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Britney Spears' 'Circus' CD lands her at No. 1

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[December 10, 2008]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Britney Spears' latest CD, "Circus," has landed her back at a familiar position -- No. 1. The singer's comeback CD -- actually, make that her second comeback CD -- will top the album charts next week, according to her label, Jive. Though Nielsen SoundScan does not release its official figures until Wednesday, estimates have the record selling as many as 500,000 copies in its first week of release.

Donuts"This is going to reinforce her icon status," said Barry Weiss, chairman and CEO of the BMG Label Group, which includes Spears' label. "It's not just a No. 1 album."

Indeed, it's not. For Spears, who has rebounded after a disastrous year that included rehab, a custody battle for her two sons and court-ordered supervision by her father, it is another step in her bid to reclaim her status among pop's elite.

"At the end of the day, I think she is America's pop princess, and the world's pop princess, and this just reconfirms it to everyone who doubted it," said her manager, Larry Rudolph.

While her last CD, "Blackout," also debuted at No.1 when it was released in October 2007, it quickly fizzled on the U.S. charts, despite receiving critical acclaim, because Spears didn't really promote it amid the chaos in her life.

Things appear to be different this time around. Spears has been showing off her dancing moves and taut body during high-profile appearances on shows like ABC's "Good Morning America" and was also the focus of a documentary, "Britney: For the Record." The special, executive produced by Rudolph, aired on MTV in the days before the release of "Circus."

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"The documentary had a huge role," said Rudolph. "People were able to see Britney, to see her tell her story. I think they got the true sense of who she is, and they appreciated it."

"Circus," which debuted to mainly positive reviews, was released on the singer's 27th birthday, Dec. 2. The CD's first single, "Womanizer," was a No. 1 hit, and her latest single, "Circus," was the most added song at pop radio, her label said.

Spears plans a nationwide tour that is set to kick off March 3 in New Orleans.

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Weiss said Jive decided to release "Circus" just a year after "Blackout" because of the strength of the music, and said recording the CD was a great constructive outlet for the singer.

Rudolph said when it comes to crunching the numbers, Spears is not all that interested in how many copies she sold the first week or her chart positions. But, he added: "Professionally, she's feeling great. ... It's great for her to hear that she's got a No. 1 album again."

One of entertainment's biggest names, Spears has been a multiplatinum sensation since she made her debut over a decade ago. She's sold more than 30 million albums in the United States alone.


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[Associated Press; By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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