Lifetime recently released an extended trailer of its Toni Braxton Unbreak My Heart biopic that's coming out later in January. It's no secret that Braxton, one of the queens of R&B soul, has had a storied journey to the top of the charts and has endured a lot of bumps and bruises along the way.
Here are a few soundbites from the trailer that shed light on Braxton's career:
1. Toni Braxton felt conflicted about signing a solo recording deal because she felt as if she was abandoning her four sisters.
This is something that those of us who watch the Braxton Family Values reality show may already be privy to. Braxton and her sisters were in a girl group together in the early 1990s vying for a recording contract, but label executives singled out Braxton as the girl they wanted to sign. "Toni has to do this. It's the chance of a lifetime," one of her sisters says in the trailer. In the Braxtons' reality show, Braxton often recalls how guilty she felt about her personal success, and the trailer opens with that story.
2. Her record label intentionally tried to make Braxton seem older so that her image matched her sultry, mature voice.
That's where Braxton's short, pixie haircut comes from. "They bring you out here and tell you how much they love you, and all they try to do is change you," Braxton's mother says in the trailer. We see that Braxton may have had other ideas about what image she hoped to portray as an artist, but that didn't jibe with her label's wishes: "You don't sell sex, you sell pain," a label executive says to Braxton in the trailer.
3. Braxton endured pressure to get plastic surgery.
"Have you ever considered getting a boob job?" a stylist says to Braxton. Braxton once confessed to a nose job, and the trailer sheds light on how seeds can be planted in artists' heads about the so-called benefits of plastic surgery.
The trailer touches on other things, too: her two bankruptcies and what may have caused her divorce: infidelity. The biopic airs on Saturday, Jan. 23.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.