"It's been good for me to be able to sit back," Spears says of her hiatus, "and kind of appreciate what I had."
It has been 20 months since Britney Spears was last on tour and more than two years since she released an album of new material. But that doesn't mean the singer has stopped performing. These days her audience tends to be small – just one wriggly fan – the venue intimate and the singing unplugged. "I'll sing him 'Mary Had a Little Lamb,' " Spears says of crooning to her 5-month-old son Sean Preston. "And I make up stuff." She pauses and considers for a moment. "I found out after the baby," she says earnestly, "that I can sing!"