According to Britney Spears’ longtime manager Larry Rudolph, the superstar may never perform again. In an interview with TMZ, Rudolph said “as the person who guides her career—based on the information I and all of the professionals who work with her are being told on a need-to-know basis—from what I have gathered it’s clear to me she should not be going back to do this Vegas residency, not in the near future and possibly never again.”
“Last summer, when she wanted to tour, she called me every day,” he added. “She was excited. She hasn’t called me in months. Crickets. She clearly doesn’t want to perform now.”
Rudolph has worked with Spears since the release of her first album, Baby… One More Time, in 1999. “I’ve been with her for two-thirds of her life,” he told Variety. “I look at her almost like I look at my own daughter. It’s very emotional for me … and really rough. Personally, I want for her to just find a peaceful, happy place — whatever that means for her. It’s not about a career anymore — it’s about life.”
Spears, who has dealt with mental health issues for years, has had a rough go of it lately. After her father and financial conservator, Jamie, fell ill earlier this year, the pop star checked into a mental health facility. Fans quickly came up with a conspiracy theory that Spears was being held against her will, spreading the hashtag #FreeBritney. Spears denied the claims, and asked for “a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way.” Her request has been ignored.
Rudolph also denied the rumors. “[Spears] is the one whose focus is on [getting better]. She’s driving it,” he told Variety. “I understand how much these fans love her and support her and I love that. The part that concerns me is that it has no factual basis. The personal issues that Britney is dealing with are highly complicated and the conservatorship is there for a reason. The courts of the State of California take this very seriously. I hope the people allow her to have her private time.”
MTV VMAs: See What Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, and More Wore to Their First Video Music Awards
Arguably the queen of the VMAs, Britney Spears made her first appearance in 1999 in sheer black; 17 years later, she wore a similarly-colored ensemble.
Taylor Swift kicked off her storied VMA history in a blush pink dress in 2008; in 2015, she took home Video of the Year in sequined sweats.
Alicia Keys attended her first VMA’s in 2004 wearing a grecian-inspired gown; last year, she appeared bare-faced.
In 2000, Beyoncé attended the ceremony with her Destiny’s Child band members wearing matching leather looks; last year, she took home “Video of the Year” in a feathered couture gown.
Ariana Grande opted for a sweet floral look for her first VMA red carpet; in 2016, she opted for something a bit more mature, by Alexander Wang.
The picture of pop princess-dom, Christina Aguilera went leopard and sheer for the 1999 ceremony; by 2008, she was fully embracing the glam side of things.
Justin Bieber piled on the accessories for his first ceremony in 2010; in 2015, he opted for a more streamlined look in ripped jeans and a leather jacket.
Ciara attended her first show in 2008 wearing a silver minidress; in 2015, she took a much more fashion-forward approach in a fringed number.
Jared Leto presented at the 2006 awards wearing some serious guyliner and a white skinny scarf; nine years later, despite a new Academy Award, the actor proved he still was into his goth ways.
J.Lo showed up to the 1998 awards in a oversized cream suit and matching hat; the singer’s look for the 2015 awards was far more on par to the Jennifer Lopez we know now.
Kanye West arrived at the 2004 awards in an all-white ensemble; twelve years later, he wore a similar ensemble and arrived with now-wife Kim Kardashian.
Justin Timberlake showed up with the rest of the ‘Nsync gang in a leather jacket; by 2013, he had shifted to his signature fedora.
Katy Perry, who will host this year’s ceremony, crafted her own ensemble for the 2008 awards; at the 2014 awards, she riffed on Britney Spears’s iconic denim gown.
Lady Gaga kicked off her tradition of kooky ensembles in 2009 wearing a feathered look; in 2013, she saved her theatrics for the stage.
In a leather mini and trailing braid, Kesha made her VMA debut in 2010; in 2014, she toned down the look with a pastel gown and matching hair.
Madonna kicked off the inaugural ceremony in 1984; in 2009, she returned in a subdued black suit.
A year before her iconic lavendar catsuit, L’il Kim matched Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez at the 1997 awards; the rapper let her boots do the talking in 2013.
Gwen Stefani attended the 1997 awards with her No Doubt bandmates; in 2014, she was solo and donning shocking pink.
Miley Cyrus arrived at the 2008 awards in a modest metallic dress; in 2015, her look was still metallic but definitely not modest.
Pink, who will receive this year’s Video Vanguard Award, took home her first moon-man in 2001; the singer arrived at the 2012 awards in a metallic gown.
Rihanna was a fresh-faced and little-known singer when she attended the show in 2005; last year, she recieved the Video Vanguard award.
Demi Lovato attended the 2011 awards in a sequined minidress; four years later, she returned wearing a similar ensemble.
Selena Gomez made her VMA debut in 2011 in a high-low black dress; in 2015, she was super sophisticated in navy Calvin Klein.
Solange arrived at the 2001 awards in an ensemble she’d likely not be caught in today; the singer was much more in tune with her current sartorial standard by 2014.