News bits: Toni Braxton, Usher, Craig David…

Toni Braxton has lined up several concert dates for spring in support of her latest album, 2005’s “Libra.” Braxton will kick off her month-long, 10-show outing with a March 10 appearance at Atlantic City, NJ’s Tropicana Casino. Tickets for most of the slate are currently on sale; Braxton’s March 11 concert in Washington, DC, goes on sale Feb. 2. “Libra,” Braxton’s first new album since ending her longtime alliance with Arista Records, hit stores last September. Braxton worked with a variety of producers on the set, including Scott Storch (Beyonce Knowles, Lil’ Kim) and Antonio Dixon (The Underdogs). ————————————— Producer Jermaine Dupri has promised Usher fans the R+B singer will be back in the charts sooner than expected, because he can’t stand to be out of the public eye. Dupri admits Usher is desperate to return to the music video channels and award shows. Dupri tells MTV, “He called me like three or four days ago and was like, ‘It’s about that time.’ “I think (Usher’s) getting the bug again. It’s kind of boring for him to just be sitting around. He wants to hear himself on the radio and see himself on television.” ———————————— Craig David has become obsessed with exercise since taking on the challenge of running in the forthcoming London Marathon (Apr06). The Born To Do It hitmaker, 24, admits he was already in impressive shape before he started training for the charity event, but he’s plunged himself into a fitness frenzy. He says, “I’ve become a bit of a fanatic about working out. I’m taking it to a whole new place and hammering it. “There’s a marathon in three months and my fitness is up to standard but I wish I had more time to train.”

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