Toni Braxton: biography
Toni Braxton calls herself a tadpole trying to be a frog. However, millions of fans would not agree. The hit song “Un-Break My Heart” alone made the singer the global star and brought top positions in music hit parades and the Grammy Awards. According to Billboard Hot 100, this composition is the most successful single in the history of the chart.
Childhood and youth
Toni Michelle was born in October 1967, in Severn, Maryland. She had five siblings. The girl’s father Michael Conrad was a clergyman, and the home atmosphere lacked secular entertainment. The mother Evelyn was a singer and instilled the love of music to her daughters Toni, Towanda, Trina, Traci, and Tamar. Tamar continues to be the soloist of the family music group The Braxtons.
The young women earned their first success when they were high-school students. Somehow, their fanatic father became more flexible, and the group started participating in contests. Victories followed right in a row. One day, the sisters met Bill Pettaway at a gas station. It was the Pettaway who created the hit “Girl You Know It`s True” for the pop duo Milli Vanilli. With his help, the group signed the contract with Arista Records and had their first single released.
The producers Kenneth Brian Edmonds also known as Babyface and Antonio Reid who collaborated with Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, and Usher, played the most important role in Toni’s professional development. The musicians loved the young woman’s velvet, almost male voice of the low vocal register and offered Braxton to begin her solo career. The songs “Give U My Heart” and “Love Shoulda Brought U Home” created with Babyface brought Toni success.
11 million copies of the first album Toni Braxton were sold; five songs of the album including “Seven Whole Days,” “Another Sad Love Song,” and “How Many Ways” became hits and were released as singles. This tremendous debut was marked with three Grammy Awards.
In 1996, Braxton’s signature song “Un-Break My Heart” and the album Secrets appeared; even today, the name of Toni Braxton is associated with this hit. The album’s lead song “You’re Makin’ Me High” turned out to be scandalous due to the provocative sexual nature of the lyrics. Other songs topped music charts as well.
In 1998, Toni decided to cancel the contract with LaFace, but legal proceedings led the singer to bankruptcy. The producers gave her sympathy and signed a new contract with less strict terms of the agreement. At that period, Braxton presented the third album Heat; besides she worked on Broadway and became the first representative of her nationality among the Disney musical participants.
Rodney Jerkins who contributed to the success of the Spice Girls and Britney Spears helped Toni record Heat. The music video to “He Wasn’t Man Enough” was nominated for the MTV Video Music Award and Billboard Music Video Award; the ballad “Spanish Guitar” received the Soul Train, American and British Music Awards.
Several years later, Braxton had a new conflict with the producers, and the album More Than a Woman became a commercial failure.
Braxton recorded the next album, Libra, with the new company. In 2005, she starred in the TV series Kevin Hill.
The seventh studio album Pulse came out only in 2010. The rapper Trey Songz known for his role in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the Furious 7 soundtrack released the emotional music video where he and Toni performed the song “Yesterday.”
Toni dreamed of a happy and friendly family. In 2001, the singer married Keri Lewis, the member of the group Mint Condition. The couple lived together 12 years; two children were born in this marriage: Denim Cole and Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis. However, the further events were upsetting. The woman confessed the youngest son Toni was autistic. The boy could have been treated successfully if the disease had been registered in time. However, the mother believed the doctors were too late.
After this confession, the singer probably wanted to be honest completely. She announced she had an abortion when her career was taking off and viewed her son’s disease as the punishment for the wrong action.
In 2007, Toni had a tumor removed. The next year, Braxton mentioned another diagnosis: microvascular angina. Doctors believed heart transplanting could be needed; however, the lifetime drug treatment became the suitable option. In 2010, the star announced she suffered from lupus erythematosus. Because of the disease recurrence, Braxton is often hospitalized and cancels some concerts. When Toni Braxton is on tour, a personal doctor accompanies her.
However, all these health issues could not make Toni forget about the joy of life. In 2016, the soul star was frequently seen with the rapper Birdman (Bryan Williams). Toni met him in 2003 when they worked together on the song “Baby You Can Do It”; at the beginning of 2018, the woman announced she was going to marry Bryan at the TV show “Braxton Family Values.”
Libra is the singer’s star sign. Thus, she is an ambiguous person who seeks harmony and balance. Toni has learned many lessons during tragic events. Today, charity work is her priority. Although Braxton announced she had gone bankrupt twice, she donates to “Autism Speaks” and American Heart Association funds.
On her Instagram page, Toni emphasized she was a mother in the first instance. In her interviews, the singer confessed she would hate the idea to choose between her stage career and motherhood.
Toni has not been involved in scandals unless it pertains to a tidy hotel room: the star can demand to relocate her in a better house. To haters’ pleasure, people suspected Braxton of having plastic surgery to change her nose and breast shape; she was also accused of keeping secret the fact that she was a man in the past. The unique tone of voice is the reason for this rumor: those who have never seen Toni might get confused.
Overall, more than 60 million copies of Toni Braxton’s albums have been sold, and the singer has won seven Grammy Awards; however, the media call her a loser every once in a while. Braxton’s biography looks like a roller coaster. The woman says she would not like to change anything in her career: her ups and downs made her the Toni loved and respected by millions of fans all over the globe.
In 2017, Braxton had another opportunity to demonstrate her acting skills: she played a school accountant Antoinette Tuff in the drama Faith Under Fire based on a true story. On August 2013, an armed white man took hostage the students of the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy where black children constituted the majority; eventually, the man started shooting the police. Tuff proved to be an incredibly calm and temperate person who persuaded the criminal to surrender.
In 2014, Toni Braxton and one of the most successful R&B producers Babyface recorded the studio album Love, Marriage & Divorce. They continued to collaborate: their song “Foh” has recently been presented.
In spring 2018, after the eight-year gap, Braxton presented her new solo album Sex & Cigarettes. The lead single “Deadwood” reminded of the 1990s-star Toni; the audience welcomed the composition enthusiastically. In the album cover picture, the singer was in a provocative outfit. Braxton who had celebrated her anniversary demonstrated her perfect physical shape (the singer’s weight was 48 kg., and her height was 157 cm.). Commenting on the new album, Toni said she grew older and wanted to express her feelings without censorship.
- 1993 – Toni Braxton
- 1996 – Secrets
- 2000 – The Heat
- 2001 – Snowflakes
- 2002 – More Than a Woman
- 2005 – Libra
- 2007 – The Essential Toni Braxton
- 2010 – Pulse
- 2018 – Sex & Cigarettes