Britney Spears backed out at the last minute from recording a duet with Justin Timberlake – and the inexplicable decision last month has suits at her record label, Jive, very worried.
The duet, which was to be produced by hit-maker Timbaland at his studio in Virginia Beach, could have started a big comeback. A music industry source said Timberlake wrote the duet specifically for Spears.
Although they wouldn’t be together in the studio, his voice would have been mixed with hers later. “Timbaland set aside a week out of his crazy schedule to do this – and then, just before she was supposed to fly out, Britney abruptly canceled the session and refused to do the song.
“It’s crazy,” the insider added. “She’s looking for a comeback, and this would have not only been a huge hit, but something she could have opened the MTV Video Awards with and really blown everyone away.”
Another insider said, “Listen, everyone is worried. In her mind, her album is done and she’s done enough work . . . She’s an easy target right now, because she’s . . . sick. People like her are sick. It’s like an anorexic who’s sick in the head and needs help. She needs help. It’s sad because what she’s got – and we’ve heard it’s like bipolar disorder – can easily be treated with medication, but she won’t do it.”
There’s concern that Spears, now without a great song to perform, will bomb at the VMAs, which would have been her crucial comeback appearance.
As for whether or not Jive has wiped their hands of Spears, the insider said, “People at Jive have been with Britney since album one, and have an investment in her. They have faith that once the material is there, she will become focused and step it up. She’s very competitive, but at the end of the day, it’s hard. She has to do the work – no one can do it for her.”
Reps for Jive and Timberlake declined to comment. S