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Britney Spears announces Las Vegas residency

Britney Spears Announces Las Vegas Residency: 'I'm Definitely Ready'

Spears announces two-year 'Britney: Piece of Me' residency kicking off December 27 and a new album December 3.

By Gil Kaufman | September 17, 2013

It's Vegas, baby for Britney Spears! After months of talk, Britney finally announced the details of her two-year Las Vegas residency on Tuesday morning (September 17) during an appearance on "Good Morning America."

Wearing a very low-cut black jumpsuit, the interview-shy singer sat down with "GMA" to discuss her Planet Hollywood residency. "I love Vegas," said Spears, 31. "The energy here is really, really good. I'm definitely going to do the greatest hits, but I'm going to have to put some of my new material into it just to keep it fresh."

Starting December 27, Spears will be performing 50 shows a year under the banner, "Britney: Piece of Me," with tickets on sale starting September 20. Prices range from $59 to $179. The action-packed club-meets-theater environment is a key to the show, according to Spears. "We wanted the environment to be that way so people could come and stand up and feel like they're in the show with me," she explained. "I'm definitely ready," she added of her vocal, dance and stamina levels, noting that she's been training up to five hours a day in preparation.

Also, she teased that older son Preston might make some cameo appearances at the gigs, though Jayden is still a bit too shy to step into the spotlight.

With 28 buses hauling 1,300 fans (many dressed up in their Britney-alike best) into the desert for the early morning announce, the "GMA" appearance was a spectacle befitting Vegas' showy reputation. The singer arrived in a helicopter, descending into the middle of the early morning darkness to the sight of a giant flip-card mosaic poster held up by fans announcing the residency.

After a lengthy delay (possibly tied to some air sickness Spears said she experienced in the helicopter), the star finally touched down just before the 6 o'clock West Coast hour. Wearing dark shades, Spears also revealed that her as-yet-untitled new album is out on December 3, confirming that the ballad "Perfume" will be among the new songs on the release.

TMZ reported that there is a very good reason Spears is setting up shop in the Vegas desert. In fact, there are 15 million of them. According to the site, Spears' two-year gig at Planet Hollywood will earn her an estimated $310,000 per show, for a total of $30 million over 24 months. The gigs will take place at the PH Live Theater at the Planet Hollywood complex.

Spears rush-released
 her new single, "Work Bitch" on Sunday after the EDM-influenced tune leaked online. The song, which has a very pricey chorus, is the first glimpse we've gotten of Spears' upcoming eighth studio album.

Though details about the album are limited, Spears told "GMA" that you can expect to hear songs dealing with her break-up with former agent/fiancé Jason Trawick. "They suck. Breakups suck, they do," she said of the split.


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Caesars Entertainment Executive on Britney Spears' Two-Year Vegas Residency: Setlist, Ticket Prices and More Details (Q&A)

How the pop star's deal came together, what she is (or isn't) being paid and how much time she'll spend in Sin City.

12:59 PM PDT 9/19/2013 by Mitchell Peters,


Soon, Las Vegas will be the only place on Earth where you'll be able to see Britney Spears perform in concert over the next two years.

After months of speculation, the pop superstar announced her two-year Las Vegas residency show, titled Britney Spears: Piece of Me, at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The approximately 90-minute performances will take place beginning Dec. 27 inside a 4,600-capacity planetarium-like theater with traditional seating, a dance floor, private tables and bottle service.

"This is a big Vegas-style production show, married with a dance club environment," Kurt Melien, vp entertainment at Caesars Entertainment, tells "It's 21 of her greatest hits, effectively, and some of the music from her eighth studio album (scheduled for release on Dec. 3). It's a retrospective on some of the most iconic moments of her life, combined with the more contemporary stuff that she's doing today."

Spears' Las Vegas residency show is being directed by award-winning lighting and touring director Baz Halpin, who has also worked on tours by Katy Perry, Pink, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Swedish House Mafia, has learned exclusively. Spears is slated to perform 50 shows per year in 2014 and 2015. The first tickets go on sale Sept. 20, with prices ranging from $59 to $179.

In this detailed interview, Caesars Entertainment's Melien divulges details about the production of Spears' nightclub-like residency show, whether or not she's permanently moving to Las Vegas, what the pop singer is (or isn't) being paid for the two-year stint, why you won't see her perform outside of Vegas for the next two years, additional information about Planet Hollywood's planetarium-like theater that's hosting the residency, and much more.

What's the backstory on how the Britney Spears Las Vegas residency came together?

I've known [Britney Spears manager Larry Rudolph] for two or three years now. We started the conversation. It always made sense to us that she was potentially an ideal Las Vegas resident -- for a couple of reasons. One, her catalog of music at is so deep that she appeals to a broad audience and demographic. She is also traditionally known to put on a big, Vegas-style production. The idea of her sitting down and building a big theatrical production was something that appealed to us.

Can you elaboarte on how you think she appeals to a wide demographic?

When we look for residents, we look for folks who can sit down for long periods of time. So a pop artist with one or two albums doesn't have the staying power to do a multi-year residency. But she has the catalog of music, for sure. And we love the idea that she appeals to a 30- and 40-something, but also to a 20-something. There are fans who loved her in the ‘90s and 2000s, and she certainly has a large fanbase of folks who follow her contemporary music. This is an artist that casts a wide net across demographics.

TMZ has reported that Spears will be paid $310,000 per show -- or $15 million per year -- for the residency. Is that true?

We're in a partnership with her, so we're building this deal together from the ground up. That's the way we think about the financials. It's one of these things where we're in partnership together and it's not really transactional. A quote like that feels transactional and that's not what this is. A comment like that doesn't reflect the level of joint partnership between our parties.

Can you provide any other specific details about the production of the Spears residency show?

The show is being directed by Baz Halpin. They're moving along quickly. The show is opening Dec. 27, so they're deep into it now.

It's an exposé of her career. It's 21 of her greatest hits, effectively, and some of the music from her eighth studio album. It's a retrospective on some of the most iconic moments of her life, combined with the more contemporary stuff that she's doing today.

How long will each performance be?

The target is about 90 minutes. They're still finalizing that. We don't restrict it. But 90 to 100 minutes is probably likely.

It's been speculated that Spears lip-syncs during live shows. Have there been discussions about how she'll approach vocals during the residency performances?

We haven't had that conversation. She certainly has been a singer and dancer her entire life, and she certainly has the chops today. There's no doubt about it that she's in the physical shape and vocal shape to sing the entire show. She's working out a ton, training a ton and rehearsing a ton. She's super pumped and really excited about this idea since it became real.

Is Spears permanently moving to Las Vegas for the two-year residency stint?

She'll stay in a hotel when she's here. It's her choice if she wants to get a house or not. But as far as I know, she's going to stay in a hotel and fly back very regularly. She'll stay in a hotel when she has a show going on, and then she has the freedom to go back to Los Angeles frequently to spend most of her time with her kids. Technically, she can fly back that night or the next day and be in L.A. pretty quickly. That's what's great about this for her, because she's definitely a mom as much as she is a performer. So she likes this idea that she can be home a lot while still performing. It's a great thing for an artist.

Give us some more details about the 4,600-capacity Planet Hollywood theater that will house Spears' residency.

We're looking to build a theater and create an experience that appeals to a younger customer. There are a lot of theaters here today. The [Cirque du Soleil] theaters are all pretty similar and the Colosseum at Caesars is a traditional, elegant theater. What we don't have is theater/nightclub. So we're renovating this theater in a big way to create a dance club/nightclub experience. There's going to be table service with ****tail waitresses, and there's a dance floor you have access to at those tables. We've designed this theater to create a different experience that attracts a younger customer.

It's a theater we're renovating inside Planet Hollywood. The major renovation includes changing the layout of the seating. There's going to be a big dance floor in the front, which is part of the P1 package, and then we're doing what we call a nightclub table. They're mini boxes with bottle service. Half the room, more or less, is seats and the other half is dedicated to being nightclub seats and the dance floor space.

A press release says the show will feature the "largest indoor immersive stage productions in the world." Can you expand on that?

The total amount of IMAG [image magnification] projectors is forthcoming with more details on the show. But the theater itself is massive. It's a huge theater with a giant presidium. The walls are massive. The show is going to use projection across almost all of the walls, left and right surrounding you. So it's going to feel almost like a planetarium. You're going to have this massive storyline projection around you.

Will Spears contractually be allowed to perform outside of Las Vegas during her two-year Las Vegas residency?

I'm glad you asked that question. It's full exclusivity in North America. So she'll be exclusive to Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood for two years in North America. If you live in the United States or Canada and you want to see Britney Spears in the next couple of years, Vegas is the place to do it.

Is it generally more lucrative for an artist to do a residency versus traditional touring?

Yes, it is more lucrative. They don't have the cost of travel, they don't have the cost of trucking, and they don't have the cost of building moveable sets. If you have an interest in producing a high-production show, it's absolutely cheaper to do [a Las Vegas residency]. And you also don't have cost of additional hotel travel and hospitality. The folks you hire tend to live in [Las Vegas] -- the band, the dancers and support staff.

Spears will perform 50 shows per year in 2014 and 2015. What's the strategy behind which days of the week she will be performing?

Las Vegas has a pretty robust midweek business. There will be at least one midweek show and at least two weekend shows. We like to have at least one day in the middle of the week. There are enough conventions and business meetings, and such, that people want some unique entertainment during the week.

Outside of her residency performances, will Spears have any other contractual obligations with Caesars Entertainment?

Nothing beyond the fact that Britney is now a member of the Caesars family. She's going to be in Las Vegas a lot. She'll be staying in our hotel. So it's likely you'll see her at an event we do, etcetera.

Spears will appear at Las Vegas' upcoming iHeartRadio Music Festival. Will she be performing there?

She's actually not performing; she's just going to introduce somebody.

What is Caesars Entertainment's exact role in the Spears residency?

For this specific venue and show, we're doing it on our own. We're doing this in house and promoting it.

Why did Caesars Entertainment decide to promote the Spears residency in-house instead of working with an outside concert promoter?

We have the capabilities to do it in house. For this particular deal, we set it up internally with the relationships we had. And for that reason it was in our best interest to do it ourselves. That doesn't mean that one day a promoter doesn't come in to be a part of the deal. But it was always an in-house deal.

With numerous hotel and casino options in Las Vegas, why did you choose Planet Hollywood for the Spears residency?

We think it's a good brand fit. [Spears manager Rudolph] thought that too. Planet Hollywood has a demo that is diverse. It's got a younger customer base and certainly has somewhat of an older demo -- older being 30s, 40s, 50s. But we liked this audience because we know Britney will be scaling to a younger customer.

Las Vegas has a wide range of other residency artists, ranging from Celine Dion to Shania Twain. What are some untapped musical genres that would work well for a Las Vegas residency?

As far as underserved genres, I think there are two: one is a little bit of younger-skewing country, what I would call contemporary country. You have Garth Brooks and Tim & Faith, but the idea that we could see a sit-down from a younger country artist is a pretty compelling idea. I think pop continues to be underserved, but Britney will certainly help fill that gap in a big way. Those are the two that we're thinking about today.


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Britney Spears’ Vegas Show Bombing At The Box Office: ‘Ticket Sales Are Way Lower Than Expected… It’s A Disaster,’ Says Insider

Britney Spears is back — or is she?

The 31-year-old singer’s new gig for a two-year residency of her stage show Britney: Piece of Me at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas has had dismal ticket sales, at best, and an industry insider exclusively tell that everyone involved with the show is really worried.

The numbers are in, and of the first 16 shows running Dec. 27 through Feb. 22, Spears has only sold out three shows.

“After spending hundreds of thousands on promo, they expected to instantly sell out all of the first 16 shows, but they didn’t come close!” the source told Radar.

“In fact, Britney only sold out three of the 16 shows put on sale and many are considering this a disaster.”

According to the insider, Las Vegas residencies in the past such as Celine Dion and Shania Twain sold out their first block of shows right away.

“There are nearly 50 shows a year and the theater is small…it only holds about 4,500 people,” the source said.

“So all of this put together really isn’t looking well for Britney. Ticket sales need to start skyrocketing or else there’s going to be a lot of disappointed investors and people involved with the show.”

As Radar previously reported, Spears is worth more than $44 million thanks to a blend of assets, property, cash and smart stock market trading — and will be raking in a reported $15 million per year of her residency, equaling $30 million total.


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Britney Spears 'Disasterous Las Vegas Sales' Report Shot Down: 'Interest Is Very High'

Sales for the show are going pretty well, says venue boss

By Shaun Kitchener | September 24, 2013

A report suggesting that sales of Britney Spears' Las Vegas shows have been a "disaster" has been countered by an exec for Caesars Entertainment, who has said demand is "very high".

Last night Radar Online claimed to have heard from an insider that "ticket sales need to start skyrocketing" very soon, but this apparently couldn't be further from the truth.

“We’re very pleased, and, as we suspected, interest in Britney is very high from all over," said Tariq Shaukat - explaining that three of the first 16 dates to hit the market sold out within one hour. Others are expected to follow suit very soon.

It has also been confirmed that Spears will sing live throughout the show, despite miming the vast majority of her last two tours - The Circus Starring Britney Spears and the Femme Fatale Tour.

“She’s in the physical shape and vocal shape to sing the entire show,” said another honcho for Caesars, adding that Brit is “super pumped and really excited about the show and has already been working out and rehearsing ever since negotiations began.”

It's also been clarified that she wore sunglasses in the dark on last week's Good Morning America appearance in order to mask how teary she had become from motion sickness in the helicopter.

Yesterday Radar's incorrect insider had said: “After spending hundreds of thousands on promo, they expected to instantly sell out all of the first 16 shows, but they didn’t come close!

“In fact, Britney only sold out three of the 16 shows put on sale and many are considering this a disaster.”

They added: “There are nearly 50 shows a year and the theatre is small…it only holds about 4,500 people. So all of this put together really isn’t looking well for Britney. Ticket sales need to start skyrocketing or else there’s going to be a lot of disappointed investors and people involved with the show.”


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Britney Spears' Manager Larry Rudolph on Vegas Residency Ticket Sales, Lip-Syncing and New Album (Exclusive)

By Mitchell Peters, Los Angeles | September 26, 2013 9:07 AM EDT

"It's a new chapter in the Britney Spears saga," says her manager Larry Rudolph, who's standing outside of a rehearsal studio at CenterStaging in Burbank, Calif. 

It's a typically sunny Los Angeles morning and dozens of scantily clad dancers have flocked to Studio 10 to audition for Spears' upcoming residency show at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

"It started off at 600 and now we're down to 28," Rudolph tells Billboard, adding that 14 dancers total will be chosen for the two-year show, titled "Britney Spears: Piece of Me." "Britney is coming today and she'll be making the final selection."

Indeed, Spears' camp is in full residency mode as the Dec. 27 opening date quickly approaches. The singer's approximately 90-minute performances will take place inside a 4,600-capacity planetarium-like theater with traditional seating, a dance floor, private tables and bottle service. The Baz Halpin-directed show will feature 21 of Spears' greatest hits and new music from her as-yet-untitled eighth studio album, due Dec. 3. In addition to 14 dancers, the concerts will also feature a four-piece band and state-of-the-art visuals. She's slated to perform 50 shows per year in 2014 and 2015. 

"I'm almost having to hold back the floodgates, because she wants to start rehearsing right now," says Halpin, who's also on-site selecting dancers with his team at Silent House Productions, which has designed tours by such pop acts as Katy Perry, P!nk and Taylor Swift. "I've never seen an artist so pumped and excited. She's been doing religious vocal and choreography for months and months. So I'm waiting for this unleashed furry of rehearsal energy when we get started."  

(Stay tuned to Billboard in the coming days for more exclusive details from Halpin on the production and visuals of "Britney Spears: Piece of Me.")

After Billboard broke intimate details about Spears' nightclub-like residency in an exclusive interview with Caesars Entertainment VP of entertainment Kurt Melien, rumors have been swirling around the web about lackluster ticket sales (the first 16 concerts went on sale Sept. 20) and whether the pop singer will lip-synch her way through performances. We caught up with Rudolph (who was momentarily sidetracked during this interview by a call from his other red-hot client Miley Cyrus: "She just put out a new version of 'Wrecking Ball,' which I think will get an equal amount of (web) hits," he says) at CenterStaging. 

Below, Rudolph sets the record straight to Billboard about the latest set of rumors surrounding Spears' Las Vegas residency, and divulges exclusive details about the pop superstar's eighth album and potential next single. 

Billboard: First off, let's clear the air about whether Britney Spears will be lip-syncing during her Las Vegas residency shows. Can you set the record straight on this subject?
Larry Rudolph: She's going to be singing live. She does choreography and vocal coaching every day. The vocal coaching is really just to strengthen her voice and get her to a point where she can go out there every night and do a full show.

It's hard for the public to fully understand what goes on when you get on stage and you're dancing full out during a song. No matter what anyone says, there's not a single artist who goes out there and does full choreography and is singing without a vocal track underneath them at the same time. It's physically impossible. We're just trying to build up her stamina and get her to a point where she can do as much as humanly possible. The idea is to try to get her pretty close to 100%. There might be some numbers where she's full out dancing with a (vocal) track underneath her, but there won't be any lip-syncing across the board on anything. 

There have also been reports that ticket sales to her residency shows haven't been selling well. So how are ticket sales so far?
Yesterday, I got a phone call from Britney's mom, Lynne Spears. She said, "Larry, I just read on that Britney's show is failing. What's going on?" She was deeply concerned. I said, "Lynne, don't worry about it, we're dealing with it right now. Nothing could be further from the truth. " 

You have these idiot tabloid reporters who are completely irresponsible and love taking pot shots at Britney. One guy did it and everybody else picked it up. It's based on nothing, other than an "industry insider," who they'll never disclose. But it's damaging to Britney. So we had to go on the offensive and put out correct information to counteract it. 

When we went on sale with our pre-sale, we sold out every single VIP package for all 16 shows. We had to create new ones just to fill some of the demand, because people were starting to get pissed off that there weren't enough out there. Caesars told us that a highly successful launch would be selling 10% of the ticket stock on the on sale. I think we either tripled or quadrupled that. They told us it was literally the best on-sale they'd ever had. Now they've come back to me and asked if it's OK to put the next round of dates on sale sooner than we had originally discussed. They haven't given me an exact date for it yet, but I said of course. 

Can you give any details about Spears' new album -- what the title is or what fans should expect it to sound like?
We don't have a title yet. But it sounds great. It's so different from anything she's done before. is executive producing it. After the "Scream & Shout" exercise, which went so well, the public seems to really like Britney and Will together. There's something about them that works. He understands who she is and what her audience wants. 

"Work Bitch" is a great example of a song that's from this album, but I don't know that it necessarily defines the album. There's a lot of other material on here that is really rich. There's a ballad called "Perfume" that she recorded recently. Britney wrote it with Sia. It's a breakup song that's about wanting the next girl to smell your perfume on the guy afterwards. The lyric is really unique and she sings the **** out of it. I think everyone will be really impressed by the song. I don't know if it will be the second or third single, but it will definitely be a single. 

There are a couple other songs that have a really modern EDM vibe and other stuff that has more of a "Ray of Light" (Madonna) vibe. I really think of this as Britney's "Ray of Light" album -- it's kind of like that in a lot of ways. She wrote everything on the album with collaborators. There's one or two she wrote herself. That's something she wanted to do coming in. She wanted to make it very personal. They're all custom made for her, based on what's going on with her life and in her head. 

Is she still working on the album?
Yeah, there are still about five songs to go. 

Have there been any discussions about how the album will be marketed and released?
I think it will be more of a traditional release. This is going to be more about the Vegas thing happening and her putting out an album around the same time. I don't want to overcomplicate this or make it gimmicky, because the music is so important. I don't want to cloud it with some marketing scheme. 

Getting back to the residency, I recently did an interview with Caesars Entertainment VP of entertainment Kurt Melien, who said that an artist residency is more lucrative than traditional touring. Is that true in Spears' case?
I honestly don't think it is. You have to remember, you're selling 4,400 seats a night instead of 15,000 seats a night. So your revenues are less than a third of what they would be if you were out on tour. Your costs are lower, because you're not trucking everything around. But at the end of the day, I don't know if it's more lucrative than a tour, in terms of what she puts in her pocket. It really wasn't a factor in our consideration. We didn't sit down and say, "How can we make more money?" We said, "How can we do something more interesting for the fans?" And we came up with this idea. 

Can you shed any light on how much money Spears is being paid for the residency?
I can't comment on actual figures. She's getting paid well to do it, but it wasn't a big factor for us. We don't look at the business opportunity first and then back into it with the creative concept. We do it the other way around. We wanted to do a Vegas show, because it was the right thing for her now, and the right thing for her fanbase.

What other type of revenue opportunities come along with a residency like this?
We're talking to a couple of big tech companies about coming in and maybe helping us with sound and video. There's a lot of video on the show, so there are a lot of opportunities for that kind of thing. The sponsorship is definitely a part of it. Nothing has been locked in yet, but there are a lot of major tech companies that are very interested and have approached us about it. That's a big potential revenue stream. 

Another one, of course, is general merchandise sales. You have general tour merchandise sales, like you would normally have at a tour. But what you have here also is merchandise being sold in and around the venue, even when she's not there. It's not a tremendous amount of money -- nothing that would influence us to do or not do the show in Las Vegas -- but it's an added revenue stream we wouldn't normally have.


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Britney Spears Already Has The Biggest Las Vegas Residency Of The Year

Britney: Piece of Me has already outsold Celine, Elton, and Shania on StubHub.

By Hunter Schwarz | January 23, 2014 at 6:21pm EST

Britney Spears’ residency is the top Las Vegas show of the year at online ticket retailer StubHub.

Britney: Piece of Me, which began Dec. 27 at Planet Hollywood, has already outsold Las Vegas residencies by Celine Dion, Elton John, Shania Twain, and Rod Stewart on StubHub’s 2013/2014 list. It is also the third highest-selling Las Vegas residency ever, behind only Celine Dion’s show which began in 2011 and Elton John’s, which began in 2009.

Spears has only performed four shows so far, but tickets are available through September.

StubHub declined to provide exact sales figures, but said 14% of all tickets sold for her show so far this year were for her Feb. 14 show.


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I'm having a difficult time understanding this article regarding StubHub sales. In my opinion, I don't think an entertainer would want to lead in StubHub sales. StubHub is a resale ticket agency. The majority of these sales are from ticket brokers, legalized scalpers. I would think entertainers would want less StubHub sales which would actually equate to a stronger fan base because the people buying the tickets are actually planning to attend the show, not resale them to make a profit over the face value.



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EXCLUSIVE: Britney Spears offered $12 million one-year extension at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas

The 32-year-old pop princess has been given the eight-figure offer to continue her Sin City show until at least Christmas 2016, the Daily News has learned. Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner says the ex-teen idol's show has been 'a great success for the company.'

By James Desborough , Jon Boon | NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | Saturday, May 10, 2014, 6:00 PM

Looks like Britney Spears is never leaving Las Vegas.

The 32-year-old pop princess has been offered $12 million to extend her two-year residency at Planet Hollywood’s Axis theater, the Daily News has learned.

A senior executive at Caesars Entertainment confirmed that casino honchos want Spears to continue her Las Vegas show until at least Christmas 2016.

“Britney Spears has been a great success for the company and will be extended, if she wants to do it, and I cannot see why not,” Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner told The News during the Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit Master Series dinner with Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis.

“She has been filling out the place every night, and she is enjoying it and is in good health.”

Plus, Selesner added, Spears is living large in Sin City.

“She has a good life, coming in on private jet,” Selesner added.

“She has a villa upstairs at Caesars and really enjoys it here — so why wouldn't she stay?”

The eight-figure offer is all the more remarkable given that Spears lip-syncs her way through her 90-minute performances.

But her lack of singing hasn’t put off punters who shell out up to $300 to see the ex-teen idol shake her body.

Selesner admitted that his company took a “gamble” in inking Spears’ original deal — which runs until the end of 2015 and reportedly calls for the singer to earn $30 million over two years.

But the bet has paid off handsomely.

"You just didn't know what was going to happen,” Selesner told The News. “But the fans loved her. And she has so many fans from all over the world, that the support has been fantastic.”


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If Britney Spears is getting $12 million for lip syncing at Caesars then they must be paying Shania about $120 million for a two year gig. Even if Shania is getting $120 million...she is underpaid...and if Britney gets minimum wage she is overpaid!

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