Toni Braxton was born in 1966 in Severn, Maryland. She is the oldest of six children and went to Glen Burnie High School. Her father was a clergyman, and as such, Braxton's first experience was singing with a church choir. While she attended Bowie State University to obtain a teaching degree, she decided to pursue a musical career.
In 1989, Toni and four of her sisters (Traci, Trina, Towanda and Tamar) formed a group called The Braxtons signed to Artista Record. While they released a single in 1990 'The Good Life,' it did not do very well. However, the single did succeed at one thing. It brought Toni Braxton's low register sound to the attention of L.A. Reid and Babyface.
The two men approached Braxton and enlisted her to sing 'Love Shoulda Brought You Home,' a song designed for Anita Baker that Baker suggested Toni Braxton record. The track, along with 'Give U My Heart' appeared on the Boomerang soundtrack. The songs brought radio attention and led to Braxton's signing with LaFace Records.
Her self-titled debut album was released in 1993 and had critical and commercial success, peaking at #1 on the billboards. The single 'Another Sad Love Song' peaked at #7 on the charts. The second single 'Breathe Again' reached the top five and 'You Mean The world to Me' reached the top ten. The album's solid lineup won Toni Braxton three Grammy Awards and went 8X platinum.
Toni Braxton's follow-up album, Secrets was released in 1996 and was a huge success. The album debuted at #2 on the charts, in part to the #1 hit single 'You're Makin' Me High.' The second single, 'Un-Break My Heart' was Braxton's biggest hit, spending eleven weeks at #1. The album won two Grammy's for Braxton and went 8X platinum as well.
Toni Braxton's third album, The Heat, was released in 2000. The first single, 'He Wasn't Man Enough' and the album both peaked at #2 on the charts. The album's other two singles 'Just Be A Man About It' and 'Spanish Guitar' failed to make a great showing on the charts. Nevertheless, the album still managed to reach double platinum status.
In 2002, Braxton released her last album with Artista Records, More Than a Woman. The album was a commercial flop, selling only 435,000 copies. It was also rich in conflict as a dispute erupted first between Braxton and Irv Gotti over his playing a single of hers before it was finished, and with Jay-Z, who used the same sample of 2Pac's 'Me and My Girlfriend' that she had. The album had a significant amount of hip-hop influence, a strange departure from her previous works.
Her most recent album, Libra, was released in 2005. The album had limited promotion from her new label, Blackground, yet still managed to debut at #4. The album has gone gold but still hasn't lived up to Toni Braxton's past sucess.
Recently, Toni Braxton recorded the official song of the 2006 FIFA World Cup 'The Time of Our Lives.' From August 2006 to March 2007, Braxton will be the headlining act of Flamingo Hotel and Casino.
Toni Braxton is married to Musician Keri Lewis, once of the group Mint Condition. They have two children together, both sons. Their names are Denim Cole Braxton-Lewis and Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis.
She has also appeared on Broadway in two Disney shows, 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Aida.' Toni Braxton was the first African American to command the lead role of Belle.