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Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune , Published February 13 2012

Duluth native was Whitney Houston's drummer, music director; Says singer 'brought something incredibly special to the world'

Whitney Houston’s drummer and music director Michael Baker, a 1975 Duluth Central High School graduate, remembered the late singer as a sweet person who brought beauty to the world.

“She was really, really a wonderful person,” Baker said in a phone interview from Los Angeles, where he arrived Sunday afternoon.

Baker became Houston’s drummer in the early 1990s, around the time she was filming the movie “The Bodyguard.” He later added the role of music director. He was instrumental in one of the successful comebacks of her career. The Orange County Register praised her for a 1999 performance, adding “with much credit due to her new music director Michael Baker.”

“We had a good working relationship,” he said. “I did my part, she did her part. We respected each other and enjoyed each other. We kept it quite simple between us. It was not a complicated kind of relationship, and that’s why it lasted so long.”

Baker found out about Houston’s death from his mother, who called him after she heard the news. While they had been in contact, it had been about a year since he last saw Houston, when they finished the “Nothing But Love” world tour.

“I would just say that she was someone who brought something incredibly special to the world,” Baker said. “She should be remembered for the beauty she brought to the world.

“A lot of people got married and fell in love to her music, and that’s the responsibility of musicians and artists; to bring their beauty to the world. She more than did her job.”