Tired, worn out and ready to give up on her music career, Toni Braxton needed to breathe again. She needed a fresh start, and Babyface gave her a reason to sing.
Life has so many great things to offer like love and career success. Life can also knock you down with all types of challenges that hinder or prevent us from pursuing our passion and dreams. Both Toni Braxton and Kenny Babyface Edmonds are superstars who have delivered hits for the last 20 years. Yet this journey was not all champagne and roses, especially for Braxton with troubles beginning not long after making her professional debut. Since that time, Braxton has gone through two embarrassing bankruptcies, a tough divorce, and is currently learning to live with Lupus, a debilitating disease. Braxton was ready to give up her music career, but Babyface had other ideas and his friendship, love for music, and productions skills led to a moving concept album called Love, Marriage and Divorce.
When Life Knocks You Down So Many Times, and You Don’t Want To Get Back Up
Promoting their album, Love, Marriage & Divorce in a round of interviews and appearances has revealed how Babyface convinced Braxton to not retire. During an episode of Tavis Smiley’s show, Braxton was asked why she would even think of such a thing. “I don’t know if you ever been in a phase of your life that’s very uncomfortable. Very dark. I was a little depressed, I think. I have Lupus… I’d just been diagnosed with blood clots and the doctor said that ‘you can’t really travel, you can’t do anything’. I kept feeling every time I get knocked down, I have the courage to get back up, but this time I don’t feel like getting up. I can’t do it anymore. I was just going to throw it all in- no singing, no anything. I had no plans. I was on the ‘no plan’ plan. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I wasn’t afraid to be there, and that’s when you know it’s a form of depression. Hopelessness.”
Let’s Talk About It. Let’s Sing About It.
A good producer has the ability to pull a song out of an artist. Braxton reached a phase of her life where she felt she didn’t have anything else to give. In an inteview with WBLS 107.5 FM, Babyface said, “Toni needed a reason to sing. This album was more of a therapeutic album to get Toni on the right direction- getting back into music and how to get there. She was so caught up in the business of music, as opposed to just the music. This brought her back.”
Braxton was a co-writer of several of the album’s songs. She told Smiley, “He (Babyface) encouraged me to write. I was going through a divorce at the time and he said, ‘Let’s talk about it. Write about it’…I was a little uncomfortable at first, but he said ‘no, do your thing. Put your emotions to lyrics. I’ll help you with the music’. Babyface made her feel comfortable and stressed the importance for Braxton’s voice (her own words) to be heard on the album.
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