Archive for October, 2007

Rolling Stone Calls "Blackout" 'State Of The Art'

Written by admin. Posted in Blackout

On her new CD, “Blackout,” Britney Spears acknowledges that 2007 hasn’t been a charmed year. “I’m Mrs. Bad Media Karma, another day another drama,” the 25-year-old pop princess croons to a thumping dance groove on the song “Piece of Me.”

“Another day, another debacle” might have been a more apropos lyric. In just a year’s time, Spears has become the ultimate case study for the “When Celebs Go Bad” file. She’s been an out-of-control party girl, landed in rehab, lost temporary custody of her two young sons, given a horrendous performance on live TV and gotten herself arrested.

But despite her litany of woes, “Blackout,” due out Tuesday, may be the one positive note in an otherwise dreadful year. So far, it’s earned her a Top 10 single (with “Gimme More”) and some of the best reviews she’s had in ages.

Could “Blackout” be the break Britney needs? Industry insiders, fans and some critics are saying “yes.”

“One of the problems for Britney right now is the public is more focused on her personal life than her music. This record is an opportunity to change that,” says Rolling Stone executive editor Joe Levy, who called the album “state of the art.”

“A lot of people are tired of hearing about the negative stuff going on in her personal life and they’ll gravitate to the new sound she’s putting out,” says Nate “Danja” Hills, who produced five songs on dance-focused “Blackout.”

“This is a rebirth. It’s a new musical chapter for her,” he says.

Spears’ musical past is already the stuff of legend. She was 16 when she put out her first album, “… Baby One More Time,” in 1999. Fueled by title track, which had the teen crooning the refrain “hit me baby one more time,” the album sold more than 14 million copies in the United States and made her an international superstar. She’s released three multiplatinum studio albums since then, had best-selling tours, several hit singles and starred in a movie (the less-than-successful 2002 flick “Crossroads”).

But Spears, who turns 26 in December, hasn’t released an album of original material since 2003’s “In the Zone.” Since then, she’s been relegated to the tabloid realm of celebrity, in danger of rivaling Michael Jackson in freak-show status.

Still, Junior Sanchez of Los Angeles, a 21-year-old college student, says the singer’s woes make him “feel more attached to her.”

“I can really tell she’s going through a lot of bad stuff right now,” he says. “Her real fans don’t care about her personal life. We care about her music and the way she performs.”

Though Sanchez was “really disappointed” with Spears’ appearance at MTV’s Video Music Awards, he eagerly sought leaks of her new album online and says he likes what he’s heard so far.

“It’s one of her best, I honestly think,” he says. “I’m ready to buy her records and I’m ready to buy tickets to her concert.”

Sanchez isn’t alone.

“Gimme” was the top-selling digital song on the week of its release, and Spears losing custody of her two toddlers a week later didn’t slow sales.

Fans remain loyal despite the drama, says Jerry Del Colliano, a music-industry professor at University of Southern California.

“Look at her single sales,” he says. “She couldn’t have been through a darker time. She embarrassed herself on television, she was ridiculed by bloggers and still she was No. 1.”

However, “Gimme” topped out at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and, after seven weeks, has dropped to No. 13.

Still, marketing consultant Ryan Schinman, president of Platinum Rye Entertainment, said: “I’d be shocked if this didn’t go platinum.”

“It certainly doesn’t help that she can’t promote this properly, but she doesn’t need that much promotion,” he adds. “You can’t get more out there than she’s been out there. (The album) is going to sell. People are curious because they know what a train wreck she’s been.”

It may help Spears that her club-friendly sound appeals to an older audience rather than the teens and tweens she originally courted, says Geoff Mayfield, Billboard’s senior analyst and director of charts: “If kids were still a huge part of her album base, the nefarious publicity would be more troublesome.”

“Blackout” features 12 thumping dance tracks crafted by top pop and hip-hop producers including Bloodshy & Avant (who produced Spears’ 2004 Grammy-winning hit, “Toxic”) and Danja, the beatmaster behind Spears’ single “Gimme More.”

Danja, a Timbaland protege who already scored hits with Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado, says he was “excited” to work with Spears and expects people to support the album, which has a “hard-hitting, dark and sexy vibe.”

Jive Records, Spears’ label since her debut, has remained mostly mum about the pop star. Jive officials declined to discuss why the album’s release date was changed (it was originally set for Nov. 13), how many more albums are in Spears’ contract, or the marketing challenges involved with promoting the troubled singer.

“As Britney’s label, it’s not our place to comment on her personal issues, but we do care about her and support her,” label spokesman Allan Mayer said in a recent statement. “Britney’s a grown woman who makes her own choices, and we respect that. But she faces challenges that most of us can’t really imagine.”

Source: Rolling Stone Magazine

"Blackout" Out Now In The UK

Written by admin. Posted in Blackout

Britney’s fifth studio album, “Blackout”, was released today in the United Kingdom. The disc was released in most continental European countries, including Ireland, at the end of last week.

Unfortunately, SonyBMG UK changed the tracklisting and the UK edition of the album doesn’t have any bonus tracks. Nevertheless, the bonus tracks are still set to appear on the Japanese version.

All the big music shops are stocking it, and it’s album of the week at Sainsbury’s.

The CD will be released tomorrow in the USA and some other parts of the world.

Larry Rudolph Has High Hopes For "Blackout"

Written by admin. Posted in Blackout

“Extra” spoke exclusively to Britney Spears’ former manager, Larry Rudolph, last night at the Maloof brothers’ house warming party.

Rudolph spoke about his high expectations for Spears’ new album, Blackout, declaring, “I think it’s going to do great! I have heard almost all of it!”

Rudolph tells “Extra” that his partnership with the pop princess is not over, indicating that the two of them plan to work together again very soon. Rudolph admits that the door is still open for another go at being Spears’ manager.

In fact, Rudolph is so close to the Spears clan that he talks to Britney’s parents almost daily and says he has nothing but love for the entire family.

Source: Extra

No Court Ruling Made Until Next Week

Written by admin. Posted in Custody Battle

The hearing is over.

Britney Spears has left the courtroom, escorted by her attorneys and several Sheriff’s deputies. Britney’s visitation has been extended over the weekend, and the judge took the bigger custody issue under submission.

K-Fed’s attorney spoke to reporters after the hearing, and told the group that the court will issue a written ruling sometime Monday or Tuesday.

Source: TMZ

Britney Tells Reporters "Everything's Great"

Written by admin. Posted in Custody Battle

During a brief break from her custody hearing on Friday, Britney Spears told reporters that “everything’s great” at the court appearance.

The singer and her ex-husband Kevin Federline both arrived at the courthouse amid a media frenzy earlier in the afternoon.

Spears, who arrived in her white Mercedes-Benz along with longtime friend Alli Sims, wore a long-sleeved dress and sunglasses. Spears, who came through security at around 1:40 p.m., followed by most of her legal team, smiled slightly and ignored questions as she walked into the courtroom.

Five minutes later, Federline arrived decked out in a dapper gray suit and sporting close-cropped hair and diamond studs in each ear. He silently made his way into the courtroom with his attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan.

Inside the courtroom, Federline took a seat and discreetly glanced over to his right where Spears was seated. She, however, kept her arms folded in front of her, and never turned to look at her ex.

After the judge entered the courtroom, both Spears and Federline stood simultaneously and were sworn in. When asked to state her name, Spears replied quietly, “Britney.” Federline stated his full name.

About an hour into the hearing, Spears exited courtroom with attorney Anne Kiley for a short break. Asked how the appearance was going, she replied, “Everything’s great.”

A judge had ordered the couple to appear for a progress-report hearing in their ongoing custody battle. L.A. Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon will be hearing from various custody experts involved in the case.

For now, Federline retains physical custody of sons Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1. Spears has monitored visitation rights, and one overnight per week with her children.

The judge is not expected to reinstate the 50-50 custody arrangement that was in place before Spears was stripped of custody and allowed only visitation.

“At best, she may get unmonitored visits and more overnight privileges,” says family law attorney Scott Weston, who’s not involved with either party. “This case is still in the early stages and could go on for months.”

Source: People Magazine

Details From Inside The Court Room This Afternoon

Written by admin. Posted in Custody Battle

britneycourt.jpg At 1:40pm PT on Friday, Britney Spears walked into an L.A. courtroom to make her first appearance in the ongoing custody battle with Kevin Federline, wearing a very short blue dress, brown cowboy boots and Dior sunglasses and carrying her white Versace bag, kept her head down and, according to an onlooker, “seemed really nervous.” And from the get-go, it was clear the former marrieds weren’t prepared to put their differences behind them any time soon.

“They barely looked at each other,” an eyewitness tells OK!. “They did exchange a couple of glances but there were not smiles. The rest of the time they were just looking straight ahead.”

The Toxic singer removed her sunglasses after sitting down at a table at the front of the courtroom. Britney, who had been smoking rapidly as she pulled up to court, “looked nervous” as she waited for proceedings to begin.

Kevin, wearing a snappy grey suit and tie, entered the courtroom five minutes later and thanked his security team, saying “Thank you, gentlemen.” The eyewitness tells OK! “Kevin was looking confident, more in control.”

Before the hearing, Brit’s attorney kept leaning in and talking into her ear. All the while, she sipped water and at flipped through a datebook.

Britney and Kevin, positioned with his attorney at a table opposite his ex, both said “I do” when they were sworn in by a court clerk. “There was a lot of tension in the courtroom,” adds the eyewitness. “There’s a lot at stake for both sides.”

The press and members of the public were removed from the courtroom a short while later.

After about an hour, the hearing broke for a short recess, during with Britney was escorted to the ladies’ room by five sheriff’s deputies.

During the hearing, the court security blocked off the whole floor and wouldn’t let anyone through, including Brit’s friend and cousin Alli Sims and hanger-on Sam Lufti, who damaged two cars in the courthouse parking lot while attempting to block paparazzi from taking photos.

“Alli looked very worried,” one witness tells OK!. “She was biting her nails and I heard her say to Sam, ‘God, I hope she’s okay.'”

Source: OK! Magazine

First Custody Hearing Of The Day Over

Written by admin. Posted in Custody Battle

The Britney AM hearing is over — it was all about videotaping Brit’s deposition.

K-Fed’s lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, told the judge he wanted to videotape Spears’ depo, because the way Britney speaks is as important as what she says.

Sources tell us that during Britney’s last court appearance, her words to the Commissioner sounded sincere but they were dripping with sarcasm.

Spears’ lawyer, Thomas Dunlap, argued that there have been tons of leaks and he didn’t want the videotape ending up on TMZ.com.

The Commish said he was not concerned about Britney being videotaped because she seems to court all that with the media. He said, “Your client’s concern on paper makes sense, but the ongoing pattern with the media and with the kids doesn’t square.”

Parent Crap — click to launchBut ultimately, Commissioner Scott Gordon ruled he would not allow a video because he was concerned about the content leaking to the media.

As for TMZ getting the story as to what was in the parenting coach’s report, Commissioner Gordon said, “I am deeply impressed by the investigative work of the media, although I think it’s a little stretch of their talent.” Aw, shucks!

Source: TMZ

I take it they mean that the hearing planned for 3pm today is still going on…

Britney Buys A New Swing Set For Her Boys

Written by admin. Posted in Custody Battle, Jayden James, Sean Preston

Just a day before she’s due in court for another custody hearing, Britney Spears was spotted out shopping with her sons — and the court-approved monitor — at Swings ‘N Things.

TMZ caught Spears arriving at the Calabasas emporium yesterday afternoon, her monitor driving Brit’s white Mercedes as Jayden and Sean slept in the back seat. Spears emerged to her usual paparazzi crush while the boys stayed in the car with Brit’s new “friend.” The popwreck quickly pointed out which wooden swing set she wanted and went inside.

Both Britney and K-Fed are due in court today at 1:30 PM.

Source: TMZ