Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Toni Braxton is back. The 6 time Grammy Award winner shined with the cast of the Dancing with the Stars tour in San Jose, CA December 19th.
The tour features celebrity dancers Lance Bass, Toni Braxton, Maurice Greene, and Marlee Matlin. Professional dancers Mark Ballas, Cheryl Burke, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Derek Hough, Kym Johnson, Alec Mazo, Fabian Sanchez, Lacey Schwimmer, Edyta Sliwinkska, and Karina Sminoff and company dancers. Season 6 winner Kristi Yamaguchi made a special appearance dancing two numbers. The first routine Jive she did on the show as well as her freestyle number. Host Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris welcomed the audiences via the three enormous video screens. Then, the entire Dancing with the Stars tour cast strutted on stage to thunderous applause. After the first number, Lance Bass took the microphone and set the tone for the evening in terms of emcee duties.
Toni Braxton and her partner, Alec Mazo, dazzled with their Cha Cha Cha to Santana’s "Smooth". Afterward she emceed and entertained Mazo's family in the audience and even signed a special autograph for Alec's mom and dad. Braxton and Mazo entertained the thousands with Dancing with the Stars moves seen in living rooms of all that were now live and in person including their sexy Rumba to Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me".
The stage mirrored the Dancing with the Stars set audiences adore on TV. A black dance floor greeted Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Cheryl Burke, Derek Hough and the six other professional dancers, who proved to also be the stars of the night. Watching professional dance is nothing less than a gift. Seeing it performed at its highest level is beyond human. The Dancing with the Stars professionals on the 2008 tour are flawless. Led by Maksim, Burke, Derek Hough, Edtya Sliwinska, Kym Johnson, Lacey Schwimmer and Karina Smirnoff, their crisp execution of choreography challenging, engaging and jaw dropping.
Edtya, in particular of the professionals, shines with her beautiful smile and sexy legs. She and husband Alec Mazo danced to Toni Braxton's number one hit "Breathe Again" sung by Toni Braxton. Afterward they disappeared and Toni ventured off into the audience to serenade some special male audience members. (Watch video here).
Toni Braxton performed her number one hit and the 2nd biggest single from a female artist ever, "Un-Break My Heart." Midway through the song the entire cast joined in and provided one of Dancing with the Stars tour's most unforgettable moments. Here Toni Braxton showcased some of her strongest vocals in a while as the entire cast helped pump up the audience during the dance section of the song. (Watch video here).
Each Dancing with the Stars pair danced together and after completing their greatest set, grabbed the microphone and gabbed with the crowd. Especially effective in this capacity was Lance Bass, Toni Braxton, dancers Cheryl Burke and Maksim, as well as Maurice Greene and Marlee Matlin.
The live band from the show sits beneath the stage the dancers command. Performing current hits including Jennifer Hudson's "Spotlight" and Beyonce’s "Single Ladies", the Dancing with the Stars tour is current on so many levels. It was only yesterday that these dancers were performing for millions on ABC each week.
Costuming is another facet of the Dancing with the Stars experience that has made the ABC show an enormous hit over seven seasons. The Dancing with the Stars tour does not disappoint in that capacity either.
The set ended with the entire cast including the celebrity and company dancers dancing to ABBA's "Dancing Queen."
Both fans of the show and fans of all the stars will be pleasantly surprised by how amazing this show is.
You can catch the Dancing with the Stars tour at a city near you. Purchase tickets for the Dancing with the Stars tour now!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
A source close to Toni Braxton has revealed exclusively to TBO that Toni has finished recording 17 songs for her as-yet-to-be-titled debut album from Atlantic Records! The sultry R&B singer plans to record 10 more songs for the project.
An “incomplete” track titled “Melt” surfaced from the recording session last month and was rumored to be the first single off the album. Our sources tell us that Melt was recorded back in April and will not be the first single off the album.
Currently Mrs. Braxton is rehearsing for the DWTS tour kicking off December 17th in San Diego, CA. The R&B singer hopes that the tour will help her rebuild in order to promote her upcoming projects with Atlantic Records, including 90 minute shows for her loyal fans.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Toni Braxton is one busy woman. The singer is currently rehearsing for the Dancing with the Stars tour, promoting various charity events including Autism Speaks and Charity Bracelets "I'm Tired of Cancer", and putting together the final stages of her first album from Atlantic Records. According to MTV the singer is currently in the studio with Jesse McCartney. Her album is expected to drop early next year.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Toni Braxton can breathe again. The pop siren may not have added a mirror-ball trophy to her stash of six Grammys, but she went a lot further in the competition than she ever dreamed, and she's taking home something far more important: better health.
"I'm not quite back to my old self," says Braxton, "but I feel stronger. Before, it was like I was driving a car with the emergency brake on. Now I feel like I can live my life without being afraid all the time that my chest is going to get tight." Braxton's original goal was never to win Dancing with the Stars. Rather, it was to make it through that grueling first month before the show went on the air, when she had to learn the cha cha cha and – even more taxing – the quick-step. "I don't care if I get kicked off the first week," she said at the time. "It'll be a victory just to get to the show."
But she made it all the way to Week 5 and stayed healthy, while so many other stars and pros were getting injured around her. "Isn't that strange?" she asks. Braxton credits her teacher, Alec Mazo, with building her strength and confidence. "I've had to educate him a little bit, but he's very sweet. I took my blood pressure the other day and I didn't know he was standing over me. And he said, 'Oh, it's good! It's good!' And then he said, 'Let's get back to the routine.' And I said, 'Okay, slave driver.' But that made me feel really good that he cared enough to know the numbers."
In fact, no one has ever seen Mazo smile as much as he has this season. "I truly enjoyed dancing with her," he says. "I knew she was talented. But I was very impressed because I didn't expect Toni to show as much energy as she did."
Braxton says that since April, when her heart started giving her trouble, she has been terribly self-conscious about being ill. "I was depressed," she says. "I was really down on myself. You think of all the things that are important, and you find out they're not. It doesn't matter how big you are, how much money you have, you can't buy great health. It may get you quicker medical attention, but that's about it."
She's taking another six months off to fully recuperate, then hopes to return to her headlining gig in Las Vegas. "I know this has made me a better performer." Better breath for her singing? "Exactly," she says.
"All of us – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers and family friends to children – must become familiar with the red flags for autism," Braxton says. "The earlier children are diagnosed and early intervention begins, the better chance a child has of a brighter future."
Braxton speaks from experience. Her son, Diezel, now 5, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Diezel appears in the ad with his mom, as she points out that one in 150 children are now diagnosed with the developmental disorder.
"Our partnership with the Ad Council has already resulted in a remarkable increase in awareness of autism, and we are confident that Toni's star power and her courage in participating in this campaign will lead to even greater success," says Alison Singer, executive vice president of communications and awareness for Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism advocacy organization.
The ad urges viewers to visit autismspeaks.org to learn more.
The singer, whose bid for the winners' disco ball with pro partner Alec Mazo ended in Week 5, had surgery to remove a lump from her breast after she was cut from the competition, and was still recovering during the season closer on November 25. The lump, luckily, was benign.
Braxton, who also braved the Dancing floor despite a heart condition, had discovered the lump last summer, before rehearsals even began. Her doctor suspected that it wasn't yet harmful, yet recommended that she undergo surgery at the time — advice that she rejected until her stint was over.