Toni Braxton Undressed
Toni Michelle Braxton (born October 7, 1966) is a six-time Grammy Award winning American R&B singer. She is most notable for her dark, deep, thick contralto vocals, which are low even by contralto standards.
Braxton and her four sisters (Traci, Trina, Towanda, and Tamar) began performing as The Braxtons in the late 1980s and were signed to Arista Records in 1989. Their first single, "The Good Life", was released in 1990. Though the song was not very successful, it attracted the attention of producing team Antonio "L.A." Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.
Braxton entered the studio in 1995 to begin recording her sophomore album, Secrets. The album, released in 1996, is her most successful work to date. Braxton, Babyface, and Reid stuck with the same formula for the album but added more soul to the sound. Braxton has said about the album, "The motivation for this album was to include a little bit of everything. Our aim was to come up with material that would have a familiar 'feel' to the people who bought the first album without being musically redundant." Along with Babyface, Braxton also worked with R. Kelly, Tony Rich, and David Foster on the album. Braxton was the co-executive producer of the album and co-wrote two of its songs, including the 1997 single "How Could An Angel Break My Heart" which was also later included on a Princess Diana memorial album.
With help from the album's first single, "You're Makin' Me High" (which became Braxton's first #1 hit on the Hot 100 singles chart), the album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. "You're Makin' Me High" also topped the R&B singles chart for two weeks and saw similar success in Europe and Asia, expanding the prominence of Braxton on an increasing international clientele. The album's second single, "Un-Break My Heart" (written by Diane Warren), which would later become the singer's signature song, became the biggest hit of her career spending eleven weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 and also topping the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart for eleven weeks and the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart for four weeks. Other singles from the album included the double-side "I Don't Want To"/"I Love Me Some Him" (which also topped the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart) and the above-mentioned "How Could An Angel Break My Heart" which featured Kenny G, who Braxton later toured with.