We’re counting down the days until the second season premiere of Braxton Family Values! But since we can barely wait until Thursday, November 10 for the latest on Toni, we thought we’d keep you busy with 20 fun facts about your favorite R&B singer (and reality star)!
1. Toni Michelle Braxton was born on Oct. 7, 1968, in Severn, Maryland.
2. She’s the eldest daughter of Evelyn and Michael Braxton. Her mom married at 18 and gave birth to Toni one year later.
3. Toni has four sisters: Traci, Towanda, Trina and Tamar. She has one brother, Michael Braxton Jr.
4. Toni loved “Soul Train” as a kid. She also listened to Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan.
5. Toni studied to be a teacher at Bowie State University, but she was discovered by William E. Pettaway Jr., who heard her singing to herself while pumping gas.
6. Toni and her sisters formed a group called “The Braxtons” in the late ‘80s and were signed to Arista Records in 1989. Their first and only single, “Good Life,” was released in 1990.
7. Toni’s first solo single, “Love Shoulda Brought You Home,” was written for Anita Baker for the soundtrack of the 1992 Eddie Murphy movie, “Boomerang.” But Baker, who was pregnant at the time, suggested that Braxton record the song instead.
9. On July 13, 1993, LaFace Records released Braxton’s self-titled debut album, “Toni Braxton.” The album reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart.
9. Toni has won six Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist in 1993.
10. Toni’s song “Let It Flow” was recorded for and included on the soundtrack to the hit 1995 movie “Waiting to Exhale.”
11. Toni’s signature song, “Un-Break My Heart,” spent 11 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart in 1996-1997. The song is the second biggest-selling single by a female singer in Billboard history behind Whitney Houston’s, “I Will Always Love You.”
12. Toni co-wrote the 1997 single “How Could an Angel Break My Heart,” which was also later included on the “Diana, Princess of Wales Tribute.”
13. Toni made her Broadway debut as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” in 1998. It was the first time a black woman played the lead role Broadway, and the first time a black woman starred in a Disney musical on Broadway. The song “A Change in Me” was written for Braxton and has been used in the musical ever since.
14. In February 2000, Toni performed with Enrique Iglesias and Christina Aguilera at the Super Bowl halftime show.
15. Toni met musician Keri Lewis when his group, Mint Condition, opened for her on her tour; they married on April 21, 2001.
16. On December 2, 2001, Toni gave birth to her first child with Keri, a son named Denim Cole Braxton-Lewis. The couple’s second son, Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis, was born on March 31, 2003.
17. Toni appeared on the season finale of “American Idol” in 2006, where she performed Elvis Presley’s “In the Ghetto” with Taylor Hicks.
18. Toni replaced Wayne Newton as the new headlining act at Las Vegas’ Flamingo Hotel and Casino in 2006. “Toni Braxton: Revealed” became the first headlining show from an African American to enter the top 10 Vegas shows charting.
19. Toni appeared in the seventh season of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2008. She was voted off in week five of the competition.
20. In 2011, Toni turned down an offer to pose in Playboy, citing her young sons. But she’s still sexy to us!