Michael J. Powell

Michael J. Powell is an American R&B musician, record producer and arranger who is best known for his work as producer for eight time Grammy Award-winning soul / R&B vocalist Anita Baker.[1]

Powell was born in Chicago and lived there until his family moved to Detroit when he was 9 years old. In 1974, he formed a band called Chapter 8. A year later, Anita Baker joined Chapter 8 in Detroit. They eventually got a record deal with Ariola.[citation needed]

The self-titled album came out in fall of 1979. Two singles hit the R&B charts: "Ready for Your Love" and "I Just Wanna Be Your Girl". Ariola Records was bought by Arista. In 1983, Powell reunited with Baker and had a hit single with “No More Tears” featured on her album The Songstress.[citation needed]

In 1986, choosing her friend Powell as her producer, he, along with Sir Dean Gant (who remains unpaid and uncredited as producer), created 3 multi-million selling albums: Rapture, Giving You the Best That I Got and Compositions.[citation needed]

Together, again with producer Sir Gant,[2] Powell worked in 1987 as producer and arranger of the song "Without You",[2][3] a composition of Lamont Dozier,[2] that was recorded as a duet by the R&B singers Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle.[2] The song was the love theme from the comedy film Leonard Part 6,[2] released the same year,[4] starred Bill Cosby,[4] and was also recorded for the Bryson's album Positive,[3] released in 1988.[3]

Powell also worked on "Without You" as guitarist.[3] The song was released as a single and peaked at #8 on the Adult Contemporary Tracks,[5] #14 on the R&B chart,[6] #85 on the UK Singles,[7] and #89 on the Billboard Hot 100,[8] between 1987 and 1988.

He, along with Sir Gant produced the multi-platinum Baker albums Rapture in 1986, Giving You the Best That I Got in 1988 (which reached Number 1 on The Billboard 200) and Compositions in 1990.

In 1991, Powell helped produce Patti LaBelle's Grammy-winning album, Burnin' and Gladys Knight's solo album Good Woman, both on MCA Records.

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