Toni Braxton and her famous siblings are dealing with a shocking loss. Their beloved sister Traci has died at the age of 50 after a private year-long battle with esophageal cancer. Traci's husband of nearly 30 years, Kevin Surratt, made the news public in a statement to TMZ and several other media outlets. "We have come to a time where we must inform the public that after a year of privately undergoing a series of treatment for Esophageal cancer our beloved Traci Braxton has gone on to glory," he said.
Traci spent the last year in hospice. Her only child, a son named Kevin Jr., posted a touching tribute to his mother on Instagram in a photo of the two embracing one another. "When I heard the news about my mother being sick, the first thing she said was I'm going to fight and beat this," he captioned the photo. "She fought to the end and today she's at peace." Traci's sisters, mother and friends were by her side when she passed, her publicist Tomasina Perkins-Washington told NBC News. The family, along with their mother Evelyn, also released a statement. "Traci passed this morning as the snow was falling, our angel is now a snowflake," they said in part on Saturday, Mar. 12. "We ask that you respect our privacy as we plan to send her home with love, celebrating her life."
Traci and her famous family appeared on their We TV reality show Braxton Family Values for seven seasons. Initially, Traci harbored slight resentment over wanting to revive her singing career. She began performing in a group with her sisters and they released one album together in 1990. The album didn't fare well due to the record label not knowing how to market them due to their age difference. Toni accepted a solo deal and brought her sisters along as backup singers. All four sisters performed as backup singers for Toni throughout Toni's career. They eventually landed their own deal, but Traci couldn't sign due to becoming pregnant at the time. In the meantime, Traci focused on being a wife and mother, creating a life in her hometown of Maryland.
During the course of the show, Traci released two studio albums, Crash & Burn and On Earth, as well as a family Christmas album with her sisters in 2016. She also toured the country promoting her solo work. Her biggest hit, Last Call, reached No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. She was also an accomplished actress, appearing in Sinners Wanted, and Chaww. Additionally, she had her own radio show BLIS.FM, The Traci Braxton Show, and was working on a shoe line and a whiskey line.
Prior to reality television, Traci worked as a social worker for 15 years. She also toured in stage plays in the D.C. Maryland area where she lived.
Despite their ups and downs documented on the show, fans of the family know they remained tight-knit. Traci was a fan favorite for her down-to-earth personality and constantly showing up for her sisters. She did not discuss her cancer battle publicly.