Britney Spears’ current Las Vegas residency has been hailed as one of her greatest achievements. Unfortunately for the pop superstar, its success may have come at a price. Here’s a look at why Britney: Piece of Me has inspired one of her most high-profile exes to make a costly request.
Born in McComb, Mississippi, in 1981, Britney Spears began her showbiz career at a young age. Indeed, she appeared on talent contest Star Search and joined the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club before she’d even reached her teens. But her true breakthrough arrived in 1999 when she released “… Baby One More Time” and its parent album of the same name, both of which reached number one.
Spears then cemented her status as one of the biggest pop stars of her generation with 2000 follow-up Oops!… I Did It Again. 2001’s more mature Britney and 2003’s In the Zone, which spawned the Grammy-winning single “Toxic,” then proved she could move with the times. But sadly her personal life soon began to overshadow her record-breaking musical career.
In early 2004 she wed Jason Alexander, a childhood friend, in Las Vegas. But the marriage was annulled within three days on the grounds that Spears “lacked understanding of her actions.” By the end of that same year she walked down the aisle for a second time with dancer Kevin Federline, this time for real.
The pair had two children together, Preston and Jayden, but split in late 2006 over “irreconcilable differences.” Spears’ behavior subsequently became increasingly erratic. In February 2007 she made headlines by shaving her head and attacking a paparazzo’s car wielding an umbrella. A disastrous performance at the MTV VMAs also saw many question her mental state.
A month later Spears lost custody of her two sons to Federline for reasons undisclosed to the public. In January 2008 an emergency court suspended her visitation rights completely after an incident at her home in which cops believed she had taken an illegal substance. She was subsequently placed in psychiatric care, while her father James was given permanent conservatorship of the star.
Spears surprised everyone by returning to work almost immediately. She guested on How I Met Your Mother, recorded a candid hour-long documentary for MTV and released a chart-topping sixth studio effort, Circus. She was later given back some of her visitation rights and filed a restraining order against her ex-manager, ex-boyfriend and former attorney for allegedly trying to wrest control of her affairs from her.
In 2010 Spears began dating her agent Jason Trawick. The pair got engaged in December 2011 but split up 14 months later. While her personal life remained turbulent, her professional was firing on all cylinders. She scored a fourth No.1 single with “Hold It Against Me,” received the MTV Video Vanguard Award and was said to be paid $15 million to serve as a judge on The X Factor.
She was also named the music industry’s highest-earning woman by Forbes magazine in 2012. She then guested on one of 2013’s biggest-selling singles, will.i.am’s “Scream and Shout,” and announced a residency at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Spears performed her show, Britney: Piece of Me, at the venue 100 times across 2014 and 2015.
However, the show proved to be so successful that Spears extended its run through December 2017. By the time she’d performed her 250th and final show, she’d reportedly sold more than 700,000 tickets and grossed $100 million to finish behind Elton John and Celine Dion as pop’s most popular Vegas resident. Critics were also largely impressed, with ABC News haling the show as a “lavish, entertaining spectacle.”
Unfortunately for Spears, the show’s huge success prompted her former husband to make a bigger financial demand. Indeed, two months after Piece of Me ended, Kevin Federline’s lawyers sent a letter to the star asking for more child support. This is despite the fact that Federline already receives 20 grand every month from his ex-wife.
The letter also stated the reasons why Spears should hand over more money. According to a Us Weekly source, Federline wants her to “recognize the sacrifices he has made because he has gone above and beyond what most people would do in this situation.” He also believes that Piece of Me wouldn’t have been such a big success without her family life being more settled.
The same source added, “Kevin has always been supportive of Britney’s recovery and has always recognized what a great mother she has been. Britney’s entire world are the boys, period. She just lights up when she is with them.” Unsurprisingly, Spears wasn’t too happy about this latest demand.
Indeed, according to the same source, Spears believes she already pays out for everything as it is. She reportedly also doesn’t trust Federline, who also has four other kids from other partners. The insider says, “Britney feels as if she is paying for them also. His rapping and DJing don’t pay the bills.”
But despite taking umbrage with Federline’s request, Spears looks set to agree a new arrangement. Us Weekly reports that both sides want to “reach an amicable agreement” outside of the courtroom. However, Spears herself won’t be taking part in any of the discussions.
Instead, that role will fall to her lawyers and her father Jamie, who still has conservatorship of the star. And Federline shouldn’t expect Spears’ team to just roll over. According to the Us Weekly source, Jamie “isn’t just going to fork over what he would consider an outrageous demand.”
Jamie has also reportedly reassured his daughter that her access to her children will not be affected by the talks. “He knows how important the kids are to Britney and won’t allow her to lose them,” says the insider. Federline allegedly claims that he’s been very “liberal” when it comes to Spears’ visitation rights since he was awarded full custody.
Federline’s demand was made just a month after Us Weekly reported that Spears was ready “to take control of her life again.” The magazine also claimed that the star was thinking of making a very important request herself. Indeed, having got her life back on track over the past few years, Spears was allegedly planning to ask for her father’s conservatorship to be removed.
That same month Spears also announced that she would be taking her Piece of Me show across the world. The star confirmed a series of summer gigs across North America and Europe, marking her first major concert tour since 2011’s Femme Fatale. The demand for tickets in the U.K. and France proved to be so overwhelming she had to add extra dates.
Things also seem to be on the up in Spears’ personal life. The star has been dating fitness model Sam Asghari since they met on the video shoot for her single, “Slumber Party,” in late 2016. Federline, meanwhile, has been married to ex-volleyball player Victoria Prince since August 2013.