Brenda Braxton

Tony-nominated Broadway Actress, Entrepreneur and Speaker

Brenda Braxton is a Tony-nominated Broadway actress and native New Yorker who found success on Broadway at an early age. She landed her first Broadway show only a year out of High School. She was last seen on Broadway as Velma Kelly in CHICAGO The Musical sharing the stage with USHER, Rita Wilson, BeBe Neuwirth, Lisa Rinna and Brian McKnight. She was nominated for a Tony Award in 1995 for her starring role on Broadway in Smokey Joe's Café and has received the NAACP Theater Award, Chicago's Jefferson Award and a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album. Her other Broadway credits include Guys and Dolls, the original production of DREAMGIRLS with Jennifer Holiday, CATS, Legs Diamond with Peter Allen and Jelly’s Last Jam with Gregory Hines and Savion Glover. She most recently played opposite Jennifer Hudson on the TV show SMASH and as a singer on Nurse Jackie.

In 2006 she launched BBRAXTON; Exceptional Grooming for Exceptional Men, a grooming parlor in Harlem, which offered grooming services for gentlemen. Ms. Braxton was the only woman honored with the “Men of Style Award “ presented by Gillette Fuzion. In 2009 due to personal challenges and the economy, BBRAXTON closed , but reopened in 2011 (full story in December 2011 Black Enterprise). Unfortunately BBRAXTON closed again in 2012. She has been a speaker for the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference and Key note speaker at the Hampton University Alumni Conference and The United Negro College Fund.

In realizing the importance of giving back, Ms Braxton founded a not -for-profit organization called, Leading Ladies Just for Teens (LLJFT), seminars geared toward empowering young girls to be the best they can be. Leading Ladies began in 1996 at the Virginia Theater with a series of seminars designed to encourage, challenge and inspire young girls to dream and set goals. For her work as founder of LLJFT Ms. Braxton has received the Dr. Martin Luther King “Living the Dream” award given by New York’s Governor Pataki, the Josephine Baker Award from the National Council of Negro Women, and the Community Service award given by the National Association of Negro Business Women.

This summer she launches ACT 2…Now What? a series of seminars and workshops for women over 50 looking to make the Act 2 of their lives spectacular on their own terms and discover the Leading Lady in themselves!

“I’m a spiritual being living a human experience hoping to leave an amazing, uplifting and unforgettable footprint on the world… IF I CAN JUST MAKE IT THROUGH MENOPAUSE!”
Brenda Braxton