“Circus” is Britney Spears’ sixth studio album. It was released on November 28, 2008 through Jive Records. Looking to transition from her “darker and more urban” fifth studio album “Blackout” (2007), Britney wanted to make her next project “a little bit lighter.” Britney recorded the record during the summer of 2008, after her much-publicized personal struggles saw her placement under a temporary conservatorship earlier that year. As executive producers, Larry Rudolph and Teresa LaBarbera Whites enlisted collaborators including Britney’s longtime colleague Max Martin and Nate “Danja” Hills.
Upon its release, “Circus” received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented its production. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of over 505,000 copies, making it her fifth album to reach the top of the chart.
Four singles were released from the album, two of which became international hits. Its lead single “Womanizer” peaked atop the US Billboard Hot 100 and registered as the largest jump to the top of the chart at the time after debuting at number ninety-six. It became Britney’s best-selling song in the country since “…Baby One More Time,” and received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards (2010). The second and third singles “Circus” and “If U Seek Amy” peaked at numbers three and nineteen in the country, respectively. Consequentially, “Circus” became Britney’s second album after her debut effort “…Baby One More Time” (1999) to have two top-ten singles and three top-twenty singles, also being her first to have two top-five singles in the United States along with five charting songs on the Billboard Hot 100. To promote the album, Britney embarked on a concert tour titled “The Circus Starring: Britney Spears.”