Britney Spears will release her new album later this month, two weeks earlier than planned, because some recordings have already been leaked online, her label has announced.
Blackout, Spears' first album of new material in four years, will reach stores on October 31 internationally, and a day later in the US, Jive Records said.
The album comes out as the tarnished pop princess undergoes an extraordinary degree of media scrutiny amid an unending litany of legal and personal woes. She can now add music piracy to that lengthy list. Jive said album tracks, unfinished material and demos have found their way into cyberspace.
A statement quoted an unidentified label official as saying, "Due to these numerous unauthorized online leaks, the label is doing everything possible to prevent and avoid any further illegal distribution of songs, including moving up the release date of the album to October 30th."
Blackout was originally scheduled for US release on November 13, and a day earlier internationally. Her last album, In the Zone, opened at No. 1 in the United States, but sales ultimately paled against those for her previous efforts.
Back in the real world, Spears has been forced to take on a parenting coach in order to gain limited access to her two young sons with former husband Kevin Federline, and she also is dealing with legal fallout from a minor car scrape recorded for posterity by a swarm of paparazzi.
Jive is a unit of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, which combines most of the recorded-music assets of Sony and closely held Bertelsmann.