Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Britney kicks off comeback tour

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Britney makes a spectacular entrance at the New Orleans concert

Britney Spears has performed in New Orleans as she kicked off her first concert tour for five years.

The 27-year-old dressed as a ringmaster in the show which featured jugglers, acrobats and martial arts dancers.

She performed songs from her latest album, Circus, as well as some of her biggest hits.

The singer will perform in 31 cities across North America before heading to London in June for eight shows at the O2 arena.

Spears was met with wild applause as she first appeared descending from the ceiling on hoops suspended by wires.

'Awesome'

But the star did not interact much with the crowd - only saying to the audience, "Thank you, New Orleans", at the end of the nearly two-hour show.

"We're so happy she's back," said 16-year-old Justin Scarbrough, from New Orleans, who wore a T-shirt with the singer's image and the words: "I support Britney Spears."

Lauren Baudoin, 21, from Louisiana, described Spears' performance as "awesome".

Since the last time Spears went on tour in 2004, she has hit headlines over her personal troubles.

She got married and divorced, had two children, and found herself taken to hospital after a high-profile meltdown.

But over the last year she has embarked on a comeback that has seen her image, as well as her career, rehabilitated.

Her album Circus, which spawned the hit single Womanizer, has sold more than 1.3 million copies since being launched in December.



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