Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quick soundbites from Toni Braxton's Behind the Music special!

Mama we famous
Toni Braxton and her sisters were introduced to the music scene in 1990. Signed to ARISTA records the clan released a single that we all have never heard about. I mean it flopped in the masses. They girls were passed on from Arista to a pair of producers behind a new label called LaFace. After their lackluster sales the Braxton sisters were dropped from their label - with the exception of  Toni Braxton. The producers, LA Reid and Babyface signed Toni to a solo deal and they started working with her in 1993

Love Should Have Bought You Home
In July of 1993 Toni released her self titled debut album which went on to sell  ten million copies worldwide. "It was an incredible roller-coaster ride, sometimes I look back at it and I cant believe that it actually happened to me" says the Grammy award winning singer

Guilt Ridden
Toni felt guilty for leaving her sisters behind when she started achieving fame and success. Her Mom would say about her accolades "Yeah that's great, but don't forget about your sisters". She says she could never accept it and feel comfortable. So she hired her sisters as background singers and put them on payroll. She even pushed LaFace Records to sign her sisters. As we all know their album "The Braxtons" peaked at 113 on the charts and flopped majorly.

"I'm 5'2 and nothing about me is sexy, meaning I don't have great legs or great boobies but Ive always wanted to be sexy. I always felt sexy deep down inside" says the pint sized singer. In June of 1996 her album Secrets was released and she was finally able to unleash her sexy side.

Hated IT!
Toni says when she first heard "Unbreak My Heart" she hated it. LA Reid convinced her to do the song and the ballad became second highest selling single by a female artist in history. It spent a whooping 11 weeks at # 1.

Her deal was a slave contract
By the end of 1997 Toni had sold over twenty million records, you would think she was sitting on racks on racks on racks. That couldn't be further from the truth. Her first royalty statement was for a whooping $2,000. "Her deal was a beginner's deal, I call it a slave contract" says her former manager. Heavy promotion and overhead costs included in her contract made it impossible for her to turn a profit. "When they put you in those limos and give you those wonderful dresses, it's all recouped- meaning they get their money back and when you get what's left" a broke Toni Braxton says. So you see, you might have more money than your favorite singer.

Unbounce my check
With no money to pay her personal bills Toni had to file for bankruptcy. This put her at odd with mentors- LA Reid and Babyface.Speaking about the situation for the first time, Babyface says that the deal with Toni was a joint venture with Arista so they couldn't do anything about it. Their hands were literally tied!

Oprah was so mean to me
Toni says she felt like when she was on the Oprah Winfrey reprimanded her. In an appearance on the talk queen's hit show Mama O said " I heard you have Gucci flatware- I'm Oprah Winfrey and I don't have Gucci flatware". Sorry Toni, I'm with Mama O on this. If you have no money to pay your bills why are buying Gucci flatware? Toni says that moment completely changed her career and made people look down on her. Welp..

We Found Love in a Hopeless Place
After 2 years of dating, Toni and Keri Lewis from Mint Condition got married in April of 2001. Not long after that (seven months to be exact) she gave birth to her son Denim. On the work front she renegotiated a deal with ARISTA for 20 million dollars. Good for her! Obviously after going through a legal case to get her money, her relationship with LA Reid and Babyface also started to deteriorate.

Don't Call it a Comeback
In early 2002, 34 year old Toni became pregnant with her second child. She says the label was upset and they looked at her pregnancy as a disease. Due to high tension and pregnancy - the album only sold 500,000. In April 2003, Toni decided that she wanted out of her contract with LaFace. Hindsight is 20/20 because she says now she should have taken the time to call LA. Looking back she acknowledges that she ruined her professional relationship with them.

Autism & Lupus Strike
Approaching 40 with 2 children to support Toni decided to shakeup her professional career. She moved to Vegas to do a nightly show at the Flamingo Hotel with her sisters during background singing. During her 2 years in Vegas Toni found out that her son Diezel had autism. And to make matters worse in April of 2008 she was also diagnosed with Lupus - an autoimmune disease that slowly attacks the body's organs.

 Not Again Toni
After her diagnosis, Toni was bed ridden and had to cancel the remaining shows. When the insurance company refused to cover the losses, Toni was sued by all the vendors affiliated with the show. She had to file bankruptcy again cause she couldnt afford to pay all the creditors.With the mounting finaccial and health woes- Toni's personal life suffered too. Toni and Keri separated but decided no to divorce for the sake of their children. Hmm they still ain't divorced...I don't think it for the children's sake anymore. Just get back together already!

Braxton Family Values
In 2011, she made another bold career move by agreeing to appear in a reality show. It was Toni's way of making good on her promise she made years ago to help her sisters build their own careers."She put us on this platform to make sure that we can follow our dreams" says sis Traci Braxton. In early 2012 Toni recorded new music for the first time in 3 years and her single "I heart you" reached # 1 on the dance charts.

Aww such a happy ending! I applaud Toni for being so honest about her story. Lawd knows it is embarassing to have to file for bankruptcy twice. I might not have told you guys that! Just kidding! Thoughts on her Behind the Music?


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