Even when she was topping the charts, vocalist Anita Baker was battling with various record labels over who had control of her music. Last Friday that fight finally came to an end as Baker announced she now had control of all her masters. “All My Children Are Coming Home,” Baker wrote beside a photograph of some of her various albums released over the years. “Impossible Things Happen … Every. Single. Day. Gratefully.”
Another artist who’s battled labels over the same issue promptly praised Baker’s efforts and success. Taylor Swift on Saturday quote-tweeted the “Sweet Love” singer’s post, writing, “What a beautiful moment, CONGRATULATIONS ANITA!!” In response, Baker replied to Swift: “Thank You, for Your *Fire & Support!! It Inspires us all, to move Mountains.”
Earlier this year, Baker documented how she was attempting to regain control of her music. She even asked fans not to stream or purchase her songs until she could do so. “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 Dont advertise/buy them,” Baker wrote in a March tweet.
Then weeks later she revisited the situation. In another tweet she referenced Swift and her battle to gain control of her masters. “Her creations bought & sold Again & Again, wouldnt even let her do *A Buy Out*…Taylor Swift *re-recording, her Catalog/Taylor’s Version. The GoodFight Go… Gurrrrl,” Baker tweeted at the time.
Swift responded saying “I’m cheering you on in your fight to get back your work, and appreciate your support so much!! Thank you.”
Swift previously sought to take control of her own masters in years past after Scooter Braun bought the artist’s former record label Big Machine — a move that saw him take control of the masters to her first six albums (He later sold the masters for $300 million to Shamrock Holdings).
After Swift was unable to purchase back the masters, she decided to re-record her first six LPs. She has since released an updated take on 2008’s “Fearless” — titled “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” — and has plans to drop “Red (Taylor’s Version)” later this year in November.