Caught Up in the Mess: What Really Went Down At The BabyFace, Anita Baker Concert In New Jersey?
TheRoot.com, By Shanelle Genai, Posted May 25th 2023
Earlier this month, Newark, N.J., fans convened at the Prudential Center to see legendary singers Babyface and Anita Baker perform.
According to NYC’s radio station WBLS, the “Whip Appeal” singer was the opening act for Baker but due to “technical difficulties” and a subsequent showtime delay, he ended not performing at all—leaving fans had to unfortunately wonder when they would see him again (sorry, I had to).
“I am truly sorry to my fans who have been waiting for us to hit the stage the evening at the Prudential Center,” Babyface wrote in a post to Instagram. “I was asked not to perform in order to give Ms. Baker her space and time to perform her show in its entirety. My band and I are extremely saddened we didn’t get to perform for y’all tonight.”
Following his posts, many upset fans and celebs took to social media to show support for the “How Come, How Long” crooner. But what started off as just support quickly turned into a pool of frustration and venting with several fans and peers in the entertainment industry speaking out against Baker’s past “diva-like” behavior.
“I’m sorry.. I opened for Ms. Baker 15 years ago and it was a stone trip,” comedian and 2022 Root 100 host Loni Love revealed in the comment section of Babyface’s Instagram. “I had hoped she and her team had improved for the better over the years… Lawwd.”
“You deserve better baby,” legendary actress Jackée Harry also wrote.
One fan who was in attendance Wednesday night revealed in the comments: “After over 90 mins of waiting, we were finally informed that you weren’t performing. Whatever the reasoning, the entire theater is pissed!”
Iconic singer Stephanie Mills also hopped in Babyface’s IG comments, writing: “Love you Babyface, you can come with me! I hate when this happens amongst out people. We should be thankful that people are still paying money to come to our shows. We’re not kids any more. This makes me really sad to see and read this.”
Over on Twitter, the commentary continued with some fans confirming that it was a venue and sound issue, while others chalked it up as another example of the “Sweet Love” singer’s past problematic behavior on tours (even going so far as to recall her treatment and alleged “beef” with the late Luther Vandross as further proof.)
Regardless of who is to blame, here’s hoping the folks who came out last night will some sort of compensation for not being able to see Babyface perform. And let’s hope future tour stops don’t cause as much commotion like this moving forward.