There are so many legendary female R&B artists in the history of music. With over 70 million, there are very few of them who have sold more records than the iconic Toni Braxton.
Toni was born in Severn, Maryland. She is the eldest of six children born to her father Michael Conrad Braxton Sr. and mother Evelyn Jackson. The Braxton’s grew up in a strict religious household so it only makes sense that Toni got her experience singing in the church choir. In the late 1980s, Toni and her four sisters Traci, Towanda, Trina, and Tamar began performing as The Braxtons. They eventually signed to Arista Records in 1989. Although their first single wasn’t successful, it got the attention of record executive Antonio “L.A.” Reid and record producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. She soon signed to LaFace Records, their Arista-distributed imprint.
Since then, she has released nine solo studio albums (Toni Braxton (1993), Secrets (1996), The Heat (2000), Snowflakes (2001), More Than A Woman (2002), Libra (2005), Pulse (2010), Sex & Cigarettes (2018), Spell My Name(2020) and one collaboration album with Babyface (Love, Marriage and Divorce). Throughout her illustrious career, she has won numerous awards including seven Grammys, seven American Music Awards, nine Billboard awards and countless more. On top of her success in music, she also made her mark in the acting and fashion worlds. Additionally, Braxton is a spokeswoman for Autism Speaks and the American Heart Association.
The superstar has been recognized for her distinctive voice. The versatility of her voice is a huge key to her success. When describing her voice, Steve Huey of AllMusic stated that it’s, “soulful enough for R&B audiences, but smooth enough for adult contemporary; sophisticated enough for adults, but sultry enough for younger listeners; strong enough in the face of heartbreak to appeal to women, but ravishing enough to nab the fellas.” She has been credited as an influence by a number of artists including Beyoncé, Keyshia Cole, Teyana Taylor, Kehlani and many more. On her special day, we celebrate this Inspiration Queen with a gallery of some of our favorite photos of her over the years. HAPPY 55TH BIRTHDAY TO THE FIRST LADY OF LAFACE, MS. TONI BRAXTON!