As a late 80’s baby, I grew up on the sounds of Toni Braxton’s self-titled debut studio album in 1993. That album will forever fall on my Greatest R&B Albums list, although at six, I knew nothing behind the L.A. Reid, Babyface, and Darryl Simmons-produced hits “Another Sad Love Song,” Seven Whole Days,” and “Love Shoulda Brought You Home.” Her multi-platinum sophomore LP didn’t fall on deaf ears either as I found a steady interest in female R&B singers who sang with soul. Toni Braxton solidified a spot at the top of the charts and in history.
When I heard the news that she would executive produce and star as herself in the upcoming Lifetime biopic (yes, they’re still at it) Un-Break My Heart, which also bares the name of her 2014 memoir, my inner stan rejoiced. While the network’s history with accurately portraying public figures have fallen flat, Braxton as the head honcho of her life and her family’s depiction means progression in the realm of cable television biopics. But sometimes, celebs rule out–what we as fans feel are–significant narratives when it comes to the big screen, and understandably so. No one wants to revisit that nasty public divorce that won’t ever go away or that loss in immediate family that provoked an entertainer to step out of the spotlight for a minute, but I’m a firm believer that unspoken pages of our lives make for the best chapters that resonate universally.
Lifetime is promoting the film as “the never-before-told story of the measures Braxton took to make herself and her family whole again, serving as an inspiration to people around the world.” And so, I’m holding the network and Toni accountable for the stories they’re letting us in on–the versions I hope unearth who she really is and how her journey may not seem so far removed from our own.
These are the 5 things the xoTribe hopes to see in Toni Braxton’s Un-Break My Heart biopic.