Her distinctive sultry vocal blend of R&B, POP, Jazz and Gospel became an instantaneous international sensation when she came forth with her first solo recording in 1992. Today, with more than 40 million albums sold worldwide and six Grammy Awards, Toni Braxton is recognized as one of the most outstanding voices of this generation.
Born a preacher’s child and raised in a strict religious household, Braxton’s first professional experience was singing in the church choir. She went on to perform in a group with her four sisters (Traci, Trina, Towanda and Tamar) that was signed to Arista Records. Her talent was recognized by Antonio L.A. Reid and Kenneth Babyface Edmonds and soon her solo recording career was launched. Her music first came to widespread popularity on the soundtrack of the Eddie Murphy film “Boomerang.” The resulting Toni Braxton album sold ten million copies worldwide, spawning the classics “Another Sad Love Song” and “Breathe Again.” The album also resulted in her first two Grammys in 1993 as Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Another Sad Love Long” and another Grammy in the same category in 1994 for “Breathe Again.” In 1997 she garnered Grammys in Best R&B and Best Pop Female Vocal Performance categories.
The acclaim for her second album Secrets continued her mega success, selling over thirteen million copies in the US and abroad following its July 1996 release. “You’re Makin’ Me High” became her first across-the-board #1 pop and R&B hit single and garnered another Grammy for R&B vocal performance. Release of “Unbreak My Heart” followed in the fall of 1996 and was recognized with the coveted Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. It has become her signature song, and ranks as the second top-selling single of all time by a female artist. The next album, The Heat, sold 2 million copies and brought her another million-selling single and best R&B Grammy with “He Wasn’t Man Enough.”
Toni Braxton had successful runs on Broadway starring in “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aida.” In 2006, she headlined her own show, “Toni Braxton Revealed” at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. The show which ran through April 2008, was a smash, but in the middle of the extended run she was diagnosed with micro vascular angina causing her to cancel the remaining dates. After a recovery period, she took time in 2008 to fulfill her big dream of appearing on the top-rated television series “Dancing with the Stars.”
Today, Braxton balances the demands of her career with the high priorities of family, health and public service as she raises her two sons Denim and Diezel. Regarding her youngest child’s autism, Braxton is giving a message of hope that wasn’t quite the case for her a few years ago. “Today, Diezel is talking and attending a mainstream school. He still needs occupational therapy, but he is a wonderful example of what can happen with early detection and intervention.”
In addition to being a spokesperson for Autism Speaks, Braxton also is active with the American Heart Association. Braxton was most recently diagnosed with Lupus. She announced her health struggle publicly as she accepted the Lupus LA award for “Women of Achievement“.
Most recently, Braxton is enjoying huge success with her Braxton Family Values reality show on the WE network. Four episodes into Braxton Family Values’ run, Rainbow Media’s WE tv renewed the reality series starring Toni Braxton and her sisters for a second season with a 19-episode order, up from the 10 episodes the network ordered for Season 1. Braxton Family Values, ranked as the #1 telecast for W18-34 and #3 for W25-54 during primetime among all ad-supported cable, when the show returned for its second season on Thursday, November 10 (9-10 pm). The series also ranked as the #1 show among African-American viewers during primetime for all key women and adult demographic deliveries, and #1 across all key women’s demos during primetime – W18-34, W18-49 and W25-54 – among all women’s networks.
“Braxton Family Values’ has struck a chord with our audiences – it’s one of our most popular shows ever,” WE TV prexy/g.m. Kim Martin said.