Toni Braxton Biography
Toni Braxton is a multi-award winning American singer-songwriter, record producer, and television personality. An R&B icon since the 90s with a broad appeal who’s single Un-break My Heart is one of the longest running pop hits.
Toni Michelle Braxton was born in Severn, Maryland, on October 7, 1967, in a heavily Christian and strict family. Both her parents were pastors, so Braxton first started performing in the church choir. While studying for a degree in teaching, she decided to focus on a singing career instead.
She and her sisters Traci, Towanda, Trina, and Tamar were signed to Artista Records in 1990 as the Braxtons. They released the debut single The Good Life the same year. This song caught the attention of label executives L.A. Reid and Babyface who signed Toni as their first recording artist with their new label LaFace. The soundtrack to Eddie Murphy’s Boomerang, Love Shoulda Brought You Home became an R&B hit.
As a result, her highly anticipated self-titled album was a catapulted to number 1 on the charts. It created hits like Another Sad Love Song and I Belong to You”/”How Many Ways. The album sold massively and got Toni her first Grammys in 1994 and 1995. She returned to the studio with L.A. Reid and Babyface and released her second LP Secrets. As expected the project was a hit, spawning the hit ballad Un-break My Heart written by Diane Warren. The single spent 11 weeks at number 1. In 1997 she received another 2 Grammys.
The same year, however, she confronted her label on issues of bankruptcy. Braxton sued LaFace in order to be released from her contract. She spent 1998 fighting the label in court. LaFace and Braxton reached a settlement in 1999, and she released new album The Heat in 2000. It performed well on the album charts at number 2 and spawned the top ten single He Wasn’t Man Enough. Nonetheless, the music project was a commercial failure compared to her previous albums. She did win another Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal.
Braxton Family Values
In 2002 Toni released her 4th album More Than a Woman followed by the 2005 return of Libra. She was asked in 2006 to perform at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Braxton accepted and performed the showToni Braxton: Revealed until 2008. She then competed for 5 weeks on the reality TV show Dancing with the Stars. Under the Atlantic label, Toni issued the LP Pulse which made it to the Top Ten in the US. Next, she opted to pe part of the reality show along with her sisters and mother, called Braxton Family Values. Under the Motown label, she revealed a duet album with Babyface, entitled Love, Marriage & Divorce.
Photo credit: Hubmesh