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Britney Spears announces pregnancy

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Los Angeles (Reuters): Pop star Britney Spears beat the tabloids at their own game, dropping in on a taping of television's ''Late Show with David Letterman'' to announce that she was pregnant with her second child.

''Don't worry Dave, it's not yours,'' the 24-year-old singer told the late-night talk show's host as she walked onto the stage in a black dress that revealed a tell-tale tummy bulge. Her entrance was accompanied by the band playing ''My Prerogative,'' the title song on her greatest-hits album. ''Oh. Well, I think that's good news for both of us,'' Letterman joked back. The comedian went on to ask Spears point blank: ''So, we've established now that you are in fact pregnant, is that right?'' ''Yes, sir,'' she answered to wild applause from the studio audience last night. Letterman than took Spears' hand and kissed it.

A spokesman for the CBS show, which is taped in New York, said Spears' brief visit was a surprise to the studio audience that had been arranged earlier in the day. Guests for network talk shows are usually booked weeks in advance. Spears' appearance was to air later on Tuesday. Celebrity magazines and tabloids have speculated for weeks that Spears was expecting another child.

The Louisiana-born performer married dancer Kevin Federline in September 2004 and gave birth to their first child, a son named Sean Preston, the following September. The family lives in the beachfront enclave of Malibu, California, outside Los Angeles.

Parenthood has not been entirely smooth sailing for the singer. In February, she was photographed driving a car with her infant son in her lap behind the steering wheel, prompting a visit to her home by sheriff's deputies at the request of child welfare authorities. Child welfare agents paid another visit to her home in April, reportedly after the baby fell from a high chair and hit his head; Spears' lawyer later said the couple was cleared of any wrongdoing in the mishap.

Spears has sold more than 60 million albums since she shot to fame with her 1999 debut ''...Baby One More Time,'' becoming a worldwide phenomenon at age 15. With the subsequent release of ''Oops! ... I Did It Again'' and ''Britney,'' she became the first female performer in the history of Billboard magazine to have her first three albums open at No. 1 on the US pop charts.

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