Grammy Award-winning singer Toni Braxton was born on October 7, 1967 as Toni Michelle Braxton. She attended Bowie State University and originally planned to pursue a degree in teaching. However, she was discovered by an industry insider that shot her to fame with a musical career. During the late 1980s, Toni and her four sisters (Traci, Trina, Towanda and Tamar) performed as the group, The Braxtons, and were signed to Arista Records. Their first single was unsuccessful, but they got the attention of Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. In June 1993, Toni Braxton released her self-titled debut album. It peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart, and turned the singer into a success. This won her several accolades, including three Grammy Awards and two American Music Awards.
Toni Braxton’s second album, Secrets, became the highlight of her career, especially with the single “Un-break My Heart.” However, she became tangled in controversy during the time. The highly publicized bankruptcy, however, enabled her to focus on an acting career, and she played Belle in the Disney musical Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Her next project was her third album, The Heat, having the first single released in 2000. She then found herself topping the Billboard Year-End Charts as the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Artist — Female, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album Artist — Female, and Top Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Artist — Female. She also received the 2000 Aretha Franklin Award for Entertainer of the Year at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.
In November 2002, she released More Than a Woman, her fourth studio album, followed by her departure from Arista Records. She released Libra under Blackground Records, but it ac!$#!#ulated poor sales. In 2008, it was reported that Toni Braxton would be joining the series Dancing with the Stars, appearing during its seventh season as a contestant. She has been paired up with Alec Mazo. Joining 13 other couples, the two are set to perform various types of dances that will enable them to win the much-coveted mirror ball trophy. The show is hosted by Emmy Award-winning game show host Tom Bergeron, and features Len Goodman, Carrie Anne Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli as the panel of judges.