Britney Spears begins long-term Las Vegas gig

HANNAH DREIER, Associated Press
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Dec. 3, 2013: Singer Britney Spears speaks to the crowd after arriving at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino before the debut of her Las Vegas residency "Britney: Piece of Me" in Las Vegas. (Photo by David Becker/Invision/AP,File)

Dec. 3, 2013: Singer Britney Spears speaks to the crowd after arriving at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino before the debut of her Las Vegas residency “Britney: Piece of Me” in Las Vegas. (Photo by David Becker/Invision/AP,File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas is getting its newest pop fixture.

Britney Spears begins her two-year residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Friday, just in time to catch the town’s massive New Year’s Eve crowds.

The Grammy-winning singer will perform 50 shows each in 2014 and 2015. Casino executives say the gig may be extended if it proves a success.

Spears, 32, is expected to recap her biggest hits, including “Oops. I Did It Again,” ”…Baby One More Time” and “Toxic.”

A collection of pop stars, including Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus, are expected to attend the opening.

Spears is among the youngest stars to have settled down to quasi-retirement in Las Vegas. Other successful Strip headliners include Celine Dion and Elton John.

The show takes place in a relatively intimate theater with nightclub touches, including table and bottle service. Tickets range from $59 to $179.

Before the announcement of the residency, Spears’ strongest Las Vegas tie derived from her short-lived marriage here. A 22-year-old Spears married her childhood friend in Sin City in 2004, and got the marriage annulled 55 hours later.

Spears made a grand Las Vegas entrance this month with fire-breathers, contortionists, snake charmers and hunky dancers welcoming her during a staged event at Planet Hollywood.

A portion of the Strip was temporarily closed so that she could pull up to the casino in a convertible. Spears told Las Vegas, “this is my city” now, then immediately went home to Los Angeles.

Spears has released seven platinum-plus albums since she debuted on the music scene in 1999. Her eighth album, “Britney Jean,” was released this month to tepid reviews.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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