'Ill' Britney Pulls Out of MTV Awards

updated 11/04/2003 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/04/2003 01:00PM

Britney Spears is bailing on Thursday's MTV Europe Music Awards ceremony in Edinburgh, Scotland, because of "ill health," show organizers tell the BBC.

Spears also was scheduled to appear on BBC Radio 1 on Tuesday as part of the station's "diva" week, said the network. (Instead, a pre-recorded interview with Jo Whiley will be aired.) The pop tart's new album, "In the Zone," is due to be released on both sides of the Atlantic later this month, and she had been in England to promote it.

An MTV spokeswoman tells the BBC: "Britney was due to present an award as opposed to perform but has pulled out due to ill health. We are disappointed she won't be attending but we wish her well for a speedy recovery."

The rep added, "We are still looking forward to a fantastic show on Thursday."

Coincidentally, Spears's ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, is the leading nominee at the ceremony, competing in five categories.

Meanwhile, Beyonce, Kylie Minogue and the White Stripes will be performing live at the ceremony, to be held at the Ocean Terminal complex in Leith.

MORE ON: Britney Spears

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