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Toni Braxton

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Toni Michelle Braxton Lewis was born October 7th, 1967 in Severn, Maryland. She grew up singing with her sisters and in the church choir. Her father who is a preacher had banned all pop music in the home but that didn't stop Toni and her sisters from watching Soul Train on tv when their parents were out of the house. As a result, Toni soon discovered her own music talent.

Along with her four sisters Toni signed with Arista Records in 1990 as the group "The Braxtons". They released one single called "The good life" which unfortunatley flopped. The Braxtons got a second chance when Arista let them audition for a new record label called LaFace Records. During the audition Toni was noticed by producer Kenneth "Babyface" Rogers who made it clear that he wanted to do a solo project with Toni alone. She was the first female artist signed to the label and two singles were recorded.

Toni's first appearance on the pop and R&B charts came with two singles, "Love Shoulda Brought You Home" and a duet with Babyface called "Give U My Heart". Her debut LP "Toni Braxton" was realeased in 1993.

The next singles released was "Another Sad Love Song" and "Breathe Again" which ruled the charts. The success didn't slow down when the 1994 hits "Seven Whole Days", "You Mean The World To Me", "How Many Ways" and "I Belong To You" was realeased.

She was now a top selling artist when she went back in the studio to record her sophmore album.

Toni's second album, "Secrets", was released in 1996 and held her first nr one pop hits; "You're Makin' Me High" and "Un-Break My Heart". For the first time Toni was also co-executive producer and co-wrote two of the songs.

Next Toni wanted to start an acting career and in 1997, she was close to take a role in "The Frankie Lymon Story" but turned it down because of schedue problems.

In December, 1997, her sweet success started to go sour when she made a lawsuit against Arista and LaFace Records. Toni claimed that she had fulfilled her original seven year contract and that she wanted to be released from it. Arista, however, did not want to let Toni go.

It was reported that Toni had received far less per album than most artists of her status get. Toni said of the lawsuit: "I can't talk about the suit, but I love those guys very much. It's just business."

In January 1998, Toni filed for bankruptcy protection with liabilities totaling more than $1 million. The filing was result of recent disputes over her contract with Arista and LaFace Records. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey Toni said that she trusted the wrong people and that it was 100% her fault. Starting over, Toni took the lead role in the Broadway musical "Beauty and the Beast".

In early 1999 the legal dispute with Toni's label had been settled and she was once again in the studio working on her third album.

Toni's next album entitled "The Heat" was realesed in april, 2000. The first single from the album "He Wasen't Man Enough" topped the Billboard R&B/HipHop chart for four weeks.

Even though "The Heat" did not sell as many copies as her previous albums Toni still had personal success when she got engaged to Keri Lewis from Mint Condition.

In april of 2001 Toni got married to Keri Lewis and it was also announced that she was pregnant. Even though she was pregnant Toni released a holiday album called "Snowflakes". The album was completely produced by Toni herself and her husband. Shortly after the release Toni gave birth to a baby boy.

Being a mother slowed Toni' career down, but not for long. In the summer of 2002 she starred in the VH1 movie "Play'd" in which took the role as Shonda and she also started to record her fifth album entitled "More Than A Woman".

In 2003 Toni gave birth to her second son. With deminishing record sales she decided to go back to Broadway to star as the title role in "Aida". She also released "Ultimate Toni Braxton" which is a hits compilation with two new songs, "Whatchu Need" and "The Little Things".

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