LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oops! The promotional blitz for Britney Spears latest album got off to a rough start on Tuesday when Spanish heartthrob Enrique Iglesias denied that he would go on tour with the pop starlet.
Earlier in the day, Spears had said the two would hit the road for a North American trek beginning in June. But her announcement was greeted almost immediately with skepticism.
Iglesias has dates scheduled in Europe up until six days before the planned tour kickoff in Sacramento on June 17, not giving him much time to coordinate logistics for a brand new trek.
It was also not clear who would be opening for whom, and indeed what musical similarities the two artists have.
His spokeswoman issued a statement later in the day confirming that the tour would not happen.
“Unfortunately, Enrique Iglesias and Britney Spears will not be touring together. Despite initial reports based on formal discussions of the possible run, Enrique will continue on his solo tour in support of his new album ‘Euphoria.'”
“Enrique has great respect for Britney and is a longtime fan of her work. He is very sorry for the confusion this might have caused to anyone,” the statement said.
His spokeswoman declined to comment further. Reaction from the Spears camp was not immediately available. A representative for the tour’s promoter, Live Nation, referred queries to Iglesias’ people.
Spears, 29, announced the proposed Iglesias trek during an appearance on the TV talk show “Good Morning America” to promote her seventh album, “Femme Fatale,” which was released worldwide this week.
The snafu is rare at a time when publicity campaigns for albums, movies, TV shows and other entertainment products are highly structured.
Indeed Spears started her career as a Mouseketeer in Disney’s vaunted marketing machine, and rose to fame in the late 1990s as a wholesome teen idol with bubble gum hits like “... Baby One More Time” and “Oops! ... I Did It Again.”
After some highly publicized setbacks a few years ago, Spears’ handlers mastered a career comeback that saw the singer play sellout shows on a world tour to promote her 2008 release “Circus.” Even allegations that she lip-synced her songs could not dampen fans’ enthusiasm.
As for the new album, critics were unimpressed. USA Today said Spears’ voice “swamped by the fastidious production, is thin and colorless.” The Los Angeles Times said the album “never invites more intimate listening.”
Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr. in New York and Bob Tourtellotte in Los Angeles, editing by Dean Goodman