Britney Says Lightning Storm Forced Her To End Mexico Show

Pop singer left stage after four songs during final show of world tour.

Take ambassador off the list of careers Britney Spears might want to pursue

if she ever tires of singing.

The pop star, who seems to have no problem maintaining good relations with

fans at home, suffered another international incident this past week by

twice angering her Mexican fans, who chanted, "Fraud!" when she cut short

the final show of her world tour.

It's customary for American artists playing to international audiences

— who don't get to see certain performers as often — to go out of

their way to charm fans, either by adopting local protocol, attempting the

language or striving for punctuality. Spears already had a brush with how

different cultures have modified expectations when she was booed in England

in March for arriving late and then not lingering and signing autographs

outside the London premiere of "Crossroads."

There, she was only late and unavailable, not rude. But upon landing in Toluca, about 40 miles from Mexico City, on July 23, Spears gave a waiting crowd the one-finger salute. Understandably, Mexican fans and press took it as a snub, prompting an apology from the singer, who said the obscene gesture was intended for paparazzi, not fans. "I am human," she later said at a press conference. "And like everyone else, sometimes I get mad too."

Then perhaps she can understand why her fans got mad. Four songs into

her concert at Mexico City's Foro del Sol on Sunday, Spears added insult to the previous injury by abruptly cutting the show short due to rain, outraging the crowd of 52,000. Saying, "I'm sorry, Mexico. I love you. Bye," Spears left the stage during the set's fifth song, "Stronger."

Fans booed, hurled chairs and other items, and chanted, "Fraud!" according

to reports in local newspapers Milenio and El Universal. Some

fans refused to leave the stadium, despite PA announcements that the show

was over.

Afterward, Spears, her record label and concert organizers Ocesa Presenta

blamed thunder and lightning for the short set. "I'm sorry I couldn't finish

the show for my fans," Spears said in a statement Tuesday (July 30). "The

Mexican fans are one of the best audiences to play for. We decided that we

had no choice but to cancel the show after the storm and lightning showed no

signs of clearing up."

Initial reports of the incident didn't indicate the cause of Spears'

abbreviated set or mention the rainy weather conditions, which are

considered typical for the region. Concert organizers said fans will begin

receiving refunds later this week for the tickets, which had cost between

$14 and $190.

Ocesa Presenta director Guillermo Parra told El Universal that

although concerts in Mexico City normally anticipate rain, and concerts from

artists such as Bon Jovi and 'NSYNC have continued in the rain, Sunday

night's incident involved special circumstances. "There was no trick nor

deceit," Parra told the paper, "but climatic conditions cannot be


"A hazardous lightning storm made it essential for Spears to depart the

stage," Jive Records said in a statement. "Spears began the show during a

break between two rainstorms, but the degree of risk to the audience and

stage crew associated with the second storm, an electrical storm, made it

impossible for the show to continue."