She was first apprehensive about joining reality television, but now Toni Braxton is telling all her business inside her newly released memoir, Unbreak My Heart.
Braxton tells her story of growing up with her family in Severn, Maryland. She was the oldest of four sisters, Trina, Tamar, Traci, Towanda and their brother Michael.
The family grew up very religious, in a Apostolic Pentecostal congregation, Pillar of Truth.
Women were expected to “cover their nakedness” by wearing skirts, dresses and full stockings throughout the year, or you “would go to hell!”
“I began connecting religion, God and church with judgement, anxiety, and guilt. Our family had fallen into religious extremism,” Toni writes
In the early 90s, Toni signed with LaFace Records as a singer/songwriter. Once she added a few coins to her bank account, she began to change her look. “I’d been wanting to change my nose for years- I wanted it to be less broad. But because of the conservative ideas I was raised with, I struggled with the thought of altering my body. And of course, I later got my boobies done. I’d always been shaped like a gymnast-size double A breasts and thunder thighs. In fact, I wish I would’ve had lipo on my inner thighs. I’ve always hated them,” Toni writes.
Known for belting out some of your favorite R&B hits, Toni Braxton has become a household name for another part of her life as well.
That pesky bankruptcy.
After signing her record deal, Toni was paid $1.6 million. But, after paying taxes, managers and lawyer fees, she was left with $600,000.
After buying a home, leasing a Jeep Cherokee, and spending nights at the Four Seasons in New York, the 46-year-old’s money was starting to dwindle down.
“My only regret was having no one to share the room with,” Toni writes.
In order to reach a white audience, Clive Davis wanted the songstress to go on tour with Kenny G. This lead her to borrowing one million dollars to pay for a band, set, lights, background dancers, and wardrobe.
Shortly after, Toni filed for bankruptcy.
Because she was in debt, her next royalty check for a low $2,000.
Pretty soon, the mother of two was in debt by $4 million. She sued her producer and Arista records after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy for the second time. Toni signed a bad contract that let her record company receive the marketing costs of her albums, instead of underwriting the expenses. An agreement with the label was made, in which Toni received $20 million.
“Even though I was trying to act strong, I felt broken,” she wrote.
Read more of Toni’s story in her memoir which was released today. Be sure to watch the new season four of ‘Braxton Family Values’ this summer.