As she begins the second decade of her mega-successful career, ULTIMATE TONI BRAXTON celebrates one of the most extraordinary track records in Arista recording history with an 18-song collection – the first anthology ever released of her work – that will arrive in stores November 4th, it was announced today by Antonio “L.A.” Reid, president and CEO, Arista Records. Featuring virtually every chart single release by Toni Braxton in chronological order, the collection also presents three tracks making their first appearance on any album: a live version of “Seven Whole Days”; and two previously unreleased songs, “Whatchu Need” and “The Little Things.”The first female artist signed by Reid and Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds to their (then) new Atlanta-based LaFace Records in 1991, Toni Braxton was destined to become an industry legend, amassing global sales of more than 40 million albums, singles and videos. ULTIMATE TONI BRAXTON earns its title as the definitive overview of her entire recording career, from her 1992 debut “Give U My Heart” with Babyface, and “Love Shoulda Brought You Home,” both #2 R&B and top 40 pop crossover hits) – all the way to “Hit The Freeway” from last year’s album, More Than A Woman.
In the course of its 18 tracks, ULTIMATE TONI BRAXTON collects every one of her chart-topping #1 R&B and #1 pop hits, including a live version of “Seven Whole Days,” which helped send her self-titled debut album, 1993’s Toni Braxton, to 8-times platinum, along with “Another Sad Love Song,” “Breathe Again,” “You Mean The World To Me,” and “How Many Ways.” The 1993 Grammy awards responded by voting her Best New Artist, while “Another Sad Love Song” won the honor for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, an award she reprised the following year for “Breathe Again.”
With the release of her second album, 1996’s Secrets, Toni Braxton earned a place in Grammy history as only the second woman (beside Dionne Warwick) ever to win Best Female Pop Vocal (for “Un-break My Heart”) and Best Female R&B Vocal (for “You’re Makin’ Me High”) – in the same year. The two RIAA platinum #1 singles, along with “Let It Flow” and the double-A sided smash, “I Love Me Some Him” b/w “I Don’t Want To” resulted in another 8-times platinum selling album for Secrets, a benchmark achievement.
After nearly a four year hiatus between recordings, Toni Braxton returned in April 2000 with her third album, The Heat. Its first single pick, “He Wasn’t Man Enough,” was another solid #1 R&B and #2 pop crossover hit that stayed on the charts for more than eight months. At the 28th annual American Music Awards the following January, The Heat won for Best R&B Album, while “He Wasn’t Man Enough” took Best Female R&B Vocal and Best R&B Song kudos. At the Grammy awards six weeks later, the single again won Best Female R&B Vocal honors.
Another lengthy (two and a half year) break followed between recordings, during which time Toni became a mother for the first time – a new role that was added to her expanding repertoire as wife, recording superstar, and pop diva, all of which was explored on her fifth album, More Than A Woman. The lead single, “Hit The Freeway” (featuring Bad Boy rapper Loon) was produced by the Neptunes and benefited from a video shot on location in Los Angeles by directors Dave Meyers and Charles Infante.
Toni Braxton’s current long-distance run on Broadway in the starring role of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida (in which she appears through mid-November) is just the latest conquest by an extraordinary performer. ULTIMATE TONI BRAXTON puts the first decade of her career under the spotlights in one package for the first time, a well-earned tribute to one of Arista’s core artists.