Irate mother flies in and then sheepish Britney has her marriage annulled

Poor Britney Spears tried so hard to be a rock'n'roll chick as she ended a night on the tiles in Las Vegas with a walk down the aisle in torn jeans and a baseball cap at a 24-hour wedding chapel.

The American singer sheepishly had the marriage annulled after just two days yesterday following a telling-off from her mom. So it transpired that the wedding of the princess of pop turned out less like a fairytale and more like a calamitous story-line fromFriends.

Having got hitched at 5.30 in the morning at the Little White Wedding Chapel on the Las Vegas Strip to her childhood pal and drinking buddy Jason Alexander, Spears came round to the sight of an irate Mrs Lynne Spears, who had flown in from Louisiana after being told of the nuptials.

The newly-weds promptly called a lawyer and signed an annulment, which was filed when the Nevada courts opened yesterday. The singer's record company issued a statement to say that the wedding had been a "joke" that had gone too far.

Sonia Muckle, vice-president of publicity for Jive Records, said: "On January 3rd, Britney Spears and a friend took a joke too far by getting married. Ms Spears and Mr Alexander have filed for an annulment, which will become official on Monday, January 5."

The wedding was also confirmed by George Maloof Jnr, a friend of the singer and the owner and operator of the Palms Casino Hotel. "Nobody knew it was coming," said Mr Maloof.

Spears and Mr Alexander took a limousine to the Little White Wedding Chapel on the Las Vegas Strip after spending time at the Ghost Bar, a club in the Palms Casino Hotel.

However, Mr Alexander returned to his hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana on Sunday, and was not speaking to the press.

His grandfather, Robert Alexander said: "He'd been through a lot. We picked him up in New Orleans coming back and he didn't have much to say. I wish them well. Whatever happens, happens."

Which was rather more sympathetic than the reaction of the singer's head of security, Big Mo, who allegedly told them: "What you guys did was totally stupidly ridiculously insane."

Nevertheless, the publicity will have done nothing to diminish the level of global public interest in Spears.According to Google, the most common term among 55 billion searches made last year was "Britney Spears". The singer released her fourth album, "In the Zone," last November and is preparing for a tour that begins in March in San Diego.

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