Toni Michelle Braxton (born October 7, 1967) is an American singer-songwriter, contralto vocalist and actress. Braxton has won six Grammy Awards and has sold over forty million records worldwide. Her U.S. number-one hit “Un-Break My Heart” stayed on the top for eleven weeks.
Braxton topped the Billboard 200 with her 1993 self-titled debut album and continued that streak with her second studio album Secrets which spawned the number-one smash hit “Un-Break My Heart”. After filing bankruptcy, Braxton returned with her chart-topping third album, The Heat. Her most recent albums were More Than a Woman-her last release under the Arista label-and Libra-her first and only release on Blackground.
Braxton was involved in the 7th season of the reality show Dancing with the Stars. Her professional partner was Alec Mazo. She was eliminated from the show on October 21, 2008.
Her father was a clergyman, and the Braxton kids were raised in a strict religious household. Braxton’s first performing experience was singing in her church choir. She attended Bowie State University to obtain a teaching degree but decided to pursue a musical career that began when she was discovered by an industry insider when he heard her singing to herself while pumping gas.
Braxton and her four sisters (Traci, Trina, Towanda, and Tamar) began performing as The Braxtons in the late 1980s and were signed to Arista Records in 1989. Their first single, “Good Life”, was released in 1990. Though the song was not successful, it attracted the attention of Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.
With Braxton’s low register sounding similar to that of Anita Baker, Reid and Babyface recruited her to record a demo of “Love Shoulda Brought You Home”, a song that they had written for Anita Baker for the soundtrack of Eddie Murphy’s film, Boomerang. Baker, who was pregnant at the time, didn’t record the song but suggested that Braxton record it. Her recording was later included on the soundtrack along with “Give U My Heart”, a duet by Braxton and Babyface. Braxton, meanwhile, was signed to Reid and Edmonds’ Arista-distributed imprint, LaFace Records, and immediately began recording her solo debut album.
On June 29, 1993, LaFace Records released Braxton’s self-titled debut album, Toni Braxton. The album, which was primarily produced by Reid, Babyface, and Daryl Simmons, peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart. The first single, “Another Sad Love Song”, peaked at number seven and number two on Billboard’s Hot 100 and R&B Singles charts respectively. The album’s second single, “Breathe Again” peaked in the top five of both the Hot 100 and R&B singles charts and no 2 in the UK. More singles from Toni Braxton were released in 1994, including “You Mean the World to Me”, “Seven Whole Days”, and “How Many Ways”.
Read more info about Toni Braxton, watch her videos and photos at: http://braxton.bewithmusic.com/