Baker joined the group in 1975 and the group toured relentlessly until securing a deal with Ariola Records in 1979. The group’s first album, Chapter 8, was released that year and featured the singles “Ready for Your Love“, a duet between Baker and band mate Gerald Lyles, and the Baker-led “I Just Want to Be Your Girl”. After Ariola was bought out by Arista Records in 1979, Chapter 8 was dropped by the label who were convinced that Baker, as the group’s lead singer, didn’t have “star potential”.
Baker returned to Detroit and became a waitress and a receptionist of a law firm. In 1982, Otis Smith, a former associate of Ariola, called Baker and convinced her to start a solo career under his Beverly Glen label.
Baker eventually signed with the company, releasing her debut solo album, The Songstress, in 1983. The album produced four singles: “No More Tears” and its B-side, “Will You Be Mine”, “Angel” and “You’re the Best Thing Yet”. “Angel” became Baker’s first top ten single, reaching number five on the R&B charts in late 1983. “You’re the Best Thing Yet” followed it in the R&B top 40 early the following year.