NEW YORK — Twelve years after her debut album peaked at No. 127 on the Billboard charts, Toni Braxton’s youngest sister has made her return to music with a R&B hit, thanks to her hit reality show.
Tamar Braxton debuted at No. 13 and No. 5 with “Love and War” on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop songs and R&B songs charts, respectively. The 35-year-old has been buzzing since a reality show starring her and her sisters premiered on WEtv last year. Her spotlight grew brighter when a spinoff with her husband Vincent Herbert — who manages Lady Gaga — kicked off this year.
“It feels surreal actually because it happened so fast,” she said of the song’s success. The song hit the No. 1 spot on the iTunes singles chart and sold 84,000 units in its first week, according to Nielsen Soundscan. “It’s been so long since I had anything out in the marketplace, and for me to be checking for myself all these years and for no one to be paying attention to me, and then all of a sudden everyone’s enjoying my music, it’s really all I can ask for.”
“Love and War” is the title track from her upcoming sophomore album, which is “93 percent” complete and due out in February. She got a boost when Lady Gaga tweeted about the single and appeared in a video in last week’s season finale of “Tamar & Vince.”
“She was like, ‘Tamar, do you know how many artists don’t get a second chance or even get a chance period?’” she recalled in an interview this week. “And she was like, ‘I’m just so proud of you and your voice is amazing and it deserves to be heard.’ And this is information that she told me years ago.”
Braxton was the breakout star of “Braxton Family Values,” which features all five Braxton sisters. She’s known for her silly demeanor and sassy attitude. “Tamar & Vince” details the couple’s relationship as Braxton’s husband works as her manager as she heads back to a career in music.
Braxton said she initially didn’t want to release “Love and War,” a slow R&B groove, as her return single. She wanted to hit the music world with something upbeat.
“I was devastated, I was almost in tears. I was really trying to plead my case every single day,” she said of her husband’s last minute decision to go with the song. “I wanted to pop, lock and drop it.”
Toni Braxton tweeted last week that she was hospitalized for health issues related to lupus. Her sister said the 45-year-old Grammy-winning singer is recovering.
“She’s doing such much better,” she said. “She’s so little and she’s always getting sick — I hate it so much.”