Monday, August 18, 2008 3:43:32 AM
Toni Braxton (born Toni Michelle Braxton on October 7, 1967) is an American singer and actress. Known for her husky alto voice, Braxton has won six Grammy Awards and has sold over forty million records worldwide. Her U.S. number-one hit "Un-Break My Heart" is the second biggest single by a female artist ever.
Braxton topped the Billboard 200 with her 1993 self-titled debut and continued that streak with her second studio album Secrets which spawned the number-one smash hit "Un-Break My Heart". After bankruptcy, Braxton returned with her chart-topping third album, The Heat. Her most recent albums were More Than a Woman -- her last relase under the Arista label -- and Libra -- her first and only release on Blackground
Early life and career
Her father was a clergyman, and the Braxton children were raised in a strict religious household. Braxton's first performing experience was singing in her church choir. She attended Bowie State University to obtain a teaching degree but decided to pursue a musical career that began when she was discovered by an industry insider when her heard her singing to herself while pumping gas.
Braxton met footballer Curtis Martin in 1997, but after a year of dating they separated in early 1998, after they separated she met musician Keri Lewis when the group Mint Condition (which he was a member of at that time) opened up for her while she was on tour. On April 21, 2001, they married. On December 2, 2001, she gave birth to their first child, a son named Denham Cole Braxton-Lewis. The couple's second son, Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis, was born on March 31, 2003. The couple currently lives in the Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas.
In an October 2006 concert at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, it was reported that Braxton broke down in tears discussing her son, Diezel, who was recently diagnosed with autism. Braxton has been outspoken regarding her doctor's failure to diagnose Diezel's condition earlier, contending that if he had been diagnosed earlier, he could have been helped.
As of August 2007, rumors surfaced that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Toni stated to Access Hollywood that the breast cancer rumors were false and that her health is in great condition.
On April 8, 2008, Braxton was taken to a hospital. Pettit says she expects Braxton to be released Tuesday afternoon. Pettit says she doesn't know the nature of Braxton's ailment or where she was when she became ill. Braxton is currently performing at the Flamingo hotel. According to several news reports, Braxton's gigs for April 2008 have been cancelled. Since her hospitalization, gigs for the month of May 2008 have also been cancelled. She is expected to return June 6, 2008 depending on her condition. Her two year run at the hotel officially ends August 23, when Donny & Marie Osmond will take over in September.
As well as becoming a spokeswoman for Autism Speaks she is also a spokeswoman for The American Heart Association.
It was announced by Associated Press on May 29, 2008 that the remaining dates for Toni Braxton Revealed have been cancelled. The show was scheduled to end August 2008. A hotel official said that doctors advised Braxton to take the rest of the time off to concentrate on her health. The singer suffered from heart aggravated problems resulting from the birth of her second child, which endangered the walls of her heart. Braxton was confirmed to be doing well later next month, when TMZ cameras caught her outside a restaurant. Braxton says she is doing much better and thanks the support of her fans.