Braxton was born on October 7, 1968, in Severn, Maryland, the oldest of six children. Her father was a clergyman and the Braxton children were raised in a strict religious household. Braxton's first performing experience was singing with a church choir.
Braxton attended Bowie State University to obtain a teaching degree but decided to pursue a musical career. She and her four sisters (Traci, Trina, Towanda and Tamar) performing as "The Braxtons", released their first single The Good Life in 1990. This single attracted the attention of producer Antonio "L.A." Reid which led to Braxton performing for the soundtrack of the movie Boomerang in 1992 and releasing her first album, Toni Braxton in 1993. The album was a critical and popular success and Braxton won a Grammy as Best New Artist. Braxton's second album, Secrets (including her 'signature ballad' Un-Break My Heart written by Diane Warren), was released in 1996 and was another major success, leading to Braxton winning the 1997 Billboard Award for Female R&B Artist of the Year.
Braxton's career suffered a major downturn in 1998 when she declared bankruptcy following a legal dispute with her record company. Her recent albums; The Heat in 2000, Snowflakes, a 2001 Christmas themed album, and More Than A Woman in 2002, while successful, have not matched the phenomenal sales of her earlier work.
In 2001, Braxton made her acting debut in the film Kingdom Come. Braxton has also appeared on Broadway in two Disney shows, "Beauty & the Beast" and "Aida". She and her husband, Keri Lewis, also had their first child, a son Denim Cole Braxton-Lewis, that same year. Their second son Diezel Ky was born in 2003.
Toni Braxton (1992, "Another Sad Love Song", "Breathe Again", "Seven Whole Days", "Love Shoulda Brought You Home", "How Many Ways", "You Mean The World To Me")
Secrets (1996, "You're Makin' Me High", "Un-Break My Heart", "I DoN't Want To", "I Love Me Some Him")
The Heat (2000, "He Wasn't Man Enough", "Spanish Guitar", "Just Be A Man About It")
Snowflakes (2001, "Christmas In Jamaica")
More Than A Woman (2002, "Hit The Freeway")
Ultimate Toni Braxton (2003)