on Oct 9th, 2012
Psychologist is insane
Toni Michelle Braxton
Born: October 7, 1967, USA
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".
Braxton's debut album won her several awards, including three Grammy Awards (for Best New Artist and two consecutive awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1994 and 1995). She also won two American Music Awards (for Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist and Favorite New Adult Contemporary Artist) in 1994 and another one in 1995 (for Favorite Soul/R&B Album). Toni Braxton was certified 8x Platinum and has sales of over 15 million worldwide.
In 1996, Braxton released her second and most successful album, Secrets. Braxton has said about the album: "The motivation for this album was to include a little bit of everything. Our aim was to come up with material that would have a familiar 'feel' to the people who bought the first album without being musically redundant." Along with Babyface, Braxton also worked with R. Kelly, Tony Rich, and David Foster on the album. Braxton was the co-executive producer of the album and co-wrote two of its songs, including the 1997 single "How Could an Angel Break My Heart", which was also later included on Diana Princess of Wales Tribute, a Princess Diana memorial album.
With help from the album's first single, "You're Makin' Me High" (which became Braxton's first number one hit on the Hot 100 singles chart), the album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 albums chart. "You're Makin' Me High" also topped the R&B singles chart for two weeks and saw similar success in Europe and Asia. The album's second single, "Un-Break My Heart" (written by Diane Warren)-which would later become the singer's signature song-became the biggest hit of her career spending eleven weeks at number one on the Hot 100 and also topping the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart for eleven weeks and the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart for four weeks as well as reaching no 2 in the UK Other singles from the album included the double A-side "I Don't Want To"/"I Love Me Some Him" (which peaked at number one on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart) and "How Could an Angel Break My Heart" which featured Kenny G, whom Braxton later toured with. After 92 weeks charting on the charts, Secrets is certified 8x platinum, becoming the second Braxton's straight 8 million seller. Internationally, Secrets sold more than 20 million copies, concreting Braxton's superstar status.
Braxton topped the Billboard Year-End Charts as the Top Hot 100 Singles Artist - Female, Top R&B Artist - Female (singles and albums), Top Hot R&B Singles Artist - Female, Top Hot Dance Club Play Artist, and Top Hot Adult Contemporary Artist, while "Un-Break My Heart" became the Top Hot Dance Club Play Single and the Top Hot Adult Contemporary Track of the year. She won two Grammy Awards; one for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and two American Music Awards for Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album.
In 1998, Braxton filed for Chapter 7 protection from a reported $3.9 million debt. All of her personal household possessions were tagged and marked for sale to pay off her creditors, including her prestigious awards. The humiliating and highly publicized bankruptcy taught her a lesson, she says. In the middle of the bankruptcy proceedings, Braxton was able to pursue her acting dreams when she was offered the role of "Belle" in Disney's musical, Beauty and the Beast, a role she played on Broadway beginning September 1998. She replaced Kim Huber and remained with the show through February 1999 where she was then replaced by Andrea McArdle. Braxton was the first African American woman to play a Disney character leading role on broadway.
In early 1999, Braxton and LaFace resolved their legal conflict. Issued with a brand new contract worth a reported $25 million, a satisfied Braxton continued to record for the label. Though the legalities with her LaFace and Arista subsided, Braxton saw a steep sales decline with her forthcoming releases with the label.
In January 2000, LaFace Records released "He Wasn't Man Enough", the first single from Braxton's third studio album, The Heat. By June, the song peaked at number two on the Hot 100 chart. Braxton's music video for "He Wasn't Man Enough", which also featured actress Robin Givens, was nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards including Best Female Video and Best R&B Video and a Billboard Music Video Award for Best R&B Clip of the Year.
The Heat, meanwhile, was released on April 25, 2000. Debuting at number two on the Billboard 200 albums chart with first week sales of 205,000, it remained in the top 20 for fifteen consecutive weeks. Braxton again worked with producers Babyface and Foster; also included in the staple were Rodney Jerkins, and new beau musician Keri Lewis. Braxton herself also took a more hands-on approach, co-writing and co-producing a handful of the tracks. "Gimme Some", a track on "The Heat", featured a rap verse from TLC star Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes.
The albums second single, "Just Be a Man About It", peaked at number thirty-two on the Hot 100 and number six on the R&B Charts. The third single, "Spanish Guitar", peaked at number ninety-eight on the Hot 100 and number one on the Hot Dance & Club charts. The fourth single, Maybe, peaked at seventy-four on the R&B charts all together missing the Hot 100.
By the end of the year, The Heat was certified 2x platinum. Also in February 2000, Braxton performed alongside Enrique Iglesias and Christina Aguilera during the Super Bowl Halftime show.
Braxton topped the Billboard Year-End Charts as the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Artist - Female, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album Artist - Female, and Top Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Artist - Female. She also received the 2000 Aretha Franklin Award for Entertainer of the Year at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. Braxton also picked up her sixth Grammy Award for "He Wasn't Man Enough" which won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and the album was nominated for Best R&B Album. It won Best R&B/Soul Album at the 2001 American Awards, her third win in a row.
While gearing up for the release of her fourth studio album, Braxton discovered she was pregnant with her second child. Knowing that she wouldn't be able to promote the album properly, she unsuccessfully lobbied to get the label to postpone its release until after she was to give birth. Subsequently, the album was released as planned and received very little promotion from the label or Braxton herself, due to a complicated pregnancy that confined her to bed rest. Braxton accused the company of being unwilling to compromise and punishing her from not putting her career over family.
On the show VH1 Inside Out - Family Comes First, she documented the hardships of being pregnant with her second child at the same time as promoting an album.
In November 2002, Braxton's fourth studio album More Than a Woman was released. Opening to an instant commercial disappointment, the album peaked at number thirteen, with first week sales of 97,000. The first single, the The Neptunes-produced, "Hit the Freeway", failed at radio and peaked at number eighty-six on the Hot 100. The two singles that followed ("A Better Man", "Lies, Lies, Lies") also failed to make a dent and missed the Hot 100 completely. Meanwhile, a promotional vinyl was sent out to DJs for "Give It Back"/"Let Me Show You the Way (Out)".
Prior to the release of the album, a dispute erupted between Braxton and Irv Gotti when he played a rough cut of "No More Love", a song that he produced for the album that was to be the first single. Disapproving of Gotti broadcasting the unfinished track, Braxton withheld it from being released. The same year, Braxton was further annoyed when rapper Jay-Z used the same sample of 2Pac's "Me And My Girlfriend" that she had already used on her track "Me & My Boyfriend" for his and Beyonce's "'03 Bonnie & Clyde". Furious, Braxton lashed out in a radio interview, accusing Jay-Z and producer Kanye West of taking money out of her children's college fund.
Many fans, and allegedly Braxton herself (only because of her bittersweet relationship with Arista at the time) considered this to be her worst album. Unlike her previous releases, with More Than a Woman, Braxton delved into hip hop with a bevy of guest rappers including Baby and Loon. The album has sold 435,000 copies in the U.S., falling short of expectations.
Braxton met football player Curtis Martin in 1997, but in early 1998 after a year of dating they separated. She then met musician Keri Lewis when the musical group he belonged to, Mint Condition, opened for her while she was on tour. On April 21, 2001, they married. On December 2, 2001, she gave birth to their first child, a son named Denim Cole Braxton-Lewis. The couple's second son, Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis, was born on March 31, 2003.
In an October 2006 concert at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, it was reported that Braxton broke down in tears discussing her son, Diezel, who was recently diagnosed with autism. Braxton has been outspoken regarding her doctor's failure to diagnose Diezel's condition earlier, contending that if he had been diagnosed earlier, he could have been helped.
As of August 2007, rumors surfaced that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Toni stated to Access Hollywood that the breast cancer rumors were false and that her health is in great condition.
On April 8, 2008, Braxton was briefly hospitalized. This occurred during her two year run at the Flamingo hotel, which was officially set to end on August 23. It was announced by the Associated Press on May 29, 2008 that the remaining dates for Toni Braxton Revealed have been cancelled. Later, while appearing on Season 7 of Dancing with the Stars, she stated that she has been diagnosed with microvascular angina (small vessel disease). In September, Donny & Marie Osmond replaced Braxton as the new resident headlining act at Flamingo Las Vegas.
As well as becoming a spokeswoman for Autism Speaks, she is also a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association.
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