In recent months, there has been a rise romantic pairings, engagements and marriages in hip-hop, with a slew artists striving to be crowned hip-hop's newest power couple. Hip-hop fell in love with Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka'oir's love story, as well as Offset and Cardi B's engagement — featuring the $500,000 raindrop engagement ring — and now, the rumored romance between Birdman and Toni Braxton is the latest pairing capturing the world's attention. But when did it all actually start?
According to a recent interview with Wendy Williams, Birdman revealed he and Toni have been friends for at least “17, 18 years,” which sounds about right given that Braxton was featured on Birdman's 2002 single “Baby Can You Do It” f the Cash Money head honcho's debut studio album.
The pair made their red-carpet debut back in June 2016, and naturally, rumors began to swirl that the iconic singer and label head were ficially an item. Braxton's sister Tamar Braxton only added fuel to the flame by confirming the rumored romance despite Toni remaining mum on the subject altogether.
Below, Billboard takes a look at the timeline Birdman and Toni Braxton's romance.
October 2002: Toni and Birdman connect on “Baby You Can Do It”
As Lil Wayne began to gain traction in hip-hop in the late '90s, early 2000s, Cash Money boss Birdman was the frontman leading the Cash Money ship. Birdman released his debut self-titled album in 2002 featuring the Toni Braxton-assisted cut “Baby You Can Do It.” Timbaland laid down production for the S.O.S Band-sampling track. Birdman and Toni shot the flirty visual, in which Braxton and Baby are hugged up and dancing with each other throughout the entire video.
May 2016: Tamar Braxton hints at a romance brewing between Toni Braxton and Birdman
Rumors Toni Braxton and Birdman dating started bubbling after TMZ reported that Birdman showed up to support Toni for her performance at the inaugural Grammy Park event back in May 2016. Following reports, Tamar hopped on Instagram to stir up more speculation. “You know everybody has been asking me about this Toni and Birdman thing. But the question is, are they together or are they in a relationship?” she said in the video.
June 2016: Toni brings Birdman out onstage
At this point, Toni didn't lay rumors her romance with Birdman to rest and only added to the speculation by inviting Birdman onstage during her performance at the Fox Theater in Atlanta in June 2016. In a fan-shot video from the performance, Toni Braxton and her sisters sang an impromptu song before she brought Birdman out and stood alongside him as the crowd applauded the rumored couple.
June 2016: Toni and Birdman make their red-carpet debut
The world was convinced the pair was an ficial item when the rumored couple continued to tease their relationship by making an ficial red-carpet appearance at the 2016 BET Awards. Toni and Birdman were pictured cuddled up at the annual awards ceremony in matching all-black ensembles. Wendy Williams shared her thoughts on the couple's BET Awards photos, suggesting the couple's romance might be a publicity stunt.
August 2016: Birdman gifts Toni with a new car
Despite not ficially confirming their relationship, Tamar Braxton continued to tease her sister about it. In August 2016, Tamar shared a video Toni testing out her new Bentley SUV, courtesy Birdman.
September 2016: Toni and Birdman capture cameras front-row at the 2016 BMI Awards
Toni Braxton was honored with the BMI Presidents Award in September 2016. While she had her sisters, children and family members there to support her, Toni's rumored beau was seated right next to her in the front row.
February 2017: Toni sings “Happy Birthday” to Birdman
Birdman celebrated his 48th birthday last February and received a special surprise from Braxton when she decided to serenade him in front the New Orleans crowd and also presented the rapper with two birthday cakes. After wishing him a happy birthday, Toni hugged Birdman and punctuated her performance with a kiss on his cheek.
March 2017: Toni gushes over Birdman on Braxton Family Values
During a preview a new Braxton Family Values episode, Toni said that she and “B” decided to pursue a relationship but they're “dating lightly.” In the clip, Birdman sends Toni a bouquet flowers because their schedules don't allow them to see each other ten. “Luckily for me, he likes to do things to show that he cares about me, like sending flowers. I’m a flowers girl, what can I say?” she said. “He’s an undercover gentleman and he makes me feel adored.”
September 2017: Tamar confirms Toni's relationship on Wendy Williams
Wendy Williams is not one to mince words on any particular subject, and when she sat down with Tamar — who's known for her openness and honesty — Williams wasted no time getting to the bottom the eldest Braxton's new relationship. “Are Toni and Birdman still together?” Williams asked Tamar. Without hesitation, Tamar replied, “Yup, they sure are.” She shared a story her mother, Evelyn, being taken to the hospital for her heart surgery and revealed that Birdman supported the family the entire time and called the label head her “brother-in-law.”
November 2017: Toni is spotted with a huge ring on that finger
For the 2017 Soul Train Awards, Toni Braxton received the Legend Award for her contributions to music since her 1993 debut. After performing a stellar medley her biggest hits, Tamar congratulated her sister on Instagram. “My sis❤️ how could any other person EVER be more proud!! @tonibraxton -Williams u are THE LIVING LEGEND! Period! — thanks to soul train awards,” she wrote. You likely missed the clue Tamar slipped into the post but Tamar called her sis “Toni Braxton-Williams” suggesting Toni and Birdman did, in fact, secretly elope.
January 2018: Toni and Birdman reunite for “Heart Away”
Toni Braxton returned with her ninth studio album Sex and Cigarettes, but ahead the album's release, the couple dropped f a new single titled “Heart Away” produced by London on Da Track. On “Heart Away,” Toni laments about her broken heart over a booming trap beat as Birdman later raps about how his lady has “a bad man feeling good.”
February 2018: Birdman gushes over Toni Braxton on The Wendy Williams Show
During his latest press run, Birdman paid Wendy Williams a visit to discuss a range topics, including his rumored fiancee, Toni Braxton. Williams attempted to get info from Birdman about his relationship with Toni but Birdman used the opportunity to praise the singer. “That’s my love, my soldier, my life — she’s my everything,” he told the talk show host. “She’s my life — I love her to death.”