TONI BRAXTON EXPLODES: I DON'T SING LIKE J.LO. . .

Published on: December 12, 2002

Veteran songbird Toni Braxton exploded after a writer dared to compare her singing to J.Lo's -- and she put down the sexy Latina as a second-rate singer.

The normally easygoing performer has suffered a series of setbacks with style and grace -- including bankruptcy, a very public breakup with her fiancé, and nasty false rumors about her sexuality.

But when the six-- time Grammy winner learned about the comparison to J.Lo, she became furious.

"Toni said the writer needed to get his hearing checked!" revealed a close family friend. "She asked, 'How could anyone possibly put me and Jennifer Lopez in the same sentence?

"'It's such bull---- !'

"She is furious that anyone would dare to compare her voice to J.Lo's.

"Toni yelled, 'I don't need $2 million worth of studio equipment to sing!

"'Jennifer can act and she's one hell of a businesswoman -- but she cannot touch my voice!'

"Toni doesn't have anything personally against Jennifer but she won't allow this to go unchallenged.

"She took offense because it makes her look like she's trying to ride on J.Lo's popularity, but she doesn't need it.

"She said she's been around A LOT longer than J.Lo and doesn't 'need to hold onto her tail to be heard!'"

Toni is now happily married and expecting her second child with husband Keri Lewis.

Concluded the family friend: "Toni says if there is one thing she's arrogant about it's her voice."