It seems like forever since Britney Spears had a hit song on the charts. But the fallen pop princess _ tarnished by a tumultuous divorce, late-night partying and erratic behavior _ is trying to get her music career back on track.
For real this time.
Her new single, "Gimme More," debuted Thursday night on the Web site of New York City pop station Z100, and a new album is due for release Nov. 13 by Jive Records, the label's representative told The Associated Press on Friday.
The song _ a clubby, flirty dance track produced by Danja, a protege of hit-maker Timbaland _ has the 25-year-old singer bringing back the thumping beats and breathy come-ons of her pop-star past. The song's opening line has an expletive.
Sharon Dastur, a program director at Z100, says listener response has been positive.
"A lot of people automatically had a negative attitude about it before hearing it," she said. "And then the reaction we've been getting, you know, people are so pleasantly surprised by it. You also have the people who have just been cheering on her comeback anyway."
Spears, whose activities have been tabloid fodder since she split from Kevin Federline last November, has not released an album of all-new material since 2003's "In the Zone." She came out with a greatest-hits album in 2004, which included a cover of Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative."
Spears, the mother of two young sons, has been taking baby steps toward a comeback. She has said she had hoped to jump back into the music scene this year, and in May, staged several concerts at clubs in California. And it has been reported that Spears is to perform at this year's MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas. When asked about the possibility by The Associated Press, the show's producer coyly professed ignorance.
While her escapades may have alienated many of her fans, Spears can slip back into their good graces by teaming up with the right people: the music-makers behind some of today's hottest tracks, Dastur said.
"At the end of the day, it is really all about the actual songs," Dastur said. "Her people have to make sure that she's being produced the right way. That the songs are the right songs for her to be coming out with."
On the Net: