TONI BRAXTON, Thank You For Sharing Your Story

By: Lisa Brown

I hope everyone tuned into the last episode of VH1’s, “Behind the Music.” Singing superstar, Toni Braxton was the featured artist. I must say, I love Toni Braxton!! I’ve always loved her music since I was younger. I think she’s an incredible talent. You know I always tune into every episode of her new family reality show, “Braxton Family Values.” Her youngest sister, Tamar and her husband, Vince Herbert, Toni’s ex-manager, also have their own spin-off show, “Tamar and Vince.” You can catch both shows on WE TV.

It was definitely great to hear Toni share so much of herself. She has no doubt, been through so many ups and downs, including financial woes. She ended up going bankrupt twice. Because of her son, Denim’s, health issues with autism and her own health struggles with the disease, Lupus, she ended up in debt because the royalty checks she was making from her record company were not nearly enough to live off of.

The way her contract was set up, she basically was working, working, working and not really making much from it because she had to pay everybody else. She got whatever was left over. She eventually ended up suing her label, LaFace/Artista Records for $20 million dollars. Though she won, this soured her relationship with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and L.A. Reid.

One of the things she discussed that stood out to me was about her interview on the Oprah Winfrey show back in the 90s. Winfrey was very judgmental of her and seemed to pointing the finger at her and blaming her for why she was in debt. Toni felt Winfrey made people  turn against her even more, especially when she mentioned that she had Gucci flatware. She said, “I’m Oprah Winfrey and I don’t even have Gucci
flatware.” I personally thought that was crasp and heartless of Winfrey to try and make Toni feel so small. She didn’t even know her like that, you never judge people because you don’t know their struggles and you’re not perfect yourself. Nobody is, not even Oprah Winfrey.

I don’t know why Toni didn’t correct Oprah and the whole world right then. That’s the best time to set the records straight, right on national TV on the Oprah show. I’m so glad she was able to find strength a midst the turmoil and chaos and get herself on a brand new healthy path for herself and her children of course.

________________________________________________________________________________

Let’s talk Ciara…

Now, on to Ms. Ciara and her new single and video for “Got Me Good,” I LOVE IT! I think Ciara is ready now. She is officially back. In the video, she was dressed in all white, nothing too fancy or spectacular but her dance moves were awesome! She was just like she was when she first came out, even better. The song is a party anthem, club type of jam.

It’s something that you definitely start moving your body too once you hear it in the club. I think she is really doing the damn thing with these new songs of hers, “Sorry” and “Got Me Good.” I for one, cannot wait to get the album. I hope it drops when she say it’s going to drop. I will be downloading that onto my Ipod immediately.

If you have not seen Ciara’s new video, just go to YouTube.com and type it in the search box. If you missed Toni on Behind the Music, go to VH1.com/behind the music.

Lisa Brown is a magazine journalism student at Columbia College Chicago.  In addition to journalism, she also writes fiction, penning poems, stories and songs.

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