Pop star Britney Spears “doing wonderful”

An ecstatic Britney Spears was recovering in hospital on Thursday after giving birth to her first child a day earlier.

"It's a boy," proclaimed Spears' website. "We are ecstatic to announce the birth of our son! Everyone is happy, healthy and doing wonderful. Thank you for all your love and well wishes!!"

The website gave no other details of the auspicious moment. But gossip magazine Us Weekly, which first reported the birth on Wednesday, said that Spears, 23, and her husband Kevin Federline, 27, had named the child Preston Michael Spears Federline.

Other reports said that the couple had named the child London, after the city where their love first blossomed last year.

Federline, who wed the former pop princess last year, was reportedly at Spears' side during the birth at the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Centre. The former back-up dancer and aspiring rapper already has two children from a previous relationship with actress Shar Jackson.

Prior to the birth, Spears told Elle magazine that her fear of pain meant she would deliver via Caesarean section.

The birth cements Spears' transition from a teen pop idol living a whirlwind lifestyle to a more sedate existence. She first burst into the pop spotlight at the age of 16 with her song Baby One More Time and built an image as a sexy and provocative teenager even as she insisted that she would not have sex before she got married.

But Spear's first attempt at marriage was a fiasco. In January 2004 she embarked on a fling with childhood friend Jason Alexander and impulsively married him in a Las Vegas wedding ceremony. That marriage was annulled just 55 hours later.

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