Week Ending Sept. 8, 2013. Albums: The Braxton Sisters
Tamar Braxton’s long-awaited sophomore album, Love & War, enters The Billboard 200 at #2, just behind Ariana Grande’s debut album, Yours Truly. Tamar Braxton is the youngest sister of Toni Braxton, who has climbed as high as #2 with three albums: Toni Braxton (#1 in 1994), Secrets (#2 in 1996) and The Heat (#2 in 2000).
This represents a huge advance for Tamar, whose debut album, Tamar, stalled at #127 in 2000. Love & War sold more copies this week (114K) than Tamar has in its entire run (96K).
Love & War sold more than twice as many copies this week as Toni's last studio album, Pulse, sold in its first week (54K) in May 2010. It sold almost exactly the same number as Toni's previous album, Libra, sold in its first week in October 2005.
It’s never easy to step out into your own when your sister is a famous, Grammy-winning star. Tamar didn’t use her last name on her 2000 album, presumably to de-emphasize the family connection. (She’s using it now.)
Tamar is 36, nine years younger than her famous sister. Tamar has sung backing vocals on Toni's last three studio albums.
Tamar’s only other previous appearance on The Billboard 200 came in 1996 when The Braxtons’ So Many Ways reached #113. The sister group at that point consisted of Tamar, Trina and Towanda Braxton. (Toni was also in the group from 1989 to 1991.)
Another pair of sisters—Jessica Simpson and Ashlee Simpson—has achieved comparable success. Ashlee had a pair of #1 albums: 2004’s Autobiography and 2005’s I Am Me. Jessica, the higher-profile media star, never reached #1. She climbed as high as #2 with 2004’s In This Skin.