Britney Spears' fifth studio album Blackout will be released two weeks earlier than planned in a bid to prevent tracks being leaked onto the internet.

The 25-year-old star's record company, Jive Records, announced that the rescheduling move would push the album's release date to October 31st, instead of the proposed November 13th.

Songs from the Baby One More Time star's latest album have been appearing on blogs and websites over the last week, following the broadcast of her latest video Gimme More.

The record company said: "Due to these numerous unauthorised online leaks, the label is doing everything possible to prevent and avoid any further illegal distribution of songs including moving up the release date of the album to October 30th."

Spears' latest single Gimme More is doing well on the Billboard Charts, jumping from the 68th position to number three last week.

The pop princess was universally criticised for her performance of the track at last month's MTV video music awards, with critics labelling it as "zombie-like".

The singer's personal troubles have also been all over the tabloids for the past month, with Spears losing custody of her children to ex-husband Kevin Federline.

Meanwhile the star was recently charged with misdemeanour hit-and-run, for driving without a valid licence. She could face up to six months in jail and be forced to pay a $1,000 (£500) fine if convicted.

The judge in her driving case ordered that the star be booked over the offence and Spears will appear at a Police station to have mug shots and fingerprints taken. She has also been ordered to appear at the court on October 25th, a day before the latest hearing over custodial arrangements for her children.

11/10/2007 07:43:18