By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Renowned hitmaker Anita Baker announced that Babyface, another music legend, will no longer accompany her on tour.
The decision comes after Baker revealed that she had been subjected to online hate from Babyface’s fans.
Taking to Twitter, Baker shared her reasons for the sudden change, stating, “After silently enduring cyberbullying, 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.”
The soulful singer embarked on her tour in February to commemorate the 40th anniversary of her debut solo album, “The Songstress.”
Initially, the tour included Babyface as the opening act.
However, Baker will now be the only performer on the tour’s remaining dates, which are in December.
In response to Baker’s decision, Babyface expressed his disappointment on Twitter, saying, “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.”
According to Baker, the harassment from Babyface’s fans began after her concert on May 10 in New Jersey.
Reports from several concert attendees on social media indicated that technical difficulties caused a two-hour delay, preventing Babyface from performing before Baker took the stage.
Representatives for both Baker and Babyface have yet to respond to requests for further comment on the matter.
Babyface addressed the situation on Instagram the night of the show, apologizing to fans eagerly awaiting his performance.
He explained that he was asked not to perform to give Baker the space and time to complete her show.
The missed opportunity to entertain their supporters deeply saddened Babyface and his band, Babyface insisted.
Some celebrities have shown sympathy for Babyface in the aftermath of these events.
Singer Stephanie Mills offered him a spot on her tour, and comedian Loni Love commented on Baker’s “personal growth” over the years.
She said she “hoped she [Baker] and her team had improved for the better over the years.”
Critical comments towards Baker escalated after the Babyface’s Tiny Desk concert release last week.
Responding to the growing criticism, Baker used social media to defend herself publicly.
Multiple times she referred to Babyface as “the support” act, and the show as “my tour.”
Baker clarified the timeline of events, tweeting on Sunday, “It was 9:30 pm. *Contractually?… It was WAAAY Past time 4 the Headline Performer to be On Stage/Anita Baker. The support act did not perform.”
She asserted that she had no contractual obligations with the support act, emphasizing that she fulfilled her duties as the headline performer of her sold-out concert.
Baker defended her description of Babyface as a “support act,” a term that some fans believed undermined his musical success.
Baker maintained her stance despite Babyface’s impressive resume, including 12 Grammy Awards and numerous chart-topping R&B hits as a producer.
In response to a critic, Baker tweeted on Monday, “Dearest one. You are not privy to The Contracts. Yes, Babyface is a special guest/support act on my tour. This false narrative of a co-headliner is creating unrealistic expectations & aggression from his fans toward me. He should tell you guys the truth.”
Taking the high road, Babyface expressed his love and respect for Anita and wished her the best for the remainder of the tour.