By Chris Witherspoon (Article originally published on theGrio.com)
Toni Braxton and Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, who together have an all-time total of 16 Grammy Awards, are preparing to release their first album of duets entitled “Love, Marriage & Divorce.”
Today the pair’s new single, “Hurt You,” sits at the top of Billboard’s Adult R&B Charts, and is Braxton’s first No.1 chart-topper since “Just Be a Man About It,” which led for two weeks in 2000.
Last night after their pre-taped Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting performance of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” Braxton and Babyface talked about their new album and respective career plans.
Just 10 months ago, Braxton shocked the music world when she announced her plans to retire from being a recording artist.
“For what I do I have to love it. I have to feel that excitement and it’s gone,” Braxton told theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon. “I’m just not going to do any albums anymore; maybe touring occasionally here and there …but no new projects.”
However, after some coaxing from Babyface, the “Un-Break My Heart” singer now proclaims she will ‘never ever’ leave the music industry.
“I was going to retire because I was thinking about my career,” Braxton said. “So he [Babyface] told me you can’t think about that, you have to go back to being an artist and performing and loving your artistry.”
“Retiring is off the table now. I don’t know what I was thinking,” she added. “I will never retire… ever, ever.”
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Weeks ago Babyface sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” and opened up about his divorce from Tracey Edmonds, his wife of 13 years.
“The reality is that there was a connection that wasn’t really there,” he told Oprah. “We loved each other but we weren’t really in love with each other.”
After the interview aired, several media outlets reported that ‘Babyface was never truly in love with Tracey Edmonds.’
The “When Can I see You” singer clarified his comments to Oprah, saying, “Everybody got that wrong… way wrong.”
“I said, during the marriage we fell out of love. We weren’t in love at the end of the marriage… We were married for fourteen years. We were in love and then we fell out of love towards the end of the marriage.”
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During Braxton’s wide-ranging interview with theGrio in February, she confessed her dream role is to play a lesbian on the big screen.
These days the 46-year-old mother of two has set her sights on starring in the Netflix hit series “Orange Is the New Black.”
“I’m hoping to be on ‘Orange Is the New Black,’” Braxton said. “That’s my favorite show. I’m hoping… we’ll see. I told you I wanted to be a lesbian… I still want that.”
Follow theGrio’s Entertainment Editor Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC
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