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Toni Braxton Feels ‘Anxiety’ About Her Lupus Flaring Up at Vegas Residency: ‘Doctor Said I’m Ready’ (Exclusive)



Pacing is very important and if I feel like I’m overdoing it, I know to take a break,” Braxton, whose Love & Laughter residency is underway, tells PEOPLE.

Toni Braxton feels ready to perform, but it’s hard to know when her body will have other plans.

The Grammy-winning R&B icon, who was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in 2008, is in the midst of her Love & Laughter residency with Cedric the Entertainer in Las Vegas, her first string of performances since undergoing emergency heart surgery in 2022.

“I’ve been feeling OK, that’s been the anxiety, just making sure I’m ready,” Braxton, 56, tells PEOPLE. “My doctor said I’m ready to go. I got checked off, everything’s good, but there is a little anxiety performing and having that health scare. But the man upstairs said it’s going to be OK, so I know I’m going to be alright.

Coincidentally, the “Un-Break My Heart” singer learned after agreeing to the seven-date residency at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas that Cedric’s late mother, Rosetta, also had lupus.
It was something I was very aware of. I just reassured Toni like, ‘Look, I got your back. We’re going to have a good time, don’t you worry about it,'” says the comedian, 60.

“I had no idea his mom had lupus,” says Braxton. “I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ and he’s so empathetic and understanding when I’m tired.” [Fatigue is a common symptom of SLE, which causes inflammation that can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.]

Given the Braxton Family Values star’s history with the disease, she’s learned to manage her health and what precautions to take in order to do so. But at the end of the day, she’s human too.
You know what? I don’t always eat good ’cause I’m a burger girl, so I’m not going to sit here and lie and say, ‘Oh, I eat real good.’ I try to eat as healthy as I can, especially when I’m working, I try to be disciplined, but I have to have those burgers and things like that,” says Braxton.

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