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Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton was one of the most popular and commercially successful female R&B singers of the '90s, thanks to her ability to straddle seemingly opposite worlds. Braxton was soulful enough for R&B audiences, but smooth enough for adult contemporary; sophisticated enough for adults, but sultry enough for younger listeners; strong enough in the face of heartbreak to appeal to women, but ravishing enough to nab the fellas. Wielding such broad appeal, Braxton managed to score not one, but two albums that sold over eight million copies; naturally, they were accompanied by a long string of hit singles on the pop and R&B charts, one of which -- "Un-break My Heart" -- ranks among the longest-running number one pop hits of the rock era.

Braxton was born in Severn, Maryland, on October 7, 1968. The daughter of a minister, she was raised mostly in the strict Apostolic faith, which prohibited not only all popular culture, but also pants in women's wardrobes. Encouraged by their mother, an operatically trained vocalist, Braxton and her four sisters began singing in church as girls; although gospel was the only music permitted in the household, the girls often watched Soul Train when their parents went shopping. Braxton's parents later converted to a different faith, and eased their restrictions on secular music somewhat, allowing Braxton more leeway to develop her vocal style; because of her husky voice, she often used male singers like Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, and Michael McDonald as models, as well as Chaka Khan. Braxton had some success on the local talent show circuit, continuing to sing with her sisters, and after high school studied to become a music teacher. However, Braxton soon dropped out of college after she was discovered singing to herself at a gas station by songwriter Bill Pettaway (who co-authored Milli Vanilli's "Girl You Know It's True"). With Pettaway's help, Braxton and her sisters signed with Arista Records in 1990 as a group dubbed simply the Braxtons.

The Braxtons released a single in 1990 called "The Good Life," and while it wasn't a hit, it caught the attention of L.A. Reid and Babyface, the red-hot songwriting/production team who had just formed their own label, LaFace (which was associated with Arista). Braxton became the first female artist signed to LaFace in 1991, and the following year she was introduced to the listening public with a high-profile appearance on the soundtrack of Eddie Murphy's Boomerang. Not only did her solo cut "Love Shoulda Brought You Home" become a substantial pop and R&B hit, but she also duetted with Babyface himself on "Give U My Heart." Anticipation for Braxton's first album ran high, and when her eponymous solo debut was released in 1993, it was an across-the-board smash, climbing to number one on both the pop and R&B charts. It spun off hit after hit, including three more Top Ten singles in "Another Sad Love Song," "Breathe Again," and "You Mean the World to Me," plus the double-sided R&B hit "I Belong to You"/"How Many Ways." With eventual sales of over eight million copies, Toni Braxton's run of popularity lasted well into 1995. By that time, Braxton had scored Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal ("Another Sad Love Song") in 1994, and tacked on another win in the latter category for "Breathe Again" in 1995.

To tide fans over until her next album was released, Braxton contributed "Let It Flow" to the Whitney Houston-centered soundtrack of Waiting to Exhale in 1995. Again working heavily with L.A. Reid and Babyface, Braxton released her second album, Secrets, in the summer of 1996, and predictably, it was another enormous hit. The first single, "You're Makin' Me High," was Braxton's most overtly sexual yet, and it became her biggest pop hit to date; however, its success was soon eclipsed by the follow-up single, the Diane Warren-penned ballad "Un-break My Heart." "Un-break My Heart" was an inescapable juggernaut, spending an amazing 11 weeks on top of the pop charts (and even longer on the adult contemporary charts). Further singles "I Don't Want To" and "How Could an Angel Break My Heart" weren't quite as successful (not that that's an indictment), but that didn't really matter; by then Secrets was well on its way to becoming Braxton's second straight eight-million seller. In 1997, she picked up Grammy awards for Best Female Pop Vocal and Best Female R&B Vocal (for "Un-break My Heart" and "You're Makin' Me High," respectively).

Toward the end of 1997, Braxton filed a lawsuit against LaFace Records, attempting to gain release from a contract she felt was no longer fair or commensurate with her status. When LaFace countersued, Braxton filed for bankruptcy, a move that shocked many fans (who wondered how that could be possible, given her massive sales figures) but actually afforded her protection from further legal action. Braxton spent most of 1998 in legal limbo, and passed the time by signing on to portray Belle in the Broadway production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast (a role originally held by erstwhile teen queen Deborah Gibson). Braxton and LaFace finally reached a settlement in early 1999, and the singer soon began work on her third album. The Heat was released in the spring of 2000, and entered the charts at number two, matching the highest position held by Secrets. Lead single "He Wasn't Man Enough" was a Top Ten hit (and an R&B chart-topper), although the follow-ups "Just Be a Man About It" (a duet with Dr. Dre) and "Spanish Guitar" didn't sustain the album's momentum as well as one might have expected. A brisk seller out of the box, The Heat eventually cooled off around the two-million mark, a disappointing showing compared to her previous efforts, despite yet another Grammy win for Best Female R&B Vocal ("He Wasn't Man Enough").

Braxton appeared in the VH1 movie Play'd in early 2002, and recorded More Than a Woman for release later that year. The singles "Please" and "That's the Way Love Works (Trippin')" announced Braxton's 2005 return with the full-length Libra, her first and only album recorded for the Blackground label. Initially a commercial disappointment, the album was re-released a year later when "The Time of Our Lives" -- a collaboration with the vocal group Il Divo -- became the official 2006 FIFA World Cup anthem. That same year the singer replaced Wayne Newton as the main performer at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Her show, Toni Braxton: Revealed, would run until April of 2008 when she joined the cast of the competitive reality show Dancing with the Stars. After lasting five weeks before being voted off the show, Braxton announced she would be signing with the Atlantic label.

Pulse was issued in 2010, cracked the Top Ten in the U.S., and was a respectable minor hit in several other countries. Braxton then further boosted her comeback profile by participating in another reality TV series, Braxton Family Values, which focused on her relationship with her mother and four sisters. In late 2013 she teamed up once again with Babyface to record the duets album Love, Marriage & Divorce. Motown released the album in February 2014. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Pulse

1. Yesterday

2. Make My Heart

3. Hands Tied

4. Woman

5. If I Have To Wait

6. Lookin' At Me

7. Wardrobe

8. Hero

9. No Way

10. Pulse

11. Why Won't You Love Me


Track List: Platinum Collection

1. Another Sad Love Song

2. Breathe Again

3. How Could An Angel Break My Heart

4. I Belong To You

5. You Mean The World To Me

6. Un-Break My Heart

7. How Many Ways

8. He Wasn't Man Enough

9. Maybe

10. A Better Man

11. Hit The Freeway

12. Spanish Guitar


Track List: Ultimate Toni Braxton

1. Give U My Heart (feat. Babyface)

2. Love Shoulda Brought You Home

3. Another Sad Love Song

4. Breathe Again

5. Seven Whole Days (Live)

6. You Mean The World To Me

7. How Many Ways

8. You're Making Me High

9. Let It Flow

10. Un-Break My Heart

11. I Love Me Some Him

12. I Dont Want To

13. He Wasn't Man Enough

14. Just Be A Man About It

15. Hit The Freeway (feat. Loon)

16. Whatchu You Need (Peviously Unreleased)

17. The Little Things (Previously Unreleased)

18. Un-Break My Heart (Soul-Hex Anthem Radio Edit)


Track List: More Than A Woman

1. Let Me Show You The Way (Out)

2. Give It Back (feat. The Big Tymers)

3. A Better Man

4. Hit The Freeway (feat. Loon)

5. Lies, Lies, Lies

6. Rock Me, Roll Me

7. Selfish

8. Do You Remember When

9. Me & My Boyfriend

10. Tell Me

11. And I Love You

12. Always


Track List: The Heat

1. He Wasn't Man Enough

2. The Heat

3. Spanish Guitar

4. Just Be A Man About It

5. Gimme Some

6. I'm Still Breathing

7. Fairy Tale

8. The Art Of Love

9. Apeaking In Tongues

10. Maybe

11. You've Been Wrong

12. Never Just For A Ring


Track List: Toni Braxton

1. Another Sad Love Song

2. Breathe Again

3. Seven Whole Days

4. Love Affair

5. Candlelight

6. Spending My Time with You

7. Love Shoulda Brought You Home

8. I Belong to You

9. How Many Ways

10. You Mean the World to Me

11. Best Friend

12. Breathe Again (Reprise)


Track List: Hands Tied (Radio Single)

1. Hands Tied


Track List: I Heart You (Single)

1. I Heart You


Track List: Make My Heart (Radio Single)

1. Make My Heart


Track List: Secrets

1. Come On Over Here

2. You're Makin' Me High

3. There's No Me Without You

4. Un-Break My Heart

5. Talking In His Sleep

6. How Could An Angel Break My Heart

7. Find Me A Man

8. Let It Flow

9. Why Should I Care

10. I Don't Want To

11. I Love Me Some Him

12. In The Late Of Night/Toni's Secrets


Track List: The Essential Toni Braxton

Disc 1

1. Love Shoulda Brought You Home

2. I Love Me Some Him

3. Tell Me

4. You're Makin' Me High

5. He Wasn't Man Enough

6. Just Be A Man About It

8. Breathe Again

9. You Mean The World To Me

10. I Belong To You

12. Un-Break My Heart

13. Another Sad Love Song

14. Seven Whole Days

15. I Don't Want To

16. Give U My Heart

Disc 2

1. The Heat

2. Gimme Some

3. There's No Me Without You

4. Why Should I Care

6. I'm Still Breathing

7. Me & My Boyfriend

12. Hit The Freeway

13. Come On Over Here

14. Let It Flow

15. The Little Things


Track List: Yesterday (Radio Single)

1. Yesterday


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Hey you Toni you are very beautiful you are the queen of R&B and ive followed your music & your gorgoeous self sence i was young & iam still your #1 fan i hope to meet you one day soon and spend a hole day with you i hope im not disrespecten you at all
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Love me some Toni Braxton.
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Toni braxton baby... ooooh
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Love myself some Toni Braxton .
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1. say your name ten times

2. say your moms name five times

3. say your crush's name three times

4. send this to 15 ppl

But if you read this and ignore it, then you will have very bad luck

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You got that girl*
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Love it you the best I watch tamar Braxton on the real you and Tamar just alike
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I have loved Toni Braxton from the first time I saw her and heard her, before all the drama, and I respect her for sticking to her secrets. sticking to how she felt from the heart I will always follow her as far as music is concerned. and also as a Woman
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I've watched Toni's movie a couple times already...I love her music!
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The movie was good im glad she was able finally speak
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Can't wait to see the movie. Hope they did it justice.
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Her music gives me life honey!!!!! She is and always will be one of my faves :)
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I love me some Toni Braxton. Her songs are the story of my life.
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Love her!
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My s**t!!
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One of my favorite Toni B albums!!! Love her!!
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You are best mindless behavior I love your song they are the best
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Her voice is too die for. It's perfect for sultry music.
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!her music kept me sane
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Toni is lyfe. Forever will be, love her music❤❤
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Her music will always be my favorite...l o v e all of it
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I Love Toni Braxton. Been A Fan Since I Discovered Music.
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Definitely different,no have all I need boo never look no other place you all had my full attention last two years,and 21 day's ,I don't hour many it been you.
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I meet her once was with my x wife we was at a concert she was singing to me and was finna set on my lap I told her no #crazy on top of that me and her have same bday and ten years apart
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One of my fav artist
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How many ways, best song.
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You, are so right. Just be a man about it......
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Only if u know what this song means to many heart breaks
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Back up off me me and let me breathe, I got's to breathe so let me breathe, one of Toni's classic's
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One of my favorite song by Toni Braxton.Memo r i e s when I was a teenage��
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I love this song is good you go girl
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This song is very romantic you go Toni Braxton with love and respect
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This song is going to help me find a good and kind woman
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Toni still Has that IT Factor!!!!
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This song brings back so many memories. I love every word your voice made it even more loveable
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This is when I met my beautiful wonderful wife that I love so much ♡
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This Queen's voice Slayssss ( as always!!)... . xxoxxo Glad to see her health is improving... Nothing but up from here sister girl!! : )
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Memories for me and my first love along time
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Hold a price of your heart so when they hurt u u can live on
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I'm such a huge fan! Love you Toni Braxton
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Decretive is my poose petite is my Stance Pride'd is my spirit Secretive is my body Shie!ding armour from fee!ing's of Physica! Acceptance & I choose u 2 be my Red Pi!!ow of Devi! 2 !ift & Carrie me the way Mother's I viewe'd caress their own, I figure'd a!! Your mind Cou!d focus ad is myse!f that's how I am About the U, & My Dream of meeting u is my Expertease of Obidence & Agreement 2 keep the Dream Advertised & A Rea! Cartoom Fantasy of Book Stories 2 pub!ish,2 patent, 2 pub!ish,2 trademark
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loved her since college.... use to blast her music on my way from college in SC to home in FL.... in my jeep with the top off!!!!!! cruising down 95... Loved it........
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Luv her voice
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Toni has a very sultry voice...I love her!
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