Song Author: Diane Warren

Year Recorded: 1995


Un-Break My Heart

Single by Toni Braxton from the album Secrets
Released July 10, 1996
Format CD single, 12″, cassette single
Recorded 1995; The Record Plant, Chartmarker Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre R&B, pop
Length 4:32
Label LaFace
Writer(s) Diane Warren
Producer David Foster

“Un-Break My Heart” is a song by American recording artist Toni Braxton, taken from her second studio album, Secrets (1996).

The R&B ballad was written by Diane Warren. Braxton expressed a dislike for the song; however, Clive Davis was able to convince the singer to record it and include on her album.

It was released as the second single from the album in July 10, 1996, through LaFace Records. Lyrically, the song alludes to a “blistering heartbreak” in which Braxton begs a former lover to return and undo the pain he has caused. It won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1997.

“Un-Break My Heart” attained commercial success worldwide. In the United States, the song reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100, where it stayed a total of eleven weeks, while reaching the same position on the Hot Dance Club Songs and Adult Contemporary component charts.

In Europe, the song reached the top-five in more than ten countries while peaking at number one in Austria, Belgium (Wallonia), Sweden and Switzerland. Billie Woodruff directed the accompanying video for the single.

It portrays Braxton mourning on the death of her lover, while remembering the good times they had together. Braxton performed the song on the opening ceremony of the 1997 Billboard Music Awards. “Un-Break My Heart” has been covered by several artists, including American alternative rock band Weezer.

“Un-Break My Heart” was written by Diane Warren in 1995.

When asked about her songwriting process, she said that songs usually come to her from a title, a chorus or a drum beat. “Un-Break My Heart” was conceived from its title, and, according to Warren, “it popped into my head, and I thought, ‘I don’t think I’ve heard that before, that’s kind of interesting.’ I started playing around on the piano with these chords and did a key change, and then I knew, ‘OK, this is magic.'”

Warren further explained that she wrote “Un-Break My Heart” as a ballad and dance song, because that was the way she heard it. She also said that “some people only know it as a – gay – dance song!”

When Warren played the finished song to Arista Records’ president Clive Davis, he thought that the song would fit Braxton’s then upcoming album.

When “Un-Break My Heart” was sent to Braxton, she expressed dislike for the song. According to Warren, “[Toni] hated the song. She didn’t want to do it.”

Davis was able to convince Braxton to record it, and later it became her signature song.

Following the recording sessions of the song, Braxton approached Warren and explained her why she was skeptical about recording it, further explaining that she didn’t want another “heartbreak track”.

Recording sessions occurred at The Record Plant and Chartmarker Studios in Los Angeles, California on the same year.

“Un-Break My Heart” was released as the second single from Secrets on July 10, 1996.