Britney Spears may be commanding folk to ‘Work B*tch’ with her new single, yet after years of disappointment, fans and critics alike are angling for her to do just that at her upcoming Las Vegas residency.
Beyond the questionable topic of her dancing (or lack-there-of), the Pop force has also been taken to task for incessant lip-synching.
Yet, despite not having sung live since at least 1999, the star’s manager Larry Rudolph asserts that she will be belting legitimately when the two-year-residency (christened ‘Piece of Me’) kicks off in December.
The declaration came during an interview with Billboard, in which Rudolph elaborated on Spears’ vocal coaching (…), upcoming album, and rumours surrounding slow ticket sales.
His words after the jump….
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 BreatheHeavy.com 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. Will.i.am 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.
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. “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 shit 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.
We have ample time for Britney, yet we see little evidence of this vocal and dance training he speaks of. Very little.
Still, the album – despite the misjudged will.i.am necessity – is shaping up to be quite the event, as is this Vegas run. For her sake, though, both need to back a brand of heat not yet seen from Spears to right the wrongs of her career over the last few years. Time will tell if either are equipped to do so.