Britney Spears preps for ‘Circus’

New album sets Dec. 2 release date

Britney Spears’ second comeback is in full swing: She’s due to release a new album in December, on her 27th birthday.

“Circus” is set for release Dec. 2, a little over a year after she released last November’s “Blackout,” which was perhaps her most critically acclaimed CD, but came during her infamous year of erratic behavior, rehab, custody battles and at least one hospitalization. She barely promoted it, and the album – though it was certified platinum – was one of her least successful.

But these days, Spears has been in the spotlight for all the right reasons. She won three MTV Video Music Awards for her clip “Piece of Me” and appeared on the Sept. 7 awards show looking fit and stunning, a reversal of her disheveled, widely panned appearance in 2007. She also drew praise for her guest appearances on CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother.”

Spears’ life seems to have rebounded after her father, James Spears, went to court and took control of her personal and professional life as her conservator. She also resolved her custody battle with former husband Kevin Federline, with Federline retaining custody of their two young sons and Spears receiving visitation rights.

Among the producers on Spears’ new CD are Nate “Danja” Hills and Max Martin, who produced some of her biggest hits, including her first, “Baby One More Time.” The first single, “Womanizer,” will be released to radio Sept. 22, her record label, Jive/Zomba, announced Monday.

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