R&B, pop, jazz, gospel singer and star of the hit reality series Braxton Family Values, Toni Braxton walked out on stage in the Etess Arena at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, Saturday night, August 24th.
Wearing a pink evening gown, Braxton was greeted by her fans with a loud and warm welcome. Opening the show with an acoustic rendition of “I Heart You,” Braxton wasted no time showing the audience that the singer who is forty-five, can still sing her heart out. Following the opening number, Braxton changed into a black evening gown before singing the second number, “How Many Ways.” By the third song of the set, “Seven Whole Days,” Braxton was in control and the audience was eating out of her hands.
Looking wonderfully fit and as lovely as ever she moved around the stage sometimes in a very sensuous manner and other times smiling and being much more playful but always a delight. In light of the fact that a few years ago it was hard to imagine she would ever perform again because of her illness. Between songs she thanked her fans for their support and for coming this evening and then told them, “I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2010 and the doctors told me I would never be able to perform again,” said Braxton, “but here I am and I again want to thank you for your support it means so much to me.”
The show included a twenty song set. About half way through the show there was a video interlude of “Braxton Family Values,” followed by another Braxton gracing the stage with a solo performance by sister Trina Braxton of “Party Or Go Home.” Braxton ended the concert with her signature song, “Unbreak My Heart,” which ranks as the second top-selling single of all time by a female artist, as the encore.
The daughter of a preacher, Toni Braxton’s first professional experience was singing in the church choir. She went on to perform with her four sisters, Traci, Trina, Towanda and Tamar and signed on with Arista Records. A solo recording career launched her into the spotlight with her work on the soundtrack of Boomerang, the Eddie Murphy film that sold 10 million copies worldwide with the classics, “Another Sad Love Song” and “Breathe Again.”
Braxton won two Grammy's as Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Another Sad Love Song” in 1993 and another Grammy in the same category the next year for “Breathe Again.” She won a Grammy for R&B vocal performance for “You’re Making Me High” in 1996 and also two Grammy's in Best R&B and Best Pop Female Vocal Performance categories in 1997.
Performing is where it is at for Braxton. In 1996 life seemed to come to an abrupt stop. After selling more than twenty million albums, she was waiting for her royalty checks, which never arrived. She sued her record company which at the time was (Arista Records) and then she filed for bankruptcy. She lost many possessions, including her Grammy's and American Music Awards. Braxton has weathered the storms and as is quick to recite, “But life isn't about things, life is much more than that.”
Braxton has been enjoying success with her Braxton Family Values reality show on the WE Network. The reality series starring Braxton and her sisters is ranked as the #1 show among Afro-American viewers during prime time and #1 among all key women’s demos during prime time among all women’s networks.
Toni Braxton remains one of R&B’s signature voices, still able to bring a lyric to life with richness while joined on stage by her five-piece band and two of her sisters on backing vocals. Toni Braxton makes her audience swoon, smile and want to dance not to mention the strong vocals that have always been a Braxton trademark.