A singer, songwriter, pianist, record producer, actor, television personality, and philanthropist with a net worth of $10 million, Toni Braxton is an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and record producer. Over 67 million copies of Braxton’s recordings have been sold all over the world. She has become one of the most successful female R&B musicians in the history of the genre. Multiple Grammy Awards have been bestowed upon Braxton.
Toni Michelle Braxton was born on October 7th, 1967 in the city of Severn, which is located in the state of Maryland. Her family has a strong musical and spiritual background, which she inherited. Both of her parents, Michael and Evelyn, were active members of the Methodist church in their community and held positions of clergyman and pastor. Additionally, Braxton’s father held a position with the electricity company. Her mother had a background in singing opera and was currently employed in a beauty shop. Toni’s grandfather on her mother’s side was also a minister. She is the eldest of her six children, which include one older brother named Michael (1968) and four younger sisters (Traci 1971, Towanda 1973, Trina 1974, and Tamar 1977). It was in her church choir that Braxton made her first public appearance as a singer. She attended Bowie State University in Maryland, where she planned to study education in order to pursue her goal of becoming an educator. However, after hearing her singing to herself while she was pumping gas, composer and producer William Pettaway Jr. persuaded her to give a career in singing a go.
In 1989, The Braxtons, Braxton and her sisters, signed with Arista Records. “Good Life” was their 1990 debut. Producers Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds noticed the song’s radio failure. The duo requested Toni to record a demo of “Love Shoulda Brought You Home,” a song they wrote for Anita Baker to sing on the Eddie Murphy film “Boomerang.” Baker recommended Braxton sing it. Toni’s rendition and Braxton-Edmonds’ duet were on the album. L.A. and Babyface signed Braxton to LaFace Records and began working on her debut solo album.
“Toni Braxton” topped the albums list in July 1993. Toni’s debut hit, “Another Sad Love Song,” was the first number one on the then-new Adult R&B charts. Five hits from Braxton’s debut album won three Grammys, including Best New Artist and two consecutive Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Braxton released “Secrets” in 1996. Her most successful record. “You’re Makin’ Me High” was Braxton’s first Hot 100 number-one. Diane Warren’s songwriting and composition made Braxton’s second single, “Un-Break My Heart,” her biggest smash. 11 weeks topped the Hot Dance Singles list.
2002’s “More Than a Woman,” 2005’s “Libra,” and 2010’s “Pulse” were released during Braxton’s health concerns and contract disputes. Braxton and Babyface released “Love, Marriage, & Divorce” in 2014. 2015 Grammy for Best R&B Album. 2018’s “Sex & Cigarettes” was Braxton’s ninth album.
Braxton debuted on Broadway as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” in 1998. Alan Menken penned “A Change in Me” for Braxton. Toni departed “Beauty and the Beast” in 1999.
“Braxton Family Values,” which has shown on WeTV since 2011, and “Tamar and Vince,” which stars her younger sister Tamar, are both reality shows.
“Toni Braxton: Revealed” headlined the Flamingo Las Vegas in 2006. Weekly, she performed. Her show ran till August 2008 due to its popularity. Braxton’s heart ailment forced the show’s cancellation.
Keri Lewis met Toni Braxton while Mint Condition opened for her on tour. They married April 21, 2001. She had their son Denim Cole Braxton-Lewis that year. Bedrest followed her second pregnancy in 2002. March 2003 brought Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis, her second son. Diezel is autistic and Toni is working with Autism Speaks as their International Spokesperson. Braxton and Lewis divorced in July 2013.
Braxton started dating rapper Birdman in May 2016. They announced their engagement in February 2018. In January 2019, the couple called off the engagement. However, in April 2019, both Braxton and Birdman revealed that they were still together.
Toni has always struggled financially, despite her accomplishments. She declared bankruptcy in 1998, owing $5 million. After Toni’s 2000 single The Heat sold over two million copies, her finances improved. In October 2010, Toni filed bankruptcy again. Toni owed $50 million in this filing.
She owed the IRS, Tiffany & Co., AT&T, and Neiman Marcus, among others. In two years, she spent $2.5 million on makeup, clothes, and hair. Toni lost the rights to 27 of her most renowned songs, including “You’re Making Me High,” “Always,” and “How Many Ways,” in her bankruptcy case in July 2013. She can no longer get the majority of royalties from her song sales.
Toni’s biggest hit, “Un-Break My Heart,” was written by Diane Warren, therefore she doesn’t get royalties. Fortunately, Ms. Braxton remains a successful live act, especially abroad. Live events and personal appearances, including Braxton Family Values, earn her $750,000–$1 million per year. Toni’s debt was reduced by a bankruptcy court, so perhaps she can stay debt-free this time.