Michael Baker Obituary – Death: Former Whitney Houston’s Music Director, Michael Baker Died from Cancer

Michael Baker Obituary – Death: Former Whitney Houston’s Music Director, Michael Baker Died from Cancer

Michael Baker Obituary: Michael Baker, a former music director for Whitney Houston, has sadly passed away. He lost his brave battle with cancer on July 9, 2023, on Sunday.

Michael Baker Career

Jazz drummer and music director Michael Baker has had a storied career spanning more than 18 years.

He is well-known for being Whitney Houston’s drummer and music director, and he has worked with a who’s who of legendary musicians. A few well-known names are Missy Elliott, Luther Vandross, Ray Charles, Missy Elliott, Sting, Christina Aguilera, James Taylor, Elton John, Shaggy, Wycliff, Mary J. Blige, Ricky Martin, Usher, and many others.

Michael’s musical journey features some of the greatest musicians in the world while also showcasing his skill of jazz drumming. He performed his drumming chops in the Broadway musical “Sophisticated Ladies” at the prestigious Shubert Theater in Los Angeles in the early 1980s.

Michael contributed as a composer and arranger for HBO specials, Sports Illustrated events, and other projects over the course of his extended eighteen-year partnership with the late Whitney Houston.

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The “Soul Divas Tour” in Germany, which featured Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, and Natalie Cole, was also produced and directed by him.

Michael also led the orchestra for Whitney Houston’s comeback performance of “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” at the 2010 American Music Awards. Michael has contributed his drumming skills to producer David Guest outside of his work with Houston, playing at a number of events and fundraisers at Madison Square Garden, including the Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Special.

In 2012, he also made memorable performances at the Grammy Awards alongside the hip-hop artist Ashanti and performed with Sting at Carnegie Hall as part of the ‘Save the Rain Forest’ series. Other shows included appearances by performers like Celine Dion, Taylor Dane, Aliyah, and Simply Red.

Michael, ex-Police guitarist Andy Summers, and bassist Jerry Watts created a well-known power trio in the late 1980s that was featured in an interview in Guitar Player Magazine. During this time, Michael had his first interview with Modern Drummer.

While Whitney Houston was on tour, Michael joined Bruce Hornsby’s band “The Range” in 2002. He offered his drumming talents to the albums “Big Swing Face” and “Here Come the Noise Makers.”

Clive Davis, the head of Arista Music, sought out Michael’s skills and hired him to produce Aretha Franklin’s performance on the Arista Music 25th Anniversary Special with Boyz 2 Men.