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  1. Fans were happily surprised when Britney Spears revealed that little sister Jamie Lynn would be featured on her eighth album, Britney Jean. But this wasn't the first time these two have sat down to write a song together. In fact, Jamie Lynn said they talk music quite frequently. "Whether it's listening to some of her tracks or it's me playing the guitar or playing the piano or just us messing around as sisters, we've written some really stupid, silly songs," Jamie Lynn told MTV News earlier this month. "It's really just so fun when you have someone who appreciates the writing process and you're so comfortable with. We've never finished anything ... but we do start." Somehow, in between their busy schedules and with Jamie Lynn's 5-year-old daughter Maddie dancing in the studio, they did manage to find time to lay down the vocals for the mid-tempo track "Chillin' With You.""She was like, 'Why don't we try singing this together?' and I got in there and I literally sang it four or five times and it turned out really cool and we loved it,"Jamie Lynn said. "As sisters it's just fun to do something like that — it was just a really natural, organic thing." Jamie Lynn is now branching out on her own, releasing her brand-new country ballad, "How Could I Want More," and working hard on her debut album. Earlier this month, Britney revealed that it "would be cool" to go country for Jamie Lynn, so how would Jamie Lynn feel about teaming up with her sister once again? "I would love it," the singer said, adding that Britney has given her the "confidence" to release new music. "I think it would be cool for her to switch it up, and obviously just for me to do another song with my sister, I would be totally open to that." http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1719637/britney-spears-jamie-lynn-recording-process.jhtml
  2. Dev Hynes, one of the producers who was recruited to create tracks for Britney Jean but was ultimately cut out, gave an interview to The Guardian about his life and career, and mentioned Britney and her team. A small excerpt from the interview: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/dec/27/dev-hynes-solange-blood-orange-sound-of-pop-2013-interview What do you think? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!
  3. Paparazzi photographer Adnan, 41, who insists he and Britney, 32, remain “deeply in loveâ€, said: “Christmas Day 2007 was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever seen. “Britney was drowning in despair, fighting for breath, feeling her life was slipping away. “She couldn’t see her kids and wanted cheering up. So we drove from her Beverly Hills home to her rented mansion in Malibu to get away from the city. “But when we went into the living room the sight of the Christmas tree and gifts for the boys just broke her. She couldn’t stop sobbing. “I put my arms around her and tried to comfort her but no words were getting through. “She knelt before the tree and started opening the boys’ presents. “It was agonising and devastating to see this wonderful, devoted mum reduced to this state. “She looked forlorn as she unwrapped Sean’s truck, then she slumped on the carpet and bawled her eyes out. “She was deeply depressed and distressed. The unhappiest person I had ever seen in my life.†Adnan started dating Britney in October 2007 after months of flirting at media events. She shot to pop fame as a 16 year old with global smash Baby One More Time in 1998. But by 2007 she was going through a divorce to second husband Federline. She also shaved off her hair and attacked a car with an umbrella — then checked into rehab. In September 2007, her bodyguard Tony Baretto told US Child Protection Services Britney was taking crystal meth and cocaine, and drinking whisky while around her children. A month later an LA court ruled she was a habitual user of drugs and alcohol and could only have restricted visiting rights to her boys. Birmingham-born Adnan added: “She felt she was being punished being away from her children. She told me, ‘If I cannot see the boys, I have no reason to live’. “Every day was unpredictable. She switched from being happy to sinking into deep depressions. On days the boys visited she would be happy, smiling and singing around the house. It was her ritual to clean their rooms and get out their toys even though the maid had done it. “Sometimes just before a visit she got a call saying it was off, with little explanation. (pretty sure that's illegal, Kevin you disgusting piece of shit) That would send her over the edge again. “She would run to her bedroom, slam the door and refused to come out all day — not eating or drinking. “She would call out the boys’ names as she lay on the bed crying for hours.†In January 2008 cops were called after she refused to return her sons to Federline. She was put in psychiatric care for five days. Adnan said he only ever saw Britney take prescribed drugs (which explains why she never failed a drug test, because obviously they wouldn't be testing for those I guess) — but they were enough to make her “manic, scatty and totally vacantâ€. He said: “The reason she took them was to numb the pain of not seeing the kids. “It was mainly Adderall which is like legal speed to my mind. She would have dozens of boxes around the house and take them all the time. Staff gave her pills saying, ‘Here are your vitamins’. They certainly didn’t have the effect vitamins have. “Within a few minutes her pupils were bulging and she would be wound up and frantic. “She would also drink Red Bull all day, as many as 15 cans. She would talk at you for hours. It seemed the substances suppressed her appetite too. All she wanted to eat was Cheetos and Cheez-It crisps. She was going through 40 cigarettes a day. “All of sudden, at certain times of day, she’d just stop and crash on the sofa for hours.†In early 2008, Britney’s dad Jamie was given legal control of her affairs. Then in July she won back joint custody of her sons. She and Adnan split around the same time. In early 2009 he was hit with a restraining order, issued by Jamie, to keep away from the star. But Adnan said he saved her life by getting her back with her dad, who she claiming was too controlling. Adnan said: “When Britney and I first met she vowed to never speak to Jamie again. “But after I said it could only help with her kids, she agreed. “When I phoned Jamie to say I was trying to reunite them he burst into tears and blubbed, ‘Thank you, thank you. “You can have all the money in my bank account. She won’t let me see her’.†While Adnan mostly saw Britney at her lowest ebb there were times her happy self shone through. He said: “Escaping the glare of LA was great for her. “She became a relaxed, fun-loving young woman. “One day in Palm Springs she wanted to watch the 1950s US sitcom I Love Lucy at our hotel. She would laugh and smile, and just wanted to be cuddled and held. It was like having a normal girlfriend. We would have room service delivered and just sit laughing at the goofy humour. It was perfect.†Recalling another getaway to Mexico in early 2008, Adnan said: “She told me, ‘I am in love with you’ and said ‘I think I’m pregnant’. “She seemed very excited and I knew she’d want to keep the child. We rushed to buy a test kit but it proved negative. I could see her heart sink.†Last Christmas Britney returned to the stage with her Piece of Me residency in Las Vegas. There are rumours she may retire when the stint ends in 2015, and Adnan is not surprised. He said: “Britney said she wanted out of showbusiness in 2008. She hated the fame and not being able to go anywhere while being mobbed. “She told me the Blackout album in 2007 was meant to be her last. “She said, ‘I don’t care about the money. I want to be me again, Britney Jean. I love my fans, but I love my boys more’. One time she said, ‘Let’s leave here and move to your home in England’. She was deadly serious. “Britney had never lived a normal life since being a teenager.†She is now dating law firm worker David Lucado while Adnan is single and working as a media consultant. He added: “I know she wants more children and is desperate to find the right person to settle down with. I hope she meets the man who truly makes her happy.†So basically this is ALL Kevin and his asswipe lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan's fault. They tortured the fuck out of the mother of his child all so that they could get him a bigger settlement check in court. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/5401814/Britney-Spears-ex-reveals-the-shocking-extent-of-singers-meltdowns.html Yes, I know its The Sun, but it's an actual interview he gave them, meaning these are his words not theirs.
  4. 'It's in my blood to perform,' Britney tells USA TODAY LAS VEGAS — The big white snake and that awards show kiss. The electric professional highs and those crushing personal lows. All traces of that particular tabloid queen have vanished from an airless backstage room at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, leaving behind only a tired, sweaty yet still smiling 32-year-old working stiff named Britney Jean Spears. "I didn't sleep last night because I'm excited," Spears tells USA TODAY, her soft Louisiana drawl peeking out as she plops down on a leather couch after another grueling rehearsal. "But today I'm dying. I feel like I'm drunk, I'm so tired, you know?" It's not hard to imagine the stress and strain Spears is under. For the past four months, the onetime queen of teen pop has been laboring on her new stage show,Britney: Piece of Me, a two-year, 98-gig residency that kicked off Friday at the custom-tweaked, 7,000-seat Axis theater here. Beyond the inevitable scrutiny of a pop-culture kingdom she once ruled, there's the sheer rigor of blasting through 24 largely uptempo hits with countless costume changes and wild set pieces that include her leaping off a massive fake tree. But for Spears, whose at-home dramas — ranging from divorce to hospitalization — sometimes appeared to threaten her onstage dreams, it was never really if she was going to clamber back on the showbiz diving board, but when. "It's in my blood to perform," says Spears, dressed in black dancer's tights and a football-type jersey bearing the number 25. Her bleached-blond hair is pinned to the top of her head; one hand fusses with her upper lip. Most stars in this decidedly un-starlike state would simply refuse to be seen, but Spears seems as comfortable as your neighbor coming back from a jog. "I'm a hometown girl, and my personality at home is the opposite of the performer in me," she says. "But then, when I'm home and haven't done anything for a while, I get really itchy and nervous and weird-feeling. Performing is my therapy, to become different people onstage." She pauses, her voice but a whisper. "It gives me confidence. I don't have that much confidence in myself. But when I'm onstage, it's my alter ego, and it kind of does adjust my personality." Vegas offered the perfect outlet for those dueling personas. "I'm a family girl and (like) being in one place. Traveling around the world is really strenuous for me, being in a different bed every night, flying and everything," she says, shaking her head. "I look back now, and I don't see how I did it. This (residency) just seems ideal. It's an hour from L.A., from my home, and it's perfect." Well, almost. Comfortable onstage since her pre-teen Mouseketeer days, Spears made a name for herself in the early 2000s as a dancing force in the model of her heroine, Madonna. But the body of a teenager is forgiving, less so the one of a thirtysomething mom. Spears recently hit the spa at a neighboring Strip hotel and confesses that she never wanted to leave, a take-me-away luxury that rivals disappearing into a favorite movie (Bridesmaids) or book (Emily Giffin's Heart of the Matter). "These intense workouts have really been excruciating," she says, sighing. "It's probably the hardest workout I've ever done, ever in my life, getting ready for this show. I look back at my other tours, and I'm doing more songs here than I've ever done. And it's just way more, the speed of the dancing throughout." That tempo is thanks to a catalog of hits that a much older performer would envy, ranging from her teen-vixen breakout smashes, 1998's ... Baby One More Time and 2000's Oops! … I Did It Again, to the will.i.am-helmed dance grind Work Bitch off her just-released album, Britney Jean. While this eighth effort is her slowest-selling to date — just 107,000 copies in its first week — there's enough depth to the past decade and a half of chart success to fuel the show. "Let's remember it's been almost 15 years since her first album, and that's an anniversary to celebrate, one that makes it feel right to have a retrospective show like this," says her manager Larry Rudolph, taking direct aim at a criticism that his client (he also represents Miley Cyrus) might be too young for a Vegas residency. "Very few performers have 15 years in the business, let alone that many years with lots of hits," he says. "Miley called me the other day and told me, 'I've just spent the past few days watching all of Britney's (music) videos, and she's unbelievable. She just murdered it every time.' This (run) is more than warranted." While there's no debating that Spears is far younger than her Vegas residency compadres — notably Celine Dion, 45, Shania Twain, 48, and Rod Stewart, 68 — her youth is an asset when it comes to producing a high-energy, club-oriented spectacle aimed at a new and younger breed of Vegas visitor lured by the Strip's burgeoning commitment to electronic dance music. Here, Britney billboards do battle with ads for sets by all-star DJs such as Tiesto, Steve Aoki and Calvin Harris. "My guess is this (residency) is a good bet for Vegas, as there are enough people who were teens with (Britney) and now are in their 30s and revisiting their love of her dance hits," says Gary Bongiovanni, editor of concert industry magazine Pollstar. He adds that while any new act in town faces the challenge posed by "Vegas being, arguably, one of the busiest entertainment cities in the world," he notes that any show offering "a lot of eye candy is basically addressing what most visitors there come to expect." But Britney could well be shooting for something far greater than simply being just another fun Vegas night out, says Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield. "With this show, she's making a bold claim on her place in pop-culture history," he says. "Everyone's always predicted a flame-out from her, but the new album shows she can expand her sound. She'll have to be bold, but this is a chance to shine." For Spears, staying busy will be its own reward. "I know nearly 100 shows sounds like a lot, but I'm excited," she says. "I'm the type of person who, if I don't have enough to do, I go crazy. I have to stay busy. It's a good thing to stay busy." The plan is to do four or so shows a week, then head from a penthouse suite here back to her Los Angeles home and overseeing her boys' (Sean, 8, and Jayden, 7, with Kevin Federline) school and sports schedules, a working-mom juggling act she credits to the efficiency of a trusted assistant. "I love my family," says Spears, whose father and conservator, Jamie, is never far from sight backstage. "I get excited being around them. For me, it's about relatives and cousins, as much as they can drive you crazy. It's about them." If she is feeling the pressure to demonstrate that she still has what it takes professionally, she's not showing it. "I love what I do, and at this point in my career, I don't feel like I have anything to prove," she says. "I didn't do much promotion for the new album for that reason. I don't feel like I have to do every TV show. I just want to perform and inspire people. When I'm tired and I see one of my dancers pick up my part, they inspire me. I think that's why we're here, to inspire each other." She sips a drink from a straw. "Performing gives me a fearless feeling, like you can conquer anything. I guess it's a false confidence, actually." In fact, certain things scare Spears. "A lot of things do, yeah. Um, like I'm not good in social settings," she says. "And I'm not good with heights. Or any animals other than my animals. I'm scared of dogs. I have dogs, but they're tiny. I'm scared of other dogs. I got attacked by two dogs when I was younger." Clearly, snakes are exempt from that fear, as evidenced by her memorable cultural moment, akin to Miley's MTV Video Music Awards twerk-a-thon: draping herself with a massive white python for the 2001 VMAs performance of I'm a Slave 4 U. Spears smiles at the memory. That was a lifetime ago. A teenage dream. Her thirtysomething reality lies ahead. "I'm happy with where I am," she says. It comes off as a statement, not a plea. And for the next two years, the world can come to Las Vegas and see for themselves. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2013/12/29/britney-spears-piece-of-me-las-vegas-interview/4218705/
  5. Behind the Scenes: What It Was Like to Interview Britney Spears for the January Issue I’m the Fashion Features Editor at InStyle and in addition to assigning and editing cover stories and fashion features, I sometimes get to write them. This was the case with Britney, who I have long admired since I was an editor at Teen People in the early 2000s. Here’s a step-by-step account of our interview that didn’t make it into the story: 1. As I walked up the dance rehearsal space, I could hear “Toxic†blaring. It’s one of my personal favorites and immediately took me back to her famous MTV snake performance (um what). If I wasn’t nervous before about interviewing a cultural icon, I was then. 2. I was greeted by a very nice and slight guy who manned the door the whole time I was there. He basically acted as a bouncer, checking people in and out, but didn’t have as hulky or intimidating a presence as I would have thought someone in that role should have. 3. I hung out the lobby for a while waiting, listening to the rehearsal in the neighboring room, but it would get really crowded at times with handlers and business associates. It was also extremely hot in the space. Eventually I migrated to an empty locker room area that was a tad cooler. 4. At one point I saw the show’s producer, Baz Halpin, walk by and I asked to speak with him about the production. He told me about the snow and rain elements of the show and the number of dancers. He’s also worked with Pink and Katy Perry. 5. Shortly after I spoke to Baz and after about three spins of the chorus of Stronger, dancers started pouring out of the back room/rehearsal space. I heard someone mention something about lunch and then, sooner than I thought she appeared. In the midst of the scrum, Britney walked by. Her publicist ushered me into an adjacent office and we shook hands just like you would in a very professional greeting (firm handshake, mutual eye contact, polite pleasantries). 6. I didn’t include the shoes in the write-up of what she wore: totally cute hot pink Nike sneakers. 7. The next few minutes were really hectic as there was a tiny fridge in the office and the dancers were popping in and out to grab their lunches while someone else stood on a chair to affix thick black velvet fabric to the single window in the space (to keep out the lenses). Britney, who had taken a seat across from me, was just chilling. Even though she had obviously just been working out hard (and in that heat), her skin looked flawless. 8. During the interview, she was funny, open, warm, and down to earth. Sure she was guarded about certain topics—relationships—but very open about other topics, like her disdain for how society puts too much pressure on women to look thin. In fact, one of my favorite quotes that didn’t make it in and that I think reflects her matured sense of self and her emerging perspective on the important things in life, is this one: “If you have a point in your life in which you are 15 pounds overweight, it’s okay. It’s really not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.†http://tumblr.instyle.com/
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