Anita Baker has been getting into it with fans of fellow R&B legend Babyface on Twitter, sparring with his stans over a controversial concert that took place in Newark, New Jersey last month. 

To set the scene, Baker has been playing shows throughout the year on her “Songstress” tour (the trek kicked off in February and dates have been scheduled intermittently through December). Babyface was tapped to provide support, an inspired choice that put two R&B greats on the same bill.

By all accounts, the shows had been a hit — at least until the May 10 gig at the Prudential Center in Newark. According to reports at the time, there were serious technical issues, which delayed the show by about two hours. When everything was finally 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.

That decision, however, appears to have not sat very well with some of Babyface’s fans. And while, sure, initial grumbling is understandable, it appears that, one month later, there’s still some consternation. That frustration may have been reignited by Babyface’s recent “Tiny Desk Concert,” but either way, Baker’s timeline has ostensibly been filled with complaints, and she’s held nothing back in arguing her position. 

“It was 9:30pm,” Baker wrote of the Newark gig on Twitter yesterday, June 11. “*Contractually?… 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.”

In some follow-up tweets, Baker did appear to take some shots at Babyface for what happened, 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?” 

But what really seemed to set people off was Baker’s decision to repeatedly refer to Babyface as “Support Act” — which is technically what he is 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.

Nevertheless, Baker persisted, telling one Babyface fan, “Dearest one. You are Not, privy to *The Contracts*. Yes, Babyface is Special Guest❤️/Support Act, on My Tour. This False Narrative, of A Co-headliner is creating Unrealistic Expectations & Aggression, from his fans towards me. He should tell you guys, the Truth.”

The tweets only got wilder from there. Baker coined an extremely Trump-ian nickname for Babyface’s fans, “Kenny’s Crazies,” then accused them of bullying her and demanded Babyface himself call them off. “I have been Only Kind and Supportive, of You, as the Special Guest/Support, on My Tour,” she said.


There appeared to be some more direct barbs aimed at Babyface and his team, too. Baker, at one point, appeared to suggest the hitmaker “hates” Beyoncé (??) and later alleged, “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.”

Rolling Stone has reached out to Babyface’s rep for comment. “The Songstress” tour is set to resume June 30 in Chicago and, as it stands, Babyface is still scheduled to serve as Baker’s “Support Act.” 

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