Our Top 10 Toni Braxton Songs takes a look at a brilliant singer born on October 7, 1967 who has become a legend in the music business. Toni Braxton started out singing with her sisters. They formed a group called The Braxtons. They were signed to Arista Records. Toni caught the attention of L.A. Reid and Babyface. They only wanted to sign her to their label LaFace Records. Her sisters were surprisingly supportive of her decision to sign as a solo artist. She signed with LaFace in the early 90s.
Braxton’s first eponymous album came out in 1993. It sold over 10 million copies worldwide. She released several songs from this album. The singles are “Another Sad Love Song,” “Breathe Again,” “Seven Whole Days,” “You Mean the World To Me” and “I Belong To You/How Many Ways.” She released her second album Secrets in 1996. She worked with Babyface, R Kelly, Tony Rich, David Foster, Diane Warren as well as other writers. This CD debuted at number two on the charts. It sold over 15 million copies worldwide. This CD features the singles “You’re Making Me High,” “Un-break My Heart,” “I Don’t Want To” and “How Could an Angel Break My Heart.” “You’re Making Me High” was Braxton’s first number one song on the pop charts.
She released her third album The Heat in 2000. Toni Braxton was dealing with lawsuits from her record label before this album was released. She decided to be more involved with this project. She wanted this album to sound more urban than her previous work. This album debuted at number two. It sold more than four million copies. This album features the singles “He Wasn’t Man Enough,” “Just Be a Man About It,” “Spanish Guitar” and “Maybe.” In 2001, she made her movie debut in the film Kingdom Come. The movie was a modest hit at the box office. She released a Christmas album called Snowflakes. Braxton, Babyface, Keri Lewis and Daryl Simmons worked on the album.
In 2002, she released her fourth album More Than a Woman. She wasn’t able to promote this album because she was pregnant at the time. This was one of her lowest debuting CDs. It peaked at number 13 on the charts. The first single “Hit the Freeway” didn’t do well on the charts. This single did so poorly that no other single was released from this album. This album only went gold. She left Arista Records after being with the label for 14 years. She signed with Blackground/Universal Records.
In 2003, she released her fifth album Libra. This album debuted at number four on the pop charts. This album went gold. The album features the singles “Please,” “Trippin’ That’s the Way Love Works,” “Take This Ring,” “Suddenly” and “The Time of Our Lives.” The singles on this album failed to chart. She left Blackground/Universal Records in 2009. She signed with Atlantic Records. She released her sixth album Pulse in 2010. It was a mix of up-tempos and ballads. It debuted at number nine on the charts. It was her fifth album to debut in the top 10. This album features the singles “Yesterday,” “Hands Tied” and “Make My Heart.”
In 2013, Braxton teamed up with Babyface and did a duet album called Love, Marriage and Divorce. It debuted at number four on the charts. It received positive reviews. It won a Grammy for R&B album. The album features the singles “Hurt You,” “Where Did We Go Wrong” and “Rollercoaster.” “Hurt You” spent 41 weeks on the charts. It was another number one hit for Braxton. This is her sixth top 10 pop album.
In 2018, she released Sex and Cigarettes. It was her first solo album in eight years. It debuted at 22 on the pop charts and number one on the r&b charts. The album features the singles “Deadwood,” “Long As I Live” and “FOH.” She signed with Island Records in 2020. She released Spell My Name in 2020. The album features the singles “Do It” and “Dance.” “Do It” was another number one hit song for Braxton. She released the song “Gotta Move On” featuring H.E.R. on her YouTube account and it peaked at number four on the adult r&b songs charts.
Toni Braxton debuted at a time when there was a lot of competition from other r&b divas. She managed to make her mark in the music industry. She also managed to have a long career where other singers in the same genre couldn’t survive in the music business. Braxton has a lot of songs that could have made the Top 10 list, but we can only choose 10 songs.
# 10 – He Wasn’t Man Enough
The first song on our Top 10 Toni Braxton Songs list is the sultry “He Wasn’t Man Enough” from the underrated album The Heat. This smooth dance song was the lead single from this album. This song is a mix of dance, pop and r&b. This song proved that she could do more than just sing ballads. She showed that she could sing a song with tempo. This song is about her warning a woman not to marry a man that she knows isn’t good enough. At the time this song was released, she was mostly known for singing about heartbreak from her point of view. This song gave her a chance to give advice to another woman.
She has a low alto voice which was very prominent in this song. Her voice is husky in the verses, which makes her hard to understand. She sounds as if she’s mumbling throughout the song. Out of all of the songs on the list, she sounds the most incoherent in this song. It doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a good song.
# 9 – Seven Whole Days
The next song on our Top 10 Toni Braxton Songs list is the hypnotic “Seven Whole Days” from the stellar debut album. This is the third song from the album. This smooth r&b and jazz ballad is perfect for quiet storm radio. It is a song about not hearing from her man in a week. Her smoky vocals are reminiscent of Anita Baker. She uses a growl in the bridge. She does runs, which might have been a challenge with her alto tone, but she was up for the challenge. The music is sensual and romantic. It’s weird that it sounds like baby-making music when she is describing how a man hasn’t been in touch with her in a week. L.A. Reid and Babyface proved why they were a dynamic songwriting duo because they created a masterpiece.
# 8 – You’re Making Me High
This extraordinary song is the lead single from the outstanding Secrets album. This wonderful song has a midtempo beat. This provocative song is about her pleasuring herself while her man isn’t home. Babyface wanted to give her something different to sing and he accomplished his goal. She surprisingly didn’t want to sing this song at first. She grew up in a religious household and wasn’t comfortable singing this type of song. Babyface convinced her to take the risk and it paid off for her. This was her first number one hit. It has slinky base sound to it. The infectious guitar riff will hook you as soon as the song starts. The percussion will reel you in as well. Her sultry vocals were on point in this song. She didn’t do any vocal tricks, but it wasn’t needed in order to be a great one.
# 7 – Breathe Again
This silky smooth song is the second single from her enormously popular debut album. It is smooth r&b mixed with jazz. It is perfect for r&b and jazz radio. This song is about her losing her mind if her boyfriend left her. Here is some trivia about the song. Babyface did this song with Coko from SWV. Coko recorded the demo for the song. Braxton’s vocals are mesmerizing and hypnotic. Her dreamy and breathy vocals breathe life into the song. Her voice throbs when she sings. You can tell she is determined not to lose the man she loves. Babyface wrote a very beautiful song for her and she nailed it effortlessly. The music is soft and melodic and blends well with her vocals.
# 6 – You Mean the World To Me
This romantic Toni Braxton song is the fourth single from the hugely successful debut album. This is an r&b ballad. This is a beautiful love song that describes how she feels about the man she loves. It is a contrast to the rest of the album because most of the songs are about heartbreak. It was a nice change to hear her sing a love song. Once again her sultry and husky vocals are on point. She already has a low voice, but she manages to go even lower.
Toni Braxton digs down deep into her arsenal to deliver amazing vocals. Toni Braxton sounds similar to Anita Baker when she sings in her lower register. She sounds similar to Whitney Houston when she decides to go up an octave. She does some surprising runs and holds little notes. The notes could have been a disaster with her tone of voice, but she nailed it. She proved to the world that she has a versatile voice and can sing with either tone.
# 5 – Another Sad Love Song
This infectious ballad is the first single taken from the immensely popular debut album. This is an r&b ballad. The song is about trying to move on from a bad break up, but she can’t because she keeps hearing love songs on the radio. Her enticing voice sounds incredible on this heartbreaking song. The music was slow and rhythmic which was perfect for her smoky vocals. Her vocals were raw and raspy even when the music was smooth and silky. She sings this song as if she is really suffering from the pain of heartbreak. You would never know that she didn’t write this song because she sings it as if she did. L.A., Babyface and Daryl Simmons wrote an outstanding song for her.
# 4 – I Don’t Want To
The next song on our Top 10 Toni Braxton Songs list is the incomparable “I Don’t Want To” taken from the baby making Secrets album. This amazing song is the third single from this album. This r&b ballad is about the end of a relationship. R Kelly showed that he is an amazing songwriter and producer with this song. He managed not to make the song sound clichéd. He chose to go a different route. He chose to make the song gut wrenching and soulful. It gave Braxton the opportunity to flex her vocal muscles.
Toni Braxton takes us on a vocal roller coaster ride because her vocals are up and down. She starts the song off in her lower husky voice and branches out in a higher voice towards the middle and end of the song. The music requires her to sing in a higher key and she showed that she was up for the challenge. She holds impeccable notes towards the end of the song. This song is flawless.
# 3 – Give U My Heart ft. Babyface
This heart thumping dance song is from the r&b flavored Boomerang soundtrack. This is the song that introduced the world to Toni Braxton. It also marks the first duet for Braxton and Babyface. This has an r&b and pop sound. The music is infectious and impossible to sit still through while listening to it. It has the perfect r&b beat without sounding dated. The drums and percussion are the stars of the track. They really make the music stand out. Babyface and Braxton’s voices blend well together. They have musical chemistry with each other. They both have equal time to shine vocally throughout the song. Braxton sounds like a professional considering this is one of her first songs. Babyface brought out the best in Braxton. It’s not easy for people to sing with Babyface because he usually outshines them, but Braxton showed that she could hold her own up against him.
# 2 – Love Should Have Brought You Home
This passionate song is the fourth single from the hit-making Boomerang soundtrack. This is a slow groove r&b song. It is a song about betrayal. This anthemic song is perfect for people who have dealt with infidelity. It was written for the movie, but listeners could relate to it as well. Here is some trivia about this relatable song. It wasn’t originally written for Braxton. This song was originally written for Anita Baker. Baker turned down the song because she was pregnant. Baker’s loss was Braxton’s gain because this song was a success for Braxton. It’s also hard to imagine anyone other than Braxton singing this song.
Braxton’s sultry and husky vocals are the star of the song. She sings the song with raw passion. You can hear the gut-wrenching pain in her voice. The background vocals are just as incredible as the lead vocals. They compliment her voice well. The background vocals are harmonious and melodic and were the perfect accompaniment to Braxton. This song could have easily been number one, but there was another song that made the top of the list.
# 1 – Un-break My Heart
The number one song on our Top 10 Toni Braxton Songs list is the incomparable “Un-break My Heart.” This is the second single from the fantastic Secrets album. This is an r&b and pop ballad. This song is about her wanting her man to come back to her. Here is some trivia about the song. The writer of the song (Diane Warren) loved it and knew it would be a hit. Braxton didn’t love the song at first. In fact, she hated the song. She didn’t want to sing it. Once the song was a hit, she told Warren that she didn’t want another one like it. It turns out Warren was right because this was a massive hit for her. She won a Grammy for the song. Warren brought out Braxton’s contralto vocals with low vocal range. Braxton shines in this song. She uses lower vocals and transitions into higher ones. The music is touching, but it takes a backseat to Braxton’s stellar vocals. It’s hard to believe that she hated this song when she sings it so well.
Top 10 Toni Braxton Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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