AMAs: R&B Icon Toni Braxton Makes Awards Return With “Un-Break My Heart”

American Music Awards Toni Braxton Performance - Getty - H 2019
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The singer, who shot to success with her self-titled debut in the early 1990s, offered a rendition of her hit single as part of the Sunday night show.

Toni Braxton delivered a rendition of “Un-Break My Heart” at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night as part of the 2019 American Music Awards.

Braxton’s appearance on the show stage marked the 25th anniversary of her very first American Music Awards performance and win, and followed a near two-decade absence from the AMAs stage.

Introduced by singer, dancer and songwriter Paula Abdul as “a living legend and my friend,” Braxton offered a slower and smoother counter to some of the night’s more energetic performances while singing "Un-Break My Heart." As Braxton stood atop an elevated platform in a simultaneously fitted and flowing white gown, she was flanked by cellists, violinists and other string players who helped play out the song's heartbreaking melody. 

The R&B legend glowed under the stage lights and in front of a background of shifting wintery images while swooning and then belting out the single's chorus.

The singer's sultry, smoky voice has since won her seven American Music Awards since 1994, including favorite soul/R&B new artist. Over her nearly three-decade career, the singer, songwriter and pianist has sold over 40 million albums, and her sweet and sour relationship ballads have found equal critical and financial success.

Braxton’s 1996 second studio album, Secrets, produced the mega-hit "Un-Break My Heart,” a desperate and dynamic plea to a former lover that saw even more success. The single reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 11 weeks. In 2008, Billboard named it the 10th most popular song of all-time.

Braxton was among a list of artists who performed Sunday night in Los Angeles. Airing live, Christina Aguilera, Lizzo, Shania Twain, and Dua Lipa also took the stage.

Dick Clark Productions, which produces the American Music Awards, is a division of Valence Media, which owns The Hollywood Reporter.