Britney Spears announced Friday that she’s taking “an indefinite work hiatus” to continue to care for her ailing father after a recent life-threatening illness.
The pop icon was scheduled to debut a new Las Vegas residency show called “Domination” in February, but postponed her return to the stage after her father, Jamie Spears, was hospitalized.
“I am dedicating my focus and energy to care for my family,” Spears said in a statement, according to Variety. “We have a very special relationship and I want to be with my family at this time just like they have always been there for me.”
“Thank you to all my fans for your continued love and support during this time,” she continued. “I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and I look forward to the time when I can be back on stage performing for all of you.”
Two months ago, the singer’s father underwent surgery for a ruptured colon at a local hospital in Las Vegas, where he stayed for 28 days under medical care. He’s now recuperating at home and expected to make a full recovery.
In an Instagram post, Spears expanded on her decision to delay the “Domination” show until a later date. She said it “breaks [her] heart” to let fans down.
“I don’t even know where to start with this, because this is so tough for me to say. I will not be performing my new show Domination,” she wrote alongside a photo of her family when she was a child.
“I’ve been looking forward to this show and seeing all of you this year, so doing this breaks my heart,” Spears wrote. “However, it’s important to always put your family first… and that’s the decision I had to make.”
Spears said her father “nearly died” from the medical emergency and that she’ll be dedicating her energy going forward to helping him on his road to recovery.
“I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time,” she added. “I hope you all can understand.”
Refunds for the show will be made available while the concerts are put on hold until further notice
In October, Spears announced her return to Las Vegas nine months after bidding farewell to the city with a splashy parade through the Strip. The residency was set to kick off in February and run through August at the Park Theater at Park MGM, which has hosted performers such as Lady Gaga, Cher, Bruno Mars and more throughout the years.
Spears was expected to rake in a reported $507,000 per show, unseating Celine Dion as the highest paid entertainer in Las Vegas. Her hugely successful first residency “Britney: Piece of Me” grossed more than $137 million over four years and was seen by more than 700,000 people.
That show initially launched in 2013 for a planned two-year run, but continued until December 2017 with Spears performing nearly 250 shows at Planet Hollywood.