Grammy winning, multiplatinum diva Toni Braxton is enjoying a reignited career with the monstrous success of WeTV’s ‘Braxton Family Values’. No time to rest on laurels, the eldest Braxton daughter is under new management and already working on new projects – including an album, rumored Broadway shows, and possibly films.
Still making promo rounds for the hit reality show, the R&B vet recently dropped by Essence magazine to tackle topics of ex-husband Keri Lewis, sibling Tamar Braxton, why Mark Wahlberg is her ideal “snowman”, and why she’s been absent for many of the Braxtons’ earlier promotional appearances.
As ever, Braxton is brazen in her responses. Check after the jump for the read:
ESSENCE.com: What do you think of the rumors that there’s a sibling rivalry between you and your sisters?
TONI BRAXTON: I’m a little disappointed about what’s on the blogs, and people thinking that I don’t want to help my sisters, or that I want to make them perpetual backup singers. People have to remember that this is a reality show and some things are done for entertainment. I love my family, I’ll do anything for them. It makes me not want to do reality show anymore because I wouldn’t want anyone to look at my family and me in a negative light.
ESSENCE.com: Why haven’t we seen you out and about promoting the show with your sisters?
TONI: Because I was sick. I don’t want to have to always tell people I’m sick because then they’ll relate it to Lupus. I had a terrible flu, but I still did ‘The Wendy Williams Show.’ After that I had to go to Russia. So that was the situation — I wasn’t feeling well.
ESSENCE.com: So basically, there’s no sibling rivalry?
TONI: [Laughs] I’m the oldest so I can never have it. I do have height envy. I’m 5’1” and my sisters are giants so I do have height envy.
ESSENCE.com: You and Tamar’s husband Vince Herbert have parted ways. What happened?
TONI: I love Vince, he’s great, but I thought it was a conflict of interest. He manages everyone in my family. I do think Tamar was disappointed because it became this public thing, and people thought her husband wasn’t capable. Vince is great for other people, for me as a family member, way too much. If something goes wrong, I can call my manager and yell and cuss. I can’t do that to my brother-in-law, that’s not cool.
ESSENCE.com: So what’s really going on with you and your ex-husband, Keri Lewis?
TONI: We’ve gone out on a few dates, I’m not gonna deny that. When you have kids with a person, and you really love a person, but you realize that being together is not an option right now. In the end, we definitely still love each other, and we go on dates. He’s a great dad, a great friend, very sexy, we’re doing good.
ESSENCE.com: We hear you’re playing in the snow, and dating a White guy.
TONI: I went on a few dates with a Caucasian guy, super nice, super cute, super sexy. [laughs] We’ve just been on a few dates, he’s not my man. Who knew vanilla tasted so good? My ideal kinda guy, if I was really gonna go there even though he’s married, is Mark Wahlberg. To me he’s a little Black and White, the kinda guy who would understand if I pull my weave out. He wouldn’t say, ‘What a weave?’ I feel like he would understand my culture, that’s important to me.
ESSENCE.com: Would you ever get married again?
TONI: It’s not the first thing on my list. It’s not too bad being in my 40s and dating.
ESSENCE.com: You’re also taking acting lessons at the moment?
TONI:Yes I’m taking classes with Tasha Smith. I have to be honest, because of my illness I’ve had to slow down with my performances so I’m doing shows here and there. The most shows I’ve done are three in a row, one time in a month. I haven’t toured consecutively in a long time, so I’m like, ‘you know what, I’m gonna have to come up with another plan, a new job.’ I have to try new things to keep my options open.