Just hours after Britney Spears' not-so-triumphant comeback performance aired on Good Morning America, where she announced she'd embark on a tour with Enrique Iglesias this summer, comes this bombshell: According to Billboard.biz, Iglesias has dropped off the tour, marking the fastest exit from a planned trek since Lady Gaga ditched her Fame Kills jaunt with Kanye West. This news comes less than 120 minutes after the tour dates were revealed. (The tour announcement on the Spears' site has taken out all mention of Iglesias.)
"Enrique Iglesias is no longer on this tour," Live Nation simply said mere hours after announcing the shows. No reason was given for Enrique's departure, but Billboard.biz suggests that the plan for Iglesias' team to take on the entirety of the joint production -- like covering the costs and logistics -- might have been too expensive. The cost was especially high considering Iglesias would be essentially opening for Spears as she promotes Femme Fatale. Even though they were going to "tour together," the two artists were not actually billed as "co-headliners," a fact that likely rankled Iglesias, who is a marquee name in his own right. Follow-up reports in TMZ and Billboard imply this was indeed the major obstacle: "He was, in reality, Britney's opening act and he wanted out," sources told TMZ.
"Unfortunately, Enrique Iglesias and Britney Spears will not be touring together," a spokesperson said in a statement to Access Hollywood.
"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," a statement given to Reuters said. "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."
Britney doesn't sing live anymore and barely dances, but her tours always make big bucks for a concert industry riddled with low ticket sales: The 97 worldwide dates from the Circus Starring Britney Spears earned more than $138 million. Does Enrique's exit mean that a Spears tour won't be successful? Absolutely not, Godney fanatics will still sell out every arena Spears visits. (Update: With a price tag of $115 or $372 per ticket, The Amp is not as confident about Spears' ability to sell out arenas like Nassau Coliseum.) But Britney's team will probably have to cover the heavy costs that come with a big time tour unless they can find another "co-headliner" to at least split the tab.
If Britney is looking to save money on her next trek, however, maybe she can take some advice from comedian Neil Hamburger's Twitter: "To Adam Leber, Britney's manager: You could cut production costs on the next tour by dispensing with the unused microphone."
The Iglesias-free tour dates:
June 17 - Sacramento, CA @ Power Balance Pavilion
June 18 - San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion
June 20 - Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
June 24 - Anaheim, CA @ Honda Center
June 25 - Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand
June 28 - Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena
June 29 - Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome
July 1 - Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
July 4 - Winnipeg, MB @ MTS Centre
July 6 - St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Center
July 8 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
July 12 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
July 13 - Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
July 15 - New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Arena
July 17 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
July 20 - Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
July 22 - Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
July 26 - Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
July 28 - Detroit, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills
July 30 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
July 31 - Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
August 2 - Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum
August 5 - East Rutherford, NJ @ Izod Center
August 8 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
August 11 - Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
August 13 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
[Photo: Araya Diaz/WireImage.com]