Last week, soul stars collided when VH1 brought together singers like Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Ledisi to honor soul legends from across the nation and across the pond, like Chaka Khan, Mavis Staples and Amy Winehouse at “VH1 Divas Celebrate Soul.” But rumors emerged of an alleged behind-the-scenes feud between singers Jill Scott and Anita Baker, who skipped out on her performance during the show. Both singers have remained mum on the situation until now, with Baker recently sharing her explanation of what happened on the night of the show via her Twitter page.
Through a series of lengthy tweets, Baker explained that she decided not to perform at the “Divas” show due to a disagreement with show producers over her performance of her iconic hit “Sweet Love.” Baker explains that she and the producers couldn’t come to an agreement on which parts she should sing of the song, who should sing with her, and how she should sing her own song, leading to an argument that left Baker in tears and prompted her to abandon the show. Here’s a list of the tweets below.
“It’s called an Exit clause If t Brand/artist is not being presented properly/per agreement/contract? Brand/artist can sidestep all nonsense”
“You can’t just “Walk Off a Show” at t last min.. this was BUSINESS Great musicians & artists worked out t tribute, i cried all t way home.”
“i begged 4 rehersals Sweet Love is not a duet. Duh.. u sing 2 lines, they sing 2 lines. NO..it deserves an arrangement & rehersal…”
“I sent emails asking 4 vocal rehearsals… pls. i was told “You should Chill, it’s not about the song, anyway..it’s about who’s singing it.”
“3 mins B4 dress rehearsal, i had no duet partner, simply b/c i asked if i could sing the first verse 2 establish the energy of the song…”
“it went South from there… folks started fallin’ out the Drama O’ Rama began… i went to my dressing Rm. The rumors erupted. i cried”
“I tried 2 squash t whole thing Put on a good face. cried 2 myself so not 2 cast shade on any1, John’s words (their mngr) hit me 2 hard Sorry”
“I just needed 2 get it out. I was also told that we shouldn’t do “all that hollerin” that i do on the end of “Sweet Love”???? the end”
Though Baker never directly addresses the rumors that she Jill Scott were involved in any backstage drama, she does hint that something may have occurred, claiming that she has taken “the high road” and will never “say a negative thing about any artist.”
“I took the high road… as i will ALWAYS do. I have never. Nor, will i ever say a negative thing about any artist,” tweeted Baker. “The gossip ur looking for, love? The “StreetNESS” you crave?…Will never come from me 🙂 I’m the oldest. I’ll take the hit. Ab.”
And despite her departure from the “Divas,” Baker reveals that she did enjoy the show as well as Ledisi and Marsha Ambrosius’ performance of “Sweet Love.”
“The show was great. A lot of ppl worked very hard to bring it 2U. My light was shining even tho i wasn’t there… made some ppl mad 🙂 ab,” tweeted Baker. “@MUTHAKNOWS Oh Marsha and Ledisi saved the song for me. Grateful 2 them 🙂 ab.”
It’s unfortunate that Baker wasn’t able to perform at “Divas” and that an apparent beef exploded backstage. Perhaps, Jill Scott or whichever artist it was will speak up about the incident. In the meantime, check out our list of five other memorable show feuds. –nicholas robinson