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Toni Braxton Better Than Ever for Seventh LP

Toni Braxton is one of music’s special vocalists. With L.A. and Babyface on her side, she burst onto the scene with her hit “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” from the soundtrack to the 1992 romantic comedy, “Boomerang.” The movie became a pop culture classic and Braxton’s song a huge hit, which only set up her self-titled debut. By that time, Braxton was an emerging superstar, and her album a year later eventually netted her six singles and a Best New Artist Grammy.

As the 90’s waned, so did Braxton’s career, amid bankruptcy and personal challenges. But the diminutive diva has made a triumphant return, first as an artist-in-residence in Las Vegas, a stint on the seventh season of “Dancing with the Stars,” and now with her seventh studio album, “Pulse.” Her singles thus far have included “Yesterday” a duet with Trey Songz, and “Make Me,” an uptempo dance cut.

Braxton looks and sounds better than ever. Read on to find out more about our latest “In Studio Jam” guest.

BORN: Toni Michelle Braxton.

BIG BREAK: She and her sisters (Traci, Trina, Towanda and Tamar) were signed to Arista Records as The Braxtons. Things didn’t work out with the entire group, but L.A. and Babyface liked Braxton’s contralto voice and signed her as a solo artist to their then-new label, LaFace.

EDUCATION: Braxton attended Bowie State University in Maryland. She was planning to be a teacher, but fate intervened on her behalf when a songwriter overheard her singing to herself at a gas station.

RESUME: Braxton has sold over 40 million albums worldwide in an almost two-decade career. She’s also starred on Broadway in “Beauty in the Beast” and on TV on “Dancing With the Stars.” Braxton is one of the few African-American performers who’ve ever headlined their own show in Las Vegas – and she did so at Vegas’ Flamingo Hilton for almost three years.

BACK STORY: Braxton is a preacher’s daughter who sang in the church choir. She, her four sisters and brother were at first strict Pentecostals and weren’t allowed to listen to secular music. When her parents changed over to the United Methodist Church, the rules were relaxed, allowing Braxton more exposure to popular music. 

FUN FACT: “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” was originally written for Anita Baker. She was pregnant at the time and didn’t record it, but suggested that the song would suit Braxton’s low register. L.A. and Babyface agreed, and Braxton recorded her first big hit.

NUMBERS: Braxton’s seven studio releases have all gone either gold or platinum. Her last CD, 2005’s “Libra” went gold, despite a dispute with the label and the lack of any video or other promotion for it.

LATEST WORK: “Pulse,” out in stores and on iTunes and other digital download sites on May 4.

OFFICIAL SITE: www.tonibraxton.com

TWITTER: @tonibraxton

 

BEST OF TONI BRAXTON (Video):

“Yesterday” 

Breathe Again”

“He Wasn’t Man Enough”

“You’re Making Me High”

“Un-Break My Heart”

Toni Braxton on “The Wendy Williams Show”

QUOTABLE QUOTES:

“It’s my life, and I have to take responsibility for it. People don’t understand this business; a lot of my personal money went into tours. You never get out of the red. Every lightbulb, costume, band member, hotel, gas for the tour bus, airplane ticket – everybody has to be paid, and the artist has to pay them. In this business, the product – the artist – pays for everything. And then [we] get what’s left over.” – Ebony Magazine

“‘Breathe Again’ is my all-time favourite song. I remember when I first heard it, but it wasn’t for …..

 

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