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Britney Spears says she’ll ‘probably never perform again’ after ‘trauma’

Britney Spears fans hoping the pop star will perform live again, now she is free from an infamous conservatorship that governed her life for more than a decade, might not want to hold their breath.

In an Instagram post on Sunday, Spears declared herself “pretty traumatized” from her work onstage under the conservatorship and said she would “probably never perform again”, despite enjoying a career resurgence with her recent Elton John collaboration, Hold Me Closer.

The 40-year-old singer said she was devastated she had no creative control over her music videos while involuntarily under the conservatorship, which was overseen primarily by her father, Jamie Spears, from 2008 to 2021.

Spears also criticized photos former conservators took during performances and said she was uncomfortable with the number of dancers at her side throughout a four-year residency in Las Vegas.

“I’d rather … shoot photos of myself in studios over working with the most offensive people in my life,” Spears said. “I’m pretty traumatized for life and yes I’m pissed as fuck and no I probably won’t perform again just because I’m stubborn and I will make my point.”

Her post on Sunday concluded with the words: “Kiss my God damn motherfucking ass.”

The remarks were the first since her conservatorship ended in which Spears directly addressed whether she planned to resume live performance. She had previously discussed how she was probably through singing onstage.

Raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, about 90 miles north-west of New Orleans, Spears stormed to the top of the charts in the late 1990s and early 2000s with hits such as Oops! I Did It Again, Baby One More Time, Toxic and Gimme More.

But amid intense scrutiny of her personal relationships, she displayed erratic behavior in public and her father and his legal advisers placed her under a conservatorship that essentially prevented her from doing anything for herself.

Spears said the arrangement – among other things – limited her to drawing a weekly allowance of $2,000 during her Las Vegas residency, which earned more than $160m. She also couldn’t get married or manage her own birth control, she has said.

A judge terminated the conservatorship in November 2021, to the delight of fans who mounted the #FreeBritney movement online and sometimes in the streets.

Britney Spears ‘grateful for each day’ after conservatorship lifted – video

Spears has since married her long-term boyfriend, the actor Sam Asghari, and released the duet with Elton John. Hold Me Closer rocketed to the top of the streaming charts in more than 40 countries. A video was reportedly in the works. But Spears hasn’t performed live since a show in October 2018 for the US Grand Prix in Texas.

Her post Sunday also came after she made headlines with the release of a series of audio clips in which she discussed her estrangement from her two sons, aged 16 and 15, from a previous marriage.

One of the boys, Jayden, gave an interview to 60 Minutes Australia in which he said he didn’t attend his mother’s wedding because she “didn’t invite [the] whole family”.

Among those not invited were Jayden’s father, Kevin Federline, and his maternal grandfather, Jamie Spears.

Spears said of her sons: “Since they’ve been gone, I’ve honestly felt like a huge part of me has died.”

This article was amended on 13 September 2022 to correct the date of Spears’ last performance, which was in 2018 rather than 2017.

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