Braxton sings a song of success

February 09, 1994|By J. D. Considine | J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic

It's shaping up as a winner of a winter for singer Toni Braxton.

On Monday, the Severn native was a double victor at the American Music Awards, toting off trophies for favorite new soul-R&B artist and favorite new adult contemporary artist.

That may only be the beginning, too, as Braxton is up for two

Grammy awards, including Best New Artist.

It's hard to say whether Braxton's success at the American Music Awards (which are voted on by a random sampling of pop music fans) will affect her chances at the Grammys (which are voted on by qualified members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences).

Certainly, she's the odds-on favorite for Best New Artist, having a stronger track record than fellow nominees Belly and Blind Melon, andstronger pop appeal than either SWV or Digable Planets.

But she faces a tough fight in the Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female category. Not only is she up against Whitney Houston (for "I'm Every Woman"), Janet Jackson (for "That's the Way Love Goes"), Patti LaBelle (for "All Right Now") and perennial Grammy favorite Aretha Franklin ("Someday We'll All Be Free"), but Braxton was nominated for the weakest of her three singles so far, "Another Sad Love Song."

So far, Braxton has seen two singles -- "Another Sad Love Song" and the current Top-Five hit "Breathe Again" -- go gold (more than 500,000 sales). Moreover, her debut album, "Toni Braxton," has sold more than 2 million copies, spending most of its 29 weeks on the Billboard albums chart in the Top 20. If she does win big at the Grammys, her sales should go even higher than they are now.

Braxton, who begins a European tour next week, was unavailable for comment.

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