Being a fan of Britney Spears has always been full of twists and turns, a rollercoaster of “what’s going on?” set to catchy tunes. While it’s a perpetual mystery what she’ll get up to next, Spears herself has confirmed one thing she won’t be doing, via an Instagram caption Wednesday evening: Recording a comeback album.
“Just so we’re clear most of the news is trash !!! They keep saying I’m turning to random people to do a new album … I will never return to the music industry !!!” she wrote alongside a portion of Guido Reni’s 17th-century painting Salomè con la testa del Battista (Salome with the Head of John the Baptist), depicting a woman holding a platter with the decapitated head of John the Baptist. Vivid!
Spears’ adamant statement comes on the heels of reports, attributed to “unnamed sources,” that musical heavy hitters like Charli XCX and Julia Michaels had been recruited to collaborate with Spears on a comeback album. The singer’s most recent full-length studio album, Glory, was released in 2016.
In her recently released memoir, The Woman In Me, the audiobook of which was narrated by Michelle Williams, Spears discussed the trauma of her legal conservatorship from 2008 to 2021 and being forced to perform onstage, whether she wanted to or not. Her relationship with music, and to sharing it with the world, was altered.
“Pushing forward in my music career is not my focus at the moment,” she wrote in the memoir. She called recording the single “Hold Me Closer” with Elton John a “fantastic experience” and said that it “didn’t feel good—it felt great.” In a post days after the memoir’s release, Spears shared that she’d written a new song, evidently titled “Hate You to Like Me,” though no recording or lyrics have yet surfaced. (She shared the news with a photo of herself “giving ego with my eyes closed because I hear important people do that these days.”)
“It’s time for me not to be someone who other people want; it’s time to actually find myself,” she wrote in her memoir.
Spears, in her latest missive, claims to be living and loving the ghostwriter life for other artists.
“When I write, I write for fun or I write for other people !!!” her caption continued. “For those of you who have read my book, there’s loads that you don’t know about me … I’ve written over 20 songs for other people the past two years !!! I’m a ghostwriter and I honestly enjoy it that way !!!”
An unnamed source “close to Spears’ project-in-the-works” told Rolling Stone, however, that executives had in fact brought on Charli XCX and other talent in hopes of tempting Spears back into the recording studio.
“Right now, management and A&R are trying to get her excited for the music,” the source said. “As of right now, she’s not actively in recording but they’re getting [songs] done to present to her.”
“Nothing is cemented or in stone,” the source continued. “The hype around this is that everyone wants her to make music again, but I don’t know if she’s there yet.”
Representatives for Britney Spears did not immediately return a request for comment.