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Profiling Toni Michele Braxton: Career, Family, Albums, and Awards

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Toni Michele Braxton is a singer, songwriter, and actress who specializes in R&B. Braxton was born in Severn, Maryland, on October 7, 1967, to Methodist clergyman Michael Conrad Braxton Sr and opera singer and cosmetologist Evelyn Jackson Braxton. Braxton is the oldest of six children. Braxton grew up singing in the church choir. She briefly attended Bowie State University before dropping out to pursue a career as a singer. William E. Pattaway Jr. found her.

Braxton and her four sisters, Traci, Towanda, Trina, and Tamar, began performing as The Braxtons in the late 1980s. Arista Records signed the Braxtons in 1989. A year later, the group released the single “Good Life.” The single was not a commercial success, but it piqued the interest of record executive Antonio “LA” Reid and record producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Braxton signed with LaFace Records, their record label.

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Toni Braxton, her debut solo album, was released in 1993. The album sold six million units and was certified multi-platinum. It featured the singles “Another Sad Love Song,” “Breathe Again,” “Seven Whole Days,” “You Mean the World to Me,” and “I Belong to You/”How Many Ways.” The album was also nominated for three Grammys (1994 and 1995) and two American Music Awards (1994 and 1995).

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Secrets, Braxton’s second album, was released in 1996 and featured the singles “You’re Makin Me High”/”Let It Flow,” “Un-Break My Heart,” “I Don’t Want To”/”I Love Me Some Him,” and “How Could An Angel Break My Heart.” The album sold eight million units and was certified multi-platinum. Braxton also received two Grammy nominations, one for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and one for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. She also received two American Music Awards in the categories of Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album.

Braxton’s third album, The Heat, was released in 2000 and featured the singles “He Wasn’t Man Enough,” “Just Be a Man About It,” “Spanish Guitar,” and “Maybe.” This album sold two million copies, was certified platinum, and won a Grammy for Best R&B Album at the 2001 Grammy Awards. Other studio albums released by Braxton during her career include Snowflakes (2001), More Than A Woman (2002), Libra (2005), Pulse (2010), Love, Marriage, and Divorce (2014), Sex and Cigerettes (2018), and Spell My Name (2020), but none were as successful as her first three.

Toni Braxton has also appeared in films such as Kingdom Come (2001), Play’d: A Hip Hop Story (2002), Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart (2016), and Fallen Angels Murder Club (2017). (2022). Braxton co-starred in the reality TV show Braxton Family Values with her sisters from 2011 to 2020. Despite her accomplishments, Braxton has been involved in a number of controversies throughout her career. She filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against Arista and LaFace Records in 1996, alleging that they withheld royalties she earned. Soon after, she filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy. She was diagnosed with Lupus, a potentially fatal autoimmune disease, in 2010.

In 2001, Braxton married Mint Condition member Keri Lewis. Denim Cole Braxton-Lewis (born 2001) and Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis (born 2002) were the couple’s two children (Born 2003). In 2013, the couple divorced. Braxton began dating Cash Money Records founder Bryan Christopher “Birdman” Williams in 2016. She is still working in the entertainment industry in 2022.

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