Babyface Says He Has 'Nothing but Love and Respect' for Anita Baker After He Was Asked Not to Perform

"I was asked not to perform in order to give Ms. Baker her space and time to perform," the musician and producer — whose set was canceled on Wednesday due to technical issues — wrote on Instagram

Leon Bennett/Getty Images;Prince Williams/Wireimage Anita Baker and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
Leon Bennett/Getty Images;Prince Williams/Wireimage Anita Baker and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds

Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds was set to open for Anita Baker at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Wednesday — but things didn't go as planned.

After lengthy delays at the arena due to technical issues, the crowd was told that Babyface's set was canceled in order for Baker to deliver her full performance — and the crowd wasn't happy. The musician and producer then took to social media to explain the situation to fans.

"I am truly sorry to my fans who have been waiting for us to hit the stage this evening at the Prudential Center," wrote Babyface, 64. "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."

Related:Anita Baker Announces First Full Tour Since 1995 to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of 'The Songstress'

In a statement to PEOPLE, the 12-time Grammy winner explained that production crews were unable to get a video screen running in time for his performance.

"As advanced as technology is today we are sometimes at its mercy. The video wall was unfortunately not working that day and time wasn't on our side," said Babyface, noting that he'll perform at the tour's Long Island, New York stop on Friday.

"I am incredibly sorry to the fans and have nothing but love and respect for Anita," continued his statement. "I am very much looking forward to continuing our tour together and will see everyone tomorrow."

Related:Taylor Swift Celebrates Anita Baker After She Gains Control of Her Own Masters: 'What a Beautiful Moment'

Francis Specker/CBS via Getty Babyface at the 2023 Grammys
Francis Specker/CBS via Getty Babyface at the 2023 Grammys

Responding to his social media post, singer Stephanie Mills tweeted: "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 who are considered 'Iconic' and or 'Legendary' we would treat each other with respect and dignity. @Babyface We can tour together."

Before Baker's performance, an announcer took to the stage and was met with boos from audience members as he told them Babyface's set was canceled. "We did have some technical difficulties — however, Ms. Baker's not going anywhere, y'all," he said, according to a video taken at the event.

The announcer let the crowd know that the 65-year-old "Caught Up in the Rapture" singer was determined to provide the crowd with the best show possible. "Unfortunately, Babyface won't be able to perform tonight," he added. "I deeply, deeply apologize."

While it's unclear why Babyface wasn't able to perform following the delays, it's custom for many venues to charge fees to artists whose concerts go beyond a certain time in the evening.

Paras Griffin/Getty Anita Baker
Paras Griffin/Getty Anita Baker

Related:Babyface Says Title for His 'Girls Night Out' Album 'Was Not My Idea' at 2023 Grammys

On Thursday, Baker posted several tweets about the mishap. "the TECH/Video Wall/Glitched," she wrote. "Caused a Delay. Live Nation/Producers took responsibility... I/We/Us went Onstage, ANYway. Late... but, Love PREVAILED."

Another tweet from the 8-time Grammy winner read, "Playoff Season means Delays & Cancellations 2 Arena Concerts. NHL/Awesome Hockey playoffs, took away, Live Nation's Production/Tech, load-in. BUT, we did it, ANYway. withOUT a video wall Cause, our Sold Out Concerts'r About Me & My Band & My Fans."

Baker and Babyface's tour kicked off in February, and it's set to continue for 11 more dates through December 23 in Oakland, California.

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