Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds has apologized to his fans for his absence Wednesday night at Anita Baker‘s concert in Newark, New Jersey.
Edmonds is the opening act of Baker’s 2023 “The Songstress” tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her debut album of the same title.
The May 10 show reportedly began nearly two hours late due to “technical issues,” according to Baker. After the lengthy delay, she come on stage to perform while Babyface apologized to his fans in a statement shared on Twitter and Instagram.
“I am truly sorry to my fans who have been waiting for us to hit the stage this evening at @PruCenter,” he wrote. “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.”
Baker apologized to her fans for the delay, but many were upset about the late start. In the comment section of Babyface’s post on Instagram, fans who attended the event began sharing their experience in the comments.
Related: Anita Baker Gives Fans Permission to Stream Music as She Gained Ownership Over Her Masters Following Months-Long Battle
One fan noted that the doors for the concert opened 90 minutes late.
“Okay but this reads like it was Anita’s fault,” wrote one fan. “I think you should clarify that the venue didn’t let people in until 90 min after the doors were initially supposed to open. And that everyone was doing sound check after the doors had opened…not that Anita stopped you from going on but I understand y’all running out of time.”
Several expressed their anger after paying to see Edmonds perform at Baker’s show and not being able to.
“And after waiting Alllll that time….NOT seeing Babyface….Anita’s voice ….we left during her second song,” added another fan.
“I was very disappointed,” wrote a third individual. “Thank you for explaining what happened. I can’t believe no one came out and respect us enough to give us an explanation. We waited for over 90 minutes. #refund.”
One last commentator said, “I want all my money back!!!!”
Another fan recalled Baker stealing the show when she opened for late singer Luther Vandross back in 1988 at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles. Baker was accused of upstaging the “House is Not a Home” vocalist with her performance of upbeat songs.
“Does anyone remember when she pulled this crap with Luther Vandross? Some things never change,” wrote another fan.
Singer Stephanie Mills wrote, “I hate when this happens amongst our 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.”
She chimed in again on Twitter and invited Edmonds to go on tour with her.
“We have got to be better than this! I am saddened by the fact that you have to make this statement. One would think as older artist(s) who are considered ‘Iconic’ and or ‘Legendary’ we would treat each other with respect and dignity. @Babyface We can tour together.”
Edmonds performed several fan-favorite hits during Baker’s show in New Orleans on Feb. 17, including songs he wrote for other singers. He also sang “Two Occasions” and Bobby Brown‘s “Roni” at the show.
After noticing the online outrage toward Baker as it began to appear to some he was blaming her, Babyface spoke with TMZ to offer some clarity about exactly what happened.
“I would never shade Anita Baker. I have too much love and respect for her, and I look forward to continuing the tour,” he said. “I was just reiterating what the stage hand was saying following all of the tech difficulties.”
Fans are hoping he will be present for Baker’s next scheduled tour stop on May 12 in Long Island, New York.
5 thoughts on “‘I Want All My Money Back!!!!’: Babyface and Fans Are Upset After He Was ‘Asked Not to Perform’ at Anita Baker’s Newark Concert”
The show was HORRIBLE!!!! I want a full refund also!!! There was no professionalism shown last night. The sound people couldn’t or wouldn’t get the sound right even when she gave him specific instructions. The entire evening was a waste!!!! Traveling from NY never again!
Ms. Baker sang like a hummingbird with a broken wing.
She needs an opening act like Babyface
To pull off this tour. Very disappointed with
Stephanee Mills talking is funny. No amazing. All the BS she has done! Lol
All these iconic performers should be glad anybody is
paying good money to see them. A lot of them have lost
the voices so they really should be grateful anybody wants to see them.