Toni Braxton, the first of five children of a preacher and an opera singer, grew up in a household with many rules. Braxton's musical mom organized her daughters into a choir that performed at church, weddings and talent contests. When she was 19, Braxton and her siblings landed a recording contract. Their first single, "The Good Life," got a lukewarm response, but it caught the attention of mega-producers L.A. Reid and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. They wanted to sign Braxton as a solo artist and, with her family's blessing, she agreed.
Braxton released her first album in July 1993. It sold 10 million copies and won two Grammy Awards. Her follow-up, "Secrets," spawned two major hits, including the signature song "Un-Break My Heart." Along the way, Braxton made a few missteps, including stripping down for a controversial Vibe magazine cover. Her finances were also falling apart. In 1998, the singer who had sold 15 million records was forced to file for bankruptcy.
Braxton sought refuge on Broadway, becoming the first African-American to play the lead in "Beauty and the Beast." Offstage, Braxton started a whirlwind romance with musician Keri Lewis, who stuck with her through the tough times. Braxton returned to her music career, repaired the relationship with her producers and released her third album in March 2000. The single "He Wasn't Man Enough" reached number one and earned the superstar her sixth Grammy. Her love life took an upturn as well; Braxton married Lewis in April 2001. On their wedding night, Braxton surprised her new husband with the good news that they were expecting a child, and son Denim Cole was born in December 2001. Braxton gave birth to her second child Diezel Ky Braxton Lewis in April 2003. She also continues to give birth to new music; her next album, "More Than a Woman," will be released in November 2002.