Toni Braxton To Bring "The Heat" In April

After a lengthy legal tie-up and a brief stint on Broadway, R&B songstress Toni Braxton will deliver her first album in four years when "The Heat" hits stores in April.

The album, Braxton's third, will arrive on April 25 and will mark the singer's long-awaited follow-up to 1996's "Secrets."

Fans will get their first taste of the anticipated album courtesy of "He Wasn't Man Enough," the first single from "The Heat." The track teams Braxton with noted producer Rodney Jerkins (Whitney Houston, Monica, Mary J. Blige, Brandy), and the singer shot a video for the song last weekend in Los Angeles with director Billie Woodruff.

"The Heat" will see Braxton continue to team with heavyweight collaborators, as producers Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and David Foster help out and award-winning songwriter Diane Warren pitches in for the album as well.

Braxton plans to pound the pavement in support of "The Heat" and will launch a promotional radio tour in the coming weeks. Braxton's

record label, LaFace Records, also says that Braxton wants to play live dates through the summer, but that nothing has been confirmed yet.

During her four-year recording sabbatical, Braxton did a turn as Belle in the Broadway production of "Beauty And The Beast" (see "Braxton Prepares For Stage Debut While Recording Career In Limbo").

However, Braxton became more noteworthy for her legal moves than her voice during her time away from recording. The singer launched a legal dispute with LaFace in 1997 over her contract and filed for bankruptcy the following year in what many saw as a move to have her LaFace contract declared void.

Braxton and LaFace hammered out a new contract in early 1999, and the singer entered a recording studio soon thereafter to begin work on "The Heat."