When viewers first met Traci Braxton, she was introduced to fans of Braxton Family Values as “The Wanna-be.” The second Braxton sibling left the music industry in the mid-1990s when she became pregnant with her son. At the time, she and three of her sisters were nearing the finalization of signing a record deal, but Traci was told she had to pick one: sign the deal or continue on with her pregnancy. She chose the latter.
Nearly 20 years later, Braxton Family Values gave Traci the chance to finally pursue her dreams of singing. For several seasons, she vocalized her desire to sing background alongside her sisters for their legendary eldest sister, Toni Braxton. Though Traci admits she yearned to be a more intricate part of her family’s business, she says editing exaggerated her pleas and she’s clear that she was never a “wanna-be.”
After years of playing the background, Traci got the courage to step out on her own and release her own music. Now, she has two full-length studio albums under her belt. Still, some fans believe she’s still bitter over that one fateful day in the mid-90s.
“People always say, ‘Traci is mad about something that happened over 25 years ago,’ and to them I say this: I have a No. 1. single now, which is ‘Last Call,’” she told Shadow and Act. “I’ve been doing very well for myself. And before my music career took off, I worked with emotionally disturbed adolescents for over 20 years. Traci is pretty smart, Traci has a little education. I was never a wanna-be.”
But as Traci’s career began to take off, the relationships among her sisterhood became more strained. Fans are familiar with the Braxton family blowups but nothing was quite like what happened during the season 6 finale episode.
Traci accused her sisters of not supporting her and ambushing her in a failed attempt to mend their sisterhood. The moment was a boiling point after a season of the sisters accusing her of being a traitor for not going on a strike from their show. For Traci, the moment was her last straw and the realization that she needed to set boundaries for her own sanity and personal growth.
“I’m the only grandmother of all of my sisters and I have goals and dreams and aspirations that they don’t understand,” she said. “Emotionally, you’re not there anymore and I’ve phased out of who my family is used to me being…that was my breaking point, especially when my sister’s significant others got involved because my husband doesn’t get involved in my sisters and I business even if he wanted to.”
Traci admits that their relationship is still somewhat strained. While the baby of the bunch, Tamar Braxton, attributes their issues to being exploited on reality television, Traci says there’s not one thing to blame. In fact, she believes it’s just growing pains.
“Everyone doesn’t get along all the time,” she added. “We still love each other but right now my focus is myself and my family. I have my own queendom and household that I have to focus on and you’ll see that play out this season with my husband, son, and grandchildren.”
Despite the problems, Traci says she doesn’t plan on taking a step back from reality television. She said the show is a platform to show the good, bad, and ugly within a family. As for what she hopes viewers will take away from this season, it’s simply to boss up as she says all of the Braxton women are doing big things.
Braxton Family Values returns for season 7 this Thursday on We TV at 9 pm EST.
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