Toni Braxton unbreaks her heart with TV biopic

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Toni Braxton unbreaks her heart with TV biopic

NEW YORK - Toni Braxton has opened her life to the cameras on the WEtv reality series “Braxton Family Values,’’ but she’s exploring more of her past in a Lifetime movie debuting Saturday.

“Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart,’’ named after one of her Grammy-winning hits, takes a look at the 48-year-old singer’s career, which spans 23 years.

The TV movie, which she executive-produced, stars Lex Scott Davis as Braxton.

“I think it’s important that when I’m telling my story ... I wanted to be honest with myself. Not only did people hurt me, but I hurt people, too,’’ she said in a recent interview.

“And I wanted them to go along with me during my struggle. I wanted them to feel like they were sitting right there beside me through all the ups and downs.’’

Braxton released her self-titled debut in 1993 with the help of Babyface and L.A. Reid. The album reached 8x platinum status, winning three Grammy Awards, including best new artist for Braxton. Her follow-up, 1996’s “Secrets,’’ won two Grammys and was also certified 8x platinum.

But despite her pop-star success, she’s filed for bankruptcy multiple times.

“The (first) contract I signed, if I could do it all over again, I would do it again,’’ Braxton said by phone from Los Angeles. “I think what we show in the movie is that once I had success, I was still governed by the old contract and it’s supposed to change ... I did get some bumps and some raises, but it was so minimal and it wasn’t reflected In the sales’’ of her albums.

Braxton said she grew emotional watching her story unfold on the screen. She has appeared in film, TV and on Broadway; has battled lupus; and is an avid advocate for autism research. (Her son Diezel has autism.)

“It was surreal,’’ said the singer, who released her memoir, ``Unbreak My Heart,’’ in 2014. ``Overall, I’m proud of myself that I survived those things.’’

AP
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