Who is Toni Braxton and what has she contributed to music?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Toni Braxton is an R&B singer-songwriter, pianist, record producer, and philanthropist. Braxton began as a choir singer in the church, then formed a group with her four sisters. her smooth, sultry voice evokes reaction from all ages and levels of society. Steve Huey of Allmusic points to the versatility of her voice, stating that is is

"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."

Despite health problems and a tumultuous career in which she has had professional disputes and litigation as well two bankruptcies, Braxton has been successful as a recording artist, selling over 10 million albums worldwide, having won 3 Grammy Awards and 2 American Music Awards in 1994-1995. In addition, she won awards in those years for Favorite Soul/R&B Album. Later, she was certified 8x platinum in America.

Appearing on Dancing With the Stars performing on Broadway and in the Flamigo Hotel of Las Vegas, Miss Braxton has achieved fame as the first African-American in a Broadway lead role and as the first African-American to enter the top ten Vegas shows charting.

She has been a leader in the fight for awareness and care of those with Autism as her younger son Diezel suffers from this condition. And, because of her own fight against lupus, Toni has relinquished her career. Nevertheless, her soulful vocals and her performances have touched millions.