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Culture

Britney Spears Wins German Prize For 'Stunning Comeback'

Singer Britney Spears has landed a top German media award, which recognizes her comeback after a series of highly-publicized personal problems.

Britney Spears holding her Bambi Award

Britney Spears picked up her Bambi in the small German town of Offenburg

Twenty-six-year-old Spears collected the Bambi statuette for Best International Pop Star, and performed the song "Womanizer" from her new album "Circus," at a gala ceremony hosted by the Hubert Burda Media group on Thursday, Nov. 27.

The Bambis are one of Germany's top media honors, having been awarded since 1948. A film award at the outset, today the awards go to a wide range of people in the entertainment industry as well as in politics, economics and sports.

It was both Spears' recent climb back up the pop chart ladder and her scramble out of the hole of personal crisis that impressed the awards jury.

"The pop princess is back on her throne, better than ever before," the prize jury said when announcing its decision.

They added that "the one-time teen idol has become a mature young woman who overcame the greatest crisis of her life with flying colors. Britney Spears achieved her triumph thanks to her iron discipline, her unique musical talent and her millions of fans, who remained loyal to the star even in her darkest hours."

Spears considered a role model

Britney Spears perfoming with other dancers

Britney Spears last failed comeback attempt in 2007

At the award ceremony Britney Spears made her first solo live appearance since her memorably disastrous "Gimme More" comeback attempt at the MTV Video Music Awards last year.

Her performance there was panned by critics who slammed her singing, dancing, costume choice and weight.

The catastrophic comeback marked a year in which Spears shaved her head as photographers looked on, and was cited for "habitual'' use of controlled substances and alcohol by the judge in the custody case of her two children.

Her former husband, Kevin Federline, was granted sole custody of their children last October due to her mental state and drug abuse.

But Spears, the eighth best-selling female recording artist in the US, has sought redemption.

Since February, when Spears' father Jamie took over her business and personal affairs, the singer has reunited with the manager who made her a star, won three MTV Video Music Awards, and relaunched her Web site.

She has cleaned up her appearance, her health seems to have improved, and she has recorded a new album, which is to be released on Dec. 2, her 27th birthday.

Patricia Rieke, editor-in-chief of Burda celebrity magazine Bunte, called Spears a role model for young women around the world for bouncing back from a string of public humiliations.

Good company

Britney Spears and Madonna on stage together

Part of her latest comeback: Britney Spears joins Madonna on stage

Spears was to collect her prize in the southern German town of Offenburg one day before appearing on the much-watched Star Academy reality television show in France.

She has also announced she will tour with the new album next year -- her first major concert tour since 2004. To round off the transformation, Spears' face is to grace the cover of Friday's edition of "Rolling Stone" magazine.

Other winners at the 60th annual Bambis included Hollywood actress Meg Ryan, British racing champion Lewis Hamilton, fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld and Tommy Hilfiger, and US actor Keanu Reeves.

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