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Thursday, 8 August, 2002, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Spears to take sabbatical
Britney Spears
Britney: Under strain in recent months
Chart-topping singer Britney Spears is to take a break from the music business, following her recent world tour.

A spokeswoman for her record company, Jive, told BBC News Online she would take a three-month work break after an exhausting touring schedule, but would be away from music for longer.

"She has been touring non-stop and she understandably needs to take a break," said the spokeswoman.

"Then she begins work on her next film, about the world of NASCAR racing. So she'll be away from music for a while, but she'll be back."

Spears, 21, has reportedly said that she plans to spend some time in her home state of Louisiana.

But the spokeswoman denied rumours that she intends to spend at least two years away from the spotlight due to exhaustion have been denied.

Spears who recently made her film debut in the teen drama Crossroads, has had a traumatic few months.

She recently broke up with her long-term boyfriend, N'Sync singer Justin Timberlake, and at the same time has had to cope with her parents separating.

And the opening of her New York restaurant Nyla suffered a setback when two diners claimed they had suffered food poisoning after eating there.

Her behaviour has also come in for criticism. Earlier this year she was booed by fans at the London premiere of Crossroads when she turned up late and refused to pose for photos or sign any autographs.
Britney Spears
Spears was booed at the UK première of her film Crossroads

She was also accused of setting a bad example to her young fans when she was photographed smoking a cigarette while on holdiay in Australia.

And recently she was criticised by the Mexican press for making an obscene gesture to local photographers trying to take her picture.

She also angered fans in the Mexican capital by walking off stage at an open air concert after just five songs, after a thunderstorm broke out.

Spears first shot to fame in 1999 with the chart-topper Baby One More Time.

She has had a further 10 top 10 hits in the UK, including Oops, I Did It Again, Overprotected, I'm A Slave 4 U and I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman.

She also makes a cameo appearance in the current Austin Powers film Goldmember.

See also:

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