Inside the Friendship Between Toni Braxton and Jada Pinkett Smith

Toni Braxton is typically surrounded by her famous sisters on Braxton Family Values but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have Hollywood friends. In fact, Braxton considers Jada Pinkett Smith to be one of her besties. The two have been friends for over 20 years.

Toni Braxton and Jada Pinkett Smith
Toni Braxton and Jada Pinkett Smith | Steve Granitz/WireImage and Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Toni Braxton and Jada Pinkett Smith were co-stars in ‘Kingdom Come’

Braxton and Pinkett Smith met in the mid-90s and would soon work together. The “Unbreak My Heart” singer made her feature film debut in the 2001 comedy-drama Kingdom Come. The cast was star-studded, with Braxton starring alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, LL Cool J, Whoopi Goldberg, Anthony Anderson, Loretta Devine, and Vivica A. Fox. 

The film chronicles the Slocumbs family who gather for the funeral of a family member. Kingdom Come is based on the Off-Broadway play Dearly Departed.

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Related: Tamar Braxton Worked on a Soundtrack to a Film Featuring Her Older Sister Toni

Braxton stars as a materialistic relative, Juanita, who married well and likes to flaunt her fabulous lifestyle. Pinkett Smith stars as Charisse Slocumb, wife of the loud-mouthed Junior.

Junior has blown all of his money on a failed business venture and is notorious for cheating. Charisse often reminds Junior that she could have been married to Junior’s rich lawyer cousin, who is later revealed to have left his own wife, Juanita.

Braxton was thrilled to star in her first film with her favorite actor, Goldberg. In a 2001 interview with Billboard, she gushed about her experience and working with the cat, saying, “I’m not an actress. I don’t even want to take the title. But I’m trying to become one,” she said. “I need to learn, and this was a great place to learn with all these established actors.”

Braxton did not appear on the film’s soundtrack, but she saved a place for her younger sister Tamar to have a song. Tamar performs the song “Try Me.” The song is featured in the film during the family funeral, with Pinkett Smith’s character singing the song at the funeral.

Jada Pinkett Smith was set to be in Toni Braxton’s wedding 

Pinkett Smith and Braxton’s on-screen work transferred to a beautiful friendship between the two women off-screen. They remain best friends currently, with Braxton revealing during an interview on The Wendy Williams Show that Pinkett Smith would even stand beside her at her wedding.

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Related: Have Toni Braxton and Birdman Finally Tied The Knot?

Braxton became engaged to Birdman a few years ago and was set to wed the rap mogul in 2020. But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, things changed. Despite being close to her singing sisters and working with them on Braxton Family Values, Braxton told Williams that her sisters would not be part of her wedding party.

“None of them [will be my maid of honor], it’ll be my best friend, my girlfriend Jada,” she said of Pinkett Smith.

The singer and actor support one another personally and professionally

Pinikett Smith gave her fans an inside look into her bond with Braxton when Braxton appeared on Pinkett Smith’s Facebook talk show Red Table Talk. During the episode, Braxton discussed her heartbreaking divorce and how it impacted her desire to perform. She expressed thanks to Pinkett Smith for supporting her during the difficult time.

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The two are also each other’s personal cheerleaders. Aside from her sisters, Braxton admits she keeps a tight circle of friends, not mingling with many celebrities. But Pinkett Smith is the exception.

Pinkett Smith was by Braxton’s side when she rang in her 50th birthday celebration at Mr. Chow in LA. Recently, Pinkett Smith shared a video to her Instagram page of Braxton relaxing at her home, playing the piano, and serenading her friend to the tunes of Anita Baker.