By Gilbert Garcia – Pop Music Critic

With a rich alto and strong soulful delivery, Toni Braxton was an R&B chart topper throughout the 1990s. Along with then up-and-coming producers Babyface and L.A. Reid, Braxton shot to superstar status with staples like “Breathe Again” and “Un-Break My Heart.”

Recent works, including her recent Blackground Records release “Libra,” haven’t had the same impact as Braxton’s ’90s hits. But she’s done an impressive job of keeping herself in the game.

In the past couple of months, Braxton appeared alongside “American Idol” champ Taylor Hicks on the show’s finale. And she recorded the official anthem of the 2006 World Cup in Germany with international operatic group Il Divo.

If one needs further proof of this Braxton’s talents, then look toward Las Vegas. The Flamingo Hotel and Casino announced that Braxton will become the casino’s premier headliner starting in August. The performer that she’s been tapped to replace? Wayne Newton. For those not contemplating a trip into the Western desert anytime soon, Braxton hits Big D on Saturday.

Gilbert Garcia

Nokia Theater Grand Prairie, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. July 1 at 8 p.m. $49.50-$85. 214-373-8000.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 30, 2006. online mobileпродвижение сайта google самому