Toni Braxton Opens up about Battling Lupus, Says She Has Approximately 300 Bad Days a Year

Aby Rivas
Apr 10, 2019
06:11 P.M.
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Toni Braxton recently wrapped her nationwide tour, “As Long as I Live,” despite complications with her lupus disease. The singer recently visited Steve Harvey’s show with her sisters, and she revealed how hard it is to deal with her symptoms throughout the year.


Toni Braxton knows how to put on a brave façade and step out on stage to face her audience, but that doesn’t mean she’s always feeling well.


The “Un-break My Heart” singer recently visited Steve Harvey’s show alongside her famous sisters and their mother to promote the new season of their show, “Braxton Family Values.”


On the interview, Harvey took the chance to congratulate Toni for winning an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Song category for “Long as I Live,” and mentioned that she finished her tour last month.


“Yes, it was tough,” Braxton replied. And explained why:

“I had pleurisy; I had little flares. That’s inflammation of my lungs, and as a singer, you need the lungs. So I got a cold from being out on the road, and it turned into that.”

“But I got through it, and everyone was great and gracious, and God had me,” she quickly added, earning claps from the audience.


Although Braxton said, “today’s a good day,” and mentioned how she’s doing better every week, she immediately contradicted herself by stating that almost every day of the year is a struggle with the autoimmune disease.

“365, maybe 300,” she replied when Harvey asked how many days of the year she’s feeling down.

Braxton tried to lift the mood in the room by joking, “Although to be fair, there are moments I wake up and say, ‘Wait a minute, this isn’t lupus, this [is] 50!” easily earning the audience’s laughs.



Last month, Braxton took to Instagram to commemorate the end of the tour— which took her around 21 cities in three months— by sharing a video from her bed thanking her fans for their undying support as she battled lupus on the road.

“We did it, yay! We got through the tour. It was tough. Good and bad days having stupid lupus, but I couldn’t have done it without you guys,” she said.


And added:

“Thank you for singing along with me. I need you guys to get me through those nights that were tough, and I want to you guys to know how much I appreciate you.”

Fans were quick to reciprocate Toni’s love in her comment section, with most praising her for her admirable strength to continue working despite her health issues.


“Even in your toughest moments, you never lose your glow! @tonibraxton I've been a fan since I knew what music was,” wrote one user.

And another added, “I am a Lupus Warrior. I admire you. Glad you made it through your tour. Now rest. You are awesome.”



Last November, Toni sat down with longtime friend Jada Pinkett-Smith and Adrienne Banfield on heir Facebook Watch show, "Red Table Talk," to discuss divorce. There, Braxton revealed that her condition took a toll on her marriage of twelve years.

Since she was unable to work for a while, Toni believes lupus was one of the reasons why she and her then-husband Kerry Lewis divorced in 2013.  

Toni Braxton and Keri Lewis at the 15th annual Trumpet Awards. January, 2007. | Source: GettyImages/Global Images of Ukraine


She said:

“I felt shallow because my ex-husband and I broke up for money issues. I found out I had lupus at the time. I couldn’t make money because I had lupus. I had to cancel the show. That was my personal contribution to the marriage failing, because who wants to take care of a person who’s sick all the time? He never said that, but I felt it.”



Toni was first diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in 2008 and shared the news with the world two years later, at the 8th Annual Lupus Bag Ladies Luncheon while receiving the Humanitarian Award.

“Take a look, this is what lupus looks like,” she stated at the time.


According to the Lupus Foundation of America, Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and organs).

What happens with the body is that the immune system, which fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs, can’t tell the difference between these foreign invaders and the body’s healthy tissues. As a result, it creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue.

An estimated 5 million people around the world are affected by lupus, according to the foundation.

Toni Braxton, Selena Gomez, Nick Cannon, Lady Gaga, and Seal are among them. Anyone can have lupus, but it mainly impacts women, and most develop it between the age of 15 and 44.


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