It's been five years since a lupus diagnosis sidelined R&B singer Toni Braxton's career.
"Lupus is like the worst flu you've ever had in you life," the 45-year-old said in recent conference call with reporters. "It completely drains you."
Just before the diagnosis, she was performing nightly at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino to crowds of adoring fans. She said doctors told her illness meant she may never be able to do that again.
So she left the stage behind to seek treatment and raise her two son, Denim and Diezel. Since then, she became a part of a hit reality series about her family of singing sisters, We TV's Braxton Family Values; finalized her divorce from Mint Condition's Keri Lewis; and began recording a new album of duets with songwriter Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.
All that was left was a return to the stage.
Beginning in July, Braxton started her tour which lands at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater on Wednesday. Click here for details on the show.