Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart” celebrates 20th birthday

Published October 6th 2016

With her breakthrough song ‘Breathe Again’ and a self titled debut album fully filled with love songs, mostly about the lows of love, Toni Braxton was in need of a high. Songwriters penning songs for her second album, in 1995, mainly got the brief that she didn’t want another heartbreak song. So, naturally, Diane Warren suggested her song “Un-Break My Heart“, the full embodiment of a heartbreak song

Written by Diane Warren. Initially Hated by Toni

Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton

Warren had come up with the title of the song and wrote the rest of it as a ballad you would either hate or love. The lyrics would allow you to wallow in self-pity while mourning a failed love affair. It’s the easiest and most recognizable emotion to connect to, as we all have been there.

Label president LA Reid loved it, Toni did not – claiming “it was too Disney” – but recorded it anyway. It was released on October 6th 1996 and thus celebrating it’s 20th birthday today.

Toni’s Signature Hit

Un-break My Heart” became Toni’s biggest hit and is the one song she’s practically known for. The song took the #1 spot of Billboard’s Hot 100 for 11 weeks and sold 2.4 million copies in the US. It became certified platinum in various countries (having sold over another 1 million copies worldwide) and took away a Grammy for Best Female Vocal Performance.

Fitting Title For Book and Film

Around the time of the release of this song, Toni really was at the height of her success. In total she’d sold 25 million albums worldwide by this time. She went on to be the first black woman to play the role of Belle (“Beauty and the Beast“) on Broadway, but her life has also been plagued with problems, careerwise usually financially and personally, also with health problems.

This prompted Toni to write a book about her life in 2015 also titled “Un-Break My Heart: A memoir“, which ha also been turned into a biopic, which aired on Lifetime in January of this year.

More recently

Last year, Toni made a successful return to music with Babyface. They released an album together called “Love, Marriage & Divorce”, which won them a Grammy award and took them on tour in Africa, which was well received by fans and the press.


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