The Braxton Sisters, and Their Niece, Do Their Best Toni Braxton Impersonation For The #ToniBraxtonChallenge
Toni Braxton has one of the most distinguished voices in music. She’s been called sultry for having a deeper tone while still being able to carry out some of the greatest ballads of all time for R&B. After Babyface revealed his behind the scenes secrets of what it takes to write the ultimate Braxton song, #TheToniBraxtonChallenge was birthed.
Thousands of fans have posted their submissions but none have been better than those from Braxtons sisters. Their niece even decided to show off her singing skills to the world, proving just how talented the Braxton family are.
Babyface inspires the #ToniBraxtonChallenge
Babyface has been a huge influencer in Braxton’s career since she started in the late 80s. As the creative one out of he and his partner L.A. Reid, Babyface wrote and produced much of Braxton’s debut album. Some of the hits he penned from her first release include “Breathe Again” and “Love Shoulda Brought You Home,” – the latter was also featured on the soundtrack to the film Boomerang.
He made magic with Braxton on her sophomore album Secrets, penning the album’s first release – the uptempo “You’re Makin’ Me High.” He and Braxton collaborated on the 2014 duet album Love, Marriage & Divorce, which earned them a Grammy Award. They also performed together during a Broadway run of the production After Midnight.
With being responsible for many of Braxton’s signature song and knowing how to work with her unique voice, Babyface gave fans the “secret” to his process of writing the perfect song for his musical muse. While preparing to celebrate the 25 anniversary of the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack with featured the song he penned for Braxton with “Let It Flow,” Babyface told viewers he sets the mood for a Braxton hit by impersonating her singing voice when he rehearses the tune.
He also explained the song has to be emotional in tone in order for Braxton to deliver.
“Sing with lots of emotions. I don’t know like – say like somebody just stole your brand new puppy or something,” he said.
Babyface’s reveal inspired the social media singing challenge, #The Toni BraxtonChallenge, which called for fans to record videos of them singing their favorite Braxton songs while impersonating her voice.
The Braxton family participate in #TheToniBraxtonChallenge
While there were plenty of fans submissions, the ones who came as close to sounding like Toni were her sisters. The sisters would know Toni’s voice in and out as they’ve sung alongside her for most of their lives – both as members of their family group and traveling the road with Toni as her backup singer for many years. With the exception of Traci, all Braxton sisters surprised fans by uploading their renditions of Braxton’s biggest hits.
The youngest of the Braxton clan, Tamar, was the first to kick of the sister challenge and gave her demonstration while singing Braxton’s “Let It Flow.”
“You got to put base in your throat you like you’re about to cough or burp or something,” she said, explaining the key to sounding like her sister. “Like you can’t finish any sentence and have that deep emotion and can’t nobody understand what you’re saying.”
Tamar has famously portrayed Toni’s singing voice on their family reality series, Braxton Family Values. She’s also stepped in for Toni to sing certain notes while performing as Toni’s background singer.
Trina followed up Tamar’s with her own interpretation of Toni’s “Let It Flow,” declaring, “This is my husky Toni Braxton challenge,” while also mimicking Toni’s famous laugh.
Towanda, who’s voice is closet to Toni in tone, shocked fans when she posted a video of her performing to Toni’s “I Don’t Want To.” Towanda has continuously made it known that she will not pursue a career in music and is the actress of the group. Still, fans were happy she finally showed off her individual singing chops, which is something she doesn’t do often.
The biggest surprise was their niece, Ashlee. Ashlee has appeared on several episodes of the show and even performed as Toni’s background singer for a few years before opting to move to Europe full time and work as an au-pair. She hasn’t really shown off her vocal ability but it’s clear the singing talent has been passed down from generation to generation.
Ashlee took on Toni’s song “I Wanna Be Your Baby,” which was never released as a single, but is Ashlee’s favorite song of her aunt’s. Fans found Ashlee pointing to her throat during all of the low register parts to be hilarious.
The challenge is still circulating online so hopefully Traci decides to participate.