It's hard to believe it's been 19 years since Toni Braxton broke out onto the R&B scene with her self-titled debut album and hit single "Breathe Again." Many female singers from the '90s have faded away, but Braxton is still going strong, despite financial and health challenges. Need proof? The singer and autism advocate just filmed a sexy video for her new single "I Heart You" over the St. Patrick's Day weekend — and SheKnows was invited to watch the songstress in action.
"I Heart You" — the single from her upcoming album Heartstrings & Synagogue Vibes, due out in May. "You're going to want to dance all night," she said recently. "Let's say it's probably very 'Last Dance'-ish."
Braxton went on to say that she put all of her effort into the new album. "I'm kind of a beast, I'm kind of bad in the studio," she said. "I'm a perfectionist and I repeat things. I want to get it right so I make the engineers 'give it to me again, give it to me again.'"
That's no secret to fans of the Atlanta-based star of Braxton Family Values. Braxton works tirelessly on her career and for causes dear to her, like autism awareness. Her son, Diezel, is autistic and she's partnered with SheKnows on the "Where's the Other Sock?" campaign to raise money for Autism Speaks.
"I felt sorry for myself for a long time and I blamed myself. I thought it was something I had done," she admitted when she learned of Diezel's autism at age three. "Friends came to me, that are like me, and said 'Okay, you're not a victim, our babies are great, they're fine, get him into these therapies.'"
Diezel was there to support his mom during the shoot -- as was her other son, Denim.
"Early diagnosis makes a lifetime of difference," Braxton recently said of her son's treatment. "We have him in occupational therapy, speech therapy, he's being mainstreamed [and] he's in public school, general ed. He does have his special ed therapies, but we are very, very lucky."
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