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Your lifestyle, your quirk
It looks like Toni Braxton’s heart isn’t the only thing that’s been broken. The 45-year-old R&B singer and multiple Grammy Award winner has declared bankruptcy…for the second time. If that isn’t bad enough, she is also under investigation for wire fraud.
Braxton reportedly owes approximately $50 million in various debts. I cannot even wrap my mind around that amount of money. The debt seems straightforward enough – overspending and likely spending money on the wrong things (what exactly she spent those millions she earned in record sales and appearances has not been outlined for the public). But what is the deal with the wire fraud?
Allegedly, Braxton decided to write a hefty chunk of change ($53,490, to be exact) to her ex-husband, musician Keri Lewis, just before declaring bankruptcy. The belief is that the singer took this step in order to save the money from being collected by creditors to whittle away at her $50 million dollar debt. Her plan may not work, however, as bankruptcy trustees are now suing to recover the entire sum she wired to Lewis.
Braxton’s representative, of course, denies that Braxton transferred the money with anything illegal in mind, stating, "All payments made to Lewis prior to Toni's bankruptcy filing were appropriate transfers for reasonable and necessary personal and business expenses in course of business.”
Although I’d like to give Braxton the benefit of the doubt, the fact that she has won six Grammys, seven American Music Awards, five Billboard Music Awards, and sold more than 60 million records, yet still managed to go bankrupt twice leaves her little financial credibility.
Braxton broke onto the scene in 1993 with a self-titled album, and quickly followed it up with her second album, Secrets, which featured two of her biggest hits, “You’re Makin’ Me High” and “Un-Break My Heart.” She declared bankruptcy before releasing her third album, The Heat, in 2000. Her fourth and most current album, Pulse, came out in 2009. That same year, Braxton and Lewis divorced after ten years of marriage (although they have remained partners in crime).
Since her divorce, Braxton seems to have focused more on television than her music, appearing on the seventh season of Dancing With the Stars in 2010, and starring in a reality television show called Braxton Family Values on WE TV in 2011.
It looks like the singer could use another television gig or two to help her start working toward paying off that massive debt – that is, if she manages to avoid jail time for the whole wire fraud thing. Good luck, Toni; either way, you’re going to need it!