Toni Braxton's been riding the roller coaster of fame ever since she broke into the R&B world in 1996 with the breakup anthem of all breakup anthems, "Un-Break My Heart."
Through the '90s and early 2000s, the singer snagged six Grammys, seven American Music Awards, and nine Billboard trophies. Fame was clearly on her side. But then fortune turned on Toni and the songstress was forced to file for bankruptcy twice, in 1998 and again in 2010.
In spite of all of the ups and downs, though, one thing has remained unchanged: Braxton's diva tendencies.
Somewhere along the way, the star recorded a few not-so-great albums she describes "like that one-night stand that you don't want to talk about." And recently, she was outbid on a $20,000 bankruptcy settlement, losing the rights to 27 songs, including "You're Making Me High," "How Many Ways," and "Always."
Her career and life has definitely had its highs and lows, but the star is making a comeback. She's currently on tour, stopping at the James L. Knight Center on August 29, and working on her latest album, Love, Marriage, & Divorce with Babyface out in December.
So yes, Ms. Braxton's survived. She's remained unfazed by failure. And here are five reasons she's still a total diva.
She blamed her 1998 bankruptcy on her home décor addiction.
"I love dishes and house things, so I kind of lost it a little bit on the houseware," the star fessed during an interview with ABC's 20/20 in late 2012. "That's what I indulged in. I loved that part of it. I'm a little odd." When you're a six-time Grammy Award-winning artist, guess you can never have enough fine China, Faberge eggs, and 1,000 thread-count sheets. "The money is lovely. I can't deny the money is yummy."
She contemplated posing for Playboy.
"There's nothing wrong with doing Playboy," the songstress admitted. "The women are beautiful. I thought about it. The money was tempting, but I'm thinking, I have kids, I have a son, I have boys. What are their friends going to say? 'I saw Denim and Diesel's mom's knockers.' That's not a good thing." We're pretty sure her kids will thank her for sparing them the public shame of constantly hearing, "Hey, your mom has a solid pair of hooters."
She freely embraces "her inner slut."
Before she became the Queen B she is today, Braxton was a good ol' preacher's kid who "[wore] pants until [she] was 14 years old... [because] 'A woman should cover her nakedness'." Oh, how things have changed... "The way I dress would be considered provocative, but I enjoy being who I am now. I'm comfortable with my inner slut." More power to you, Toni.
She has her own reality TV show.
Have you seen her on Braxton Family Values? In the season three opener, Toni looses her cool when a background singer contestant, who was asked to sing a Toni Braxton song, goes all Chaka Kahn on her. "I will not hire you for that, you've lost the gig because of that." She rambles on, "You can't work for me because if I ask you to go on stage and sing something, and you go against me, you're gone. You're on the bus, you're on the plane, probably on a bus I will send you home." Uh, what a prima donna.
She pulled off an (accidental?) wardrobe malfunction.
You know you've made it as a diva when you give your audience a full view of your derriere during a performance, are handed a coat from a fan to use as a cover up, and carry on as if it was all part of the show. That's exactly what happened to Braxton. While shimming away at a gig in New Brunswick, NJ, the singer gave her fans more than what they bargained for when her dress slipped and exposed her bare ass. The most impressive part of it all? How smoothly she kept on doing her thang. What else would you expect? After all, she's "Toni Braxton, the entertainer, the singer."
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.