Toni Braxton Talks New Album ‘Sex & Cigarettes’ and Role in Lifetime Film

Toni Braxton has her plate full for 2018.

As her new single “Deadwood” starts building momentum on R&B radio, Braxton begins her promotional trek for her new album Sex & Cigarettes.

In an interview with Essence, the seven-time Grammy Award promises her new music doesn’t echo the message of her joint album with Babyface Love, Marriage & Divorce was about the ins and outs of marriage,” she explained to Essence. “Sex & Cigarettes is more about me feeling sexy, independent, and expressing my feelings. I think for a long time I felt I had to make certain records, but now I want to just be free! I don’t want to be censored, I just want to focus on being an artist and creating good quality music that people can relate to.”

In addition to working on her new music, Braxton is taking another swing at acting. She continues her film relationship with Lifetime and lands a role in the network’s upcoming movie Faith Under Fire.

The picture will recount the true story of Antoinette Tuff, a single mother who saved hundreds in an elementary school when she convinced a gunman to surrender.

Braxton tells Essence, “I did a lot of research to get me into character. I watched all of her interviews and studied her mannerisms. I actually met Antoinette in person on set, she’s a very courageous woman. I am inspired by her bravery and honored to be playing her in Faith Under Fire. She is a true hero.”

She also hopes to embark on an international tour to support her Sex & Ciagrettes album.

Braxton’s lead single “Deadwood” opens at No. 30 on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart today.

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Justine Skye Announces Debut Album ‘Ultraviolet’

With three EPs and a handful of one-off singles under her belt, Justine is finally ready to deliver her debut album. The project is titled Ultraviolet and is set to release on January 19, 2018 via Roc Nation. It will include her previously released songs “U Don’t Know” featuring Wiz Kid, “Back For More” featuring Jeremih and “Don’t Think About It.”

Skye took over Apple Music’s official Instagram account to announce the exciting news and to share a few details about the project. She revealed she collaborated with PARTYNEXTDOOR on a song called “Good Love,” which will be out on Friday.

“It was just dope working with PARTY because not only is he an amazing artist, he is a fire, fire songwriter and very passionate about the projects he works on,” she said.

The Brooklyn native also mentioned track seven, “Heaven,” is the most personal to her. “‘Heaven’ I feel like is the most vulnerable song on the album,” Skye said. “I did this song with Prince Charlez and Fred Ball who did ‘Love on the Brain’ with Rihanna.”

Ultraviolet will be on pre-order starting Friday (Dec. 8). Fans who pre-order the album will get an instant download of Skye’s new track “Goodlove.”

Ultraviolet Track List
1. Wasteland
2. Goodlove
3. U Don’t Know feat. Wiz Kid
4. Back For More feat. Jeremih
5. Don’t Think About It
6. You Got Me
7. Heaven
8. Push Ya
9. Lil Boy
10. Ultraviolet

Ty Dolla $ign Announces ‘Don’t Judge Me Tour’

After releasing his new album Beach House 3 in October, Ty Dolla $ign is ready to hit the road. The West Coast artist has announced his Don’t Judge Me Tour that is scheduled to begin on February 21, 2018 in Santa Ana, Calif. He will travel across 35 cities in North America, including Chicago, D.C, Detroit, New York, Toronto and Vancouver, to name a few. Rapper Big Krit will join him as the special guest at four stops.

Spotify pre-sales begin Thursday, December 7 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT while local pre-sales begin Thursday, December 7 at 10 a.m. local. All remaining tickets released to the general public on Friday, December 8 at 10 a.m. local. For complete details, and ticket information, please visit dollasignworld.com.

Ty Dolla $ign Don’t Judge Me Tour Dates
Feb. 21 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
Feb. 22 – San Luis Obispo, CA – The Fremont Theater
Feb. 23 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
Feb. 24 – Berkley, CA – The UC Theatre
Feb. 25 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst
Feb. 27 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Feb. 28 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
March 1 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
March 2 – Las Vegas, NV – Drais
March 3 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue
March 4 – Denver, CO – Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom
March 7 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
March 8 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
March 9 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
March 10 – St. Louis, MO – Ready Room
March 11 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe at Old National Centre
March 13 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
March 14 – Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre
March 16 – Reading, PA – Reverb
March 17 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
March 18 – Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
March 20 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
March 21 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA
March 22 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore Silver Spring *
March 23 – Morgantown, VA – Mainstage Morgantown
March 24 – Norfolk, VA – The Norva *
March 25 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz *
March 27 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel *
March 28 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (Heaven Stage)
March 29 – Memphis, TN – New Daisy Theatre
March 31 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
April 1 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
April 3 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
April 4 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren
April 5 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues

Kandi Burruss to Make Broadway Debut in ‘Chicago’ Musical

Kandi keeps winning! After landing her first ESSENCE cover this fall, the Real Housewives of Atlanta star will razzle dazzle show-goers on Broadway for the first time as Matron “Mama” Morton in the eight-week run of Chicago.

The Xscape singer exclusively shared the announcement with PEOPLE. She also revealed her Broadway news on Instagram, captioning, “I’m so excited.”

The Grammy winning singer will begin her stint will run from January 15 – March 11, 2018 at the Ambassador Theatre in New York. She will join current Chicago stars Charlotte d’Amboise as Roxie Hart, Leigh Zimmerman as Velma Kelly, Todrick Hall as Billy Flynn (through January 14 only), Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.

Kandi is still kickin’ it on the sold-out Great Xscape Tour with special guests Monica and Tamar Braxton. Get your tickets for Chicago here.

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