Although adamant when she broke the news in February 2013 that she was retiring from the music industry full-time, and declared she would not be doing “[any] new projects,” Toni Braxton has definitely proven it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. Sure she meant it at the time, shocked fans no doubt gave a collective gasp!
But the good news is that within a matter of months, Braxton did a surprising about-face and changed her tune – figuratively speaking. And we’re delighted to hear new vocals from her gracing the airwaves again (and digitally). So, move over Tamar! Big sis Toni: The sultry voiced songstress, who had fans swaying to classic favorites including “Another Sad Love Song” and “Love Shoulda Brought You Home,” has returned to making the music we love!
One of the premier voices that defined the 90s, Braxton’s signature deep-throated, soulful delivery helped to make her an instant American music idol with a string of consecutive hits, starting with a self-titled debut album in 1993. It yielded super hits, “You Mean the World to Me” and “Breathe Again.” Her second album “Secrets,” produced megahit “Un-break My Heart” in 1996.
She announced the same year that she would be re-joining singer/songwriter Kenny “Babyface Edmonds, half of the hit- making producing team of LaFace Records (along with L.A. Reid), with whom she began her career. Braxton and Edmonds’ first duet released off of their upcoming CD on the Motown label, titled: “Hurt You,” is out and giving the younger Braxton sister’s current cuts from “Love and War,” some unavoidable sisterly competition. Tamar reportedly told Yahoo Music that she pushed her original project back because “it sounded too much like Toni.” A wise decision on her part, as I believe the public too, would much rather hear the elder Braxton than a sound-alike.
Read: Tamar Braxton Says First Album Sounded Too Much Like Toni
Not disappointing, her long-awaited comeback to the music scene was well worth the wait. Instead of the initially reported early December release date, “Love, Marriage and Divorce,” Braxton’s latest collaboration with Edmonds, will be available to the public a month earlier than anticipated. Both divorcees now, they’re more aware heartbreak can be leveraged in many ways, which they tackle in their first song. Braxton just finalized her divorce in July, according to ETonline. We’d like to think it was love (for the music) that shoulda brought [her] back. It’s apropos, as the opening lyrics to the tune appropriately begin “Here we go again.”
At the time of her initial statement shocker, Toni said she wanted to concentrate on acting. During her self-imposed retirement, she along with Tamar, her other sisters and their mother took to the world of Reality TV, starring in the WEtv cable show Braxton Family Values.
Reportedly due to health concerns having to do with her Lupus, which she discussed on the Dr. Oz Show, the singer embarked on the reality series beginning in 2011.
However, long before her little sister released her first CD to little fanfare in 2000, the six-time Grammy winner was a solo chart-topper nearly a decade before. Following a deal Toni helped obtain with Arista Records for the group The Braxtons (comprised of Toni and her sisters), which later fell through after only one recording, Braxton went on to become part of the stellar lineup of performers on the successful soundtrack for the highly grossing film, “Waiting to Exhale.” Whitney Houston sang the title track that also featured musical heavy hitters Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan and Mary J. Blige.
WATCH Video: “Unbreak My Heart“
Braxton faced additional financial difficulties, which again became public when it was reported that she lost the rights to several of her songsbecause she didn’t have the money to bid on them.
Braxton’s presently on the comeback trail, and h er comeback couldn’t have come at a more opportune time to help the singing star rebound and regain her place among the top echelon of R&B musical artists. A fter being off the music scene for so long she needs to re-build a repertoire of popular signature ballads, which she can claim as her own.
If the single “Hurt You” is any indication of what’s to come, her fan base is looking forward to Braxton churning out more of her musical magic. They’re hoping she brings it to the stage when she returns to touring and performing in concert! The door never shut on her. Hopefully she stays a long, long time.
We missed you, Toni. Welcome back!
All the best.