Finally, Toni Braxton fans can “Breathe Again”.
In celebration of her 25 years in the music industry, the sultry R&B star has announced an official return to music with her first solo album in eight years, Sex and Cigarettes, out March 23. To kick it off, the seven-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist just released a new single, Long as I Live.
Along with a duet with fellow Grammy-winner Colbie Caillat, the new album will include the much-talked about single “Heart Away” featuring Braxton’s rapper boyfriend Birdman.
Now 50, Braxton never totally left the spotlight, thanks to her family’s hit WE TV reality series Braxton Family Values. But the singer, who before releasing a joint project with Babyface in 2014 hadn’t put out a new album since 2010, is happy to be getting back to her roots.
After spending years struggling with the debilitating effects of lupus, she is set to perform on a North American tour this spring and refuses to let illness get in the way of her music.
“I feel so blessed because the doctors told me I would never be able to perform, I would never be able to travel or anything, but, you know, whole different plan for me,” she recently told PEOPLE.
Braxton spoke about her admiration for pop star Selena Gomez who also won’t let lupus prevent her from performing.
“It’s energy to sing! I don’t know how she does it,” said Braxton of Gomez. “Some days, if I’m having a bad day and I still have to do a show, it’s a lot of, ‘You sing’ to the audience.”