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Marsha Ambrosius still can’t believe she sang for her idol Anita Baker at the BET Awards


Dez PhillipsOne of the highlights of last Sunday’s BET Awards was the tribute to Anita Baker, and for Marsha Ambrosius, singing in honor of her idol and then getting to talk to her was “magical.”

Baker spoke to Ambrosius, and the ladies who joined her in the tribute — Ledisi and Yolanda Adams —after their segment, and Ambrosius will never forget how Baker made them feel special.

“Just loving and nurturing,” Ambrosius tells ABC Radio, “and handing down, passing the torch — almost too early I think, ’cause she’s got too much to do — but it’s us sitting there acknowledging that she sees us.”

The four-time Grammy nominee says Baker was a true mentor .

“I learned a lot in that hour and a half. I missed the rest of the BET awards from sitting in that dressing room,” she says “It was magical. Like, I was sitting there nudging Ledisi, like, ‘Are we, am I sitting here? Are you real? This can’t be real. We cannot be sitting talking to Anita Baker right now,’ but we were.”

Ambrosius sang Baker’s classic “Caught Up In The Rapture,” and she recalls how Baker showed her from the front row she was thrilled with her performance.

“As soon as we made eye contact, it was like heart to heart, just a true ‘thank you.’”

Ambrosius recalls that, growing up in England, she always listened to Baker’s music.

She explains, “I can still see my mother’s vinyl collection and me flipping through all these album covers looking for Anita Baker to go, ‘OK, this is the vibe today, and that being very permanent in our household. OK, it’s Anita Baker day.” (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)  

Ambrosius will perform July 7 at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, and once again, she will sing “Caught Up In The Rapture” in tribute to her idol.

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