Anticipating hits ranging from “Toxic” to “Circus,” Britney Spears fans are eagerly awaiting her smash return to the stage. Beginning Dec. 27 at Planet Hollywood Resort, she’ll perform 21 or so of her greatest hits in the splashy production show, “Britney: Piece of Me.”
Though never disappointing with shock and awe, Spears has been coy about divulging any show details since she announced the deal on Sept. 17 with a viral stunt in the Vegas desert.
Now with about six weeks until showtime, Spears is getting personal in a brand-new cover story for “Vegas Player” magazine, Caesars Entertainment’s in-room publication. In the revealing interview, (complete with sizzling new pictures) she looks back on her two-decade career and talks influences, prepping for Las Vegas and the harsh spotlight of being the most photographed woman in the world. But more than anything, Spears can’t wait to hit us one more time with her glittering comeback. “I’m really excited,” she says. “‘Piece of Me’ is a labor of love. I can’t wait to perform it.”
On the appeal of a Vegas show
“When you tour, it’s so hard on the body,” she says. “I look back and I don’t know how I did it. Being in one place is cool. It’s a more stable environment”—not only for her but for her two sons, Sean Preston, 8, and Jayden, 7, who will also be making the trips. “Las Vegas is a fun place,” she adds. “There is so much going on. The energy here is incredible. You feel it walking through the casino. Everybody is here to have a good time.”
Getting to “work” (bitch)
“I have not been this sore in my entire life,” she confesses. “When I started working out, I was sore for like, three days. I could hardly move. I’m really challenging myself with the choreography…Whenever I do a show, I’m really keen on making it a show. I love to dance and perform. Because it’s Vegas, I want to do something different. This is the perfect place to bring it to the next level.”
Spears says there wasn’t one specific artist she admired growing up, but she counts Otis Redding, Sheryl Crow and Whitney Houston among her musical influences. “It’s hard to pick one person. I looked up to so many, actually. I do love Shania Twain,” she says of the country superstar who performs just across the street from her at Caesars Palace.
On the glare of fame
“It was kind of like a dream,” she recalls. “I’m from a small town and I wasn’t expecting anything. When it happened, it was kind of surreal. I got so busy traveling that I was oblivious to it all. I didn’t even realize what was happening. It was like a dream that I never woke up from. It was pretty spectacular…It’s important to have a group of people around you who can keep you down to earth. It’s a mind-altering experience when you become a pop star at such a young age. Some people are made for it and some people aren’t. If you keep good friends around you and stay grounded, you’ll be ok.”
Lights, camera, action
Spears, who has pretty much lived her entire life in the public eye and been followed by pesky photographers, is asked whether she’s grown accustomed to the constant attention. “This is the thing,” she replies. “I’m actually really shy. I don’t like having my picture taken. I don’t like the attention, but it’s something that comes with success. I’ve accepted the paparazzi are going to be there; I just try to wear the same thing every day so I become uninteresting.” As to whether she follows the tabloids that write about her: “I’ve never done that. I know there is rude stuff out there, but I choose not to be a part of it. It’s all kind of silly.”