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Toni Braxton to fans: ‘You are my angels’

November 5, 2016 GMT

Toni Braxton was playful, flirty and chatty throughout her Friday night show at the Arena Theatre. And she still has the air of a superstar.

“Are you ready to have an orgy?” she joked to the crowd.

“I was just making sure you’re listening.”

But about 11 songs into her set, she burst into tears.

Not just a rehearsed, pretty cry. There were sniffles and tissues and voice cracks as she sang “How Could An Angel Break My Heart?”

Braxton was diagnosed several years ago with Lupus, an autoimmune disease. It flared up on the current tour and caused a few cancellations. She spent time in a hospital and just a few weeks ago was wearing a heart monitor on stage.

She talked frankly with the adoring crowd about her struggles.

“I wanna thank you guys for your thoughts and your prayers. I promise you guys I didn’t think I was gonna be able to make this tour,” she said. “I love you guys for believing in me when I forgot how to believe in myself.

“You guys are my angels.”

It was a sweet, sincere moment that inspired tears among the crowd.

Most of her 90-minute show, however, was a celebration, a feel-good run through several songs that defined the ’90s.

She took the stage, to the strains of signature hit “Un-Break My Heart,” in a body-hugging, sparkling gown, her hair long and straight past her shoulders. It was a jaw-dropping look.

Braxton brought several fans on stage to sing with her throughout the show. She apologized for having a cold. But she sounded great and was accompanied by an on-stage pianist, a full band offstage and pre-recorded tracks. Her husky voice has texture, warmth and strength.