Who would have thought that when a 16 year old Britney Spears burst on to the music scene in 1998 with her debut single '...Baby One More Time' that she would have become a hugely successful and celebrated artist with over 100 million record sales under her belt? Not a lot of people...
After the release of her debut album, Britney has gone on to release another 6 highly successful albums: 'Oops!...I Did It Again', 'Britney', 'In The Zone', 'Blackout', 'Circus' and 'Femme Fatale'.
After she released 'In The Zone' she married first husband Jason Alexander which was annuled just 65 hours later, then she married her "proper" husband Kevin Federline whom she had 2 children with, Sean Preston and Jayden James. She released her first greatest hits album in 2005 'Greatest Hits: My Prerogative'. In late 2006, Britney filed for divorce and by 2007 was showing signs of mental illness. By late 2007, she had released her comeback album 'Blackout' and lost custody of her children and shaved her head infamously in February. By the end of February Britney got sectioned and has since worked hard to get her life back on track, late 2008 she released her 6th studio album 'Circus' and embarked on her comeback world tour the following spring, by late 2009 she released her second greatest hits album 'The Singles Collection'. In 2011, she made her music comeback with her 7th studio album 'Femme Fatale', in September 2012 the public will he able to see Britney every week after signing a $15m deal to become an X Factor USA judge.
Whether you love or love to hate Ms Spears, ther is no denying that she is a true performer who has been through a hell of a lot at such a young age. I think she is a true inspiration to millions of people around the world, and I have huge respect for her in her career and personal life.
For 15 years now Britney's music carrer has gone from strength to strength and I can see the next 15 being the same.
What do you think of when you hear of the name Britney Spears? Ten Years ago, that name would only be associated with how great a singer she is, the talent she showed at such a young age and a list of No 1 hits. Today, people spew all sorts of junk about her- how she has mental problems, she needs help, she's fake, her music is crap and the like.
Who one person is, is not summed up by an action or a phase they go through, but their entirety. Britney Spears' career rocketed at a young age, with Baby One More Time reaching No 1 in 70 countries, and successively a long list of hits: Stronger, Oops I Did it Again, Everytime and Toxic. No one could fault her pop prowess at this time. She was one of the top selling pop female artists ON EARTH, so what happened?
After a string of break ups, marriages, custody battles and images of her all over the media, people started to question who this girl really is? What drove her to shave all her hair off? Why did she marry him and why did she go out with that person? She was no longer recognised for the music she was famous for, but instead turned into the everyday celebrity where people only took an interest in her personal life.
I personally think that this phase of her life is perhaps the most important for her. This phase changed her character, made her stronger, and opened her eyes to the world. She saw that she was controlled, and being pushed in so many directions, and in a sense manipulated for her musical talent. Her "breakdown" meant that she really knew who she was and what people around her wanted, and she no longer allowed people to take advantage of her, seeking help and comfort from those who mean the most to her.
Whilst I urge people not to judge her for her actions, I do believe what she did was in a way excessive, and unnecessary. I also blame the media and paparazzi not only for portraying her in a light THEY wanted in order to get more money, as well as causing her distress and fuelling her mental chaos.
In the midst of such ordeal, Britney was made to record and release and album called Blackout, featuring all electro pop tunes, and performing at the MTV awards. Whilst at the time I was extremely excited for her "supposed" come back, her music at this point was a flop. She wasn't ready, and she just didn't do it with her heart, and you could tell. Perhaps she too wanted to get away from her life and relaunch the career that she once had, but she wasn't prepared.
Near the time of her release of Circus, her sixth studio album, Britney filmed a documentary called Britney Spears: For the Record, which is a very personal and genuine documentary about what she wanted to say about herself. Despite all the media we saw, this documentary was her way of releasing what she wanted to say. I think she is extremely brave for doing it, and reveals her humanity. She too is human you know- she has feelings and emotions just as everyone of us do!
Circus was a hit. Many of the songs on there are upbeat pop tracks, and whilst many people will say they are written for her, and she's just singing them, she did have a lot of creative input. If you watch any of her behind the scenes footage for her videos, she does give her opinion and creative input on the choreography.
Whilst you would think all is restored to order, many now criticise her for her lip-synching on her Circus Tour. I personally think it would be better off for her NOT to lip synch, but it isn't right to push her if she isn't ready. You can't expect someone to go from learning to walk again to sprinting the 100m and winning a gold medal. She has to practise and train and slowly gain the confidence again. I also cannot stress how many people DO lip synch, and honestly, would you rather have a fantastic performance lip-synched, or an average performance, not very good singing? Because her circus tour is supposedly fantastic. She might not be singing, but she is dancing, and she is performing.
I don't believe she will be lip synching forever, but it will take time. For now, let's appreciate the stunning performer we have in front of us, and embrace her musical artistry, for no one can deny that she doesn't have talent. She might not be your cup of coffee, but that doesn't mean she isn't good! She has a long list of awards to prove it!
To sum up; Britney, despite her breakdown phase, has come through to produce yet another chart topping album, Circus. There will be many who continue to criticise her for whatever reason, but her musical CV is outstanding with many No 1 hits and singles. She is sure to WOW in the future I patiently wait to see what she brings, as there are rumours of a Lady Gaga and Britney collaboration, which sounds really exciting for both of them.
My favourite Britney tracks:
- Someday I will Understand
- Before The Goodbye
- Out From Under
Britney Spears has always been a punching-bag for advocates of "real music". This music snobbery is amusing to watch, as these people claim to be music lovers, but yet, refuse to acknowledge the merit of any music outside their own limited tastes. People can attack Britney, saying her music is not "authentic", however, I'd argue that she is the exact opposite. She is one of the most "authentic" artists out there. Why? You gasp collectively. Well for the simple fact that she does not try to be anything else. She knows she's a pop singer. She knows she hasn't got the best vocals in the world. She knows her lyrics aren't deep and affecting. She knows she is an image-based performer. She accepts that, and she embraces that. Other bands just try to be things they're not, or to mask the fact that really they make pop music and aren't the edgy indie group they like to see themselves as. Britney doesn't have this sense of conceit or pretentiousness. This is what makes her refreshing, as she knows what she is, and is unapologetic for it.
Selling a staggering 85 Million records, and scoring 20 UK Top 10 hits, it's hard to believe that she is the same singer who people wrote off as a one-hit-wonder in 1998. She is one of a handful of pop singers who have been able to ensure longevity, despite overwhelming belief that her talent was not sufficient enough to propel her beyond an album or two. Yet she has endured. I still find it mildly amusing that people can claim that she is a washed-up "has-been", when just last year she had one of the highest-grossing tours in the world, and scored a #1 hit with absolutely no promotion. So what is it that has made her last so long?
Firstly, it's the strength of her material. Writer and Producer Max Martin was responsible for a large number of her early hits (Baby... One More Time, Crazy, Oops I Did It Again, Stronger, Lucky and Overprotected), and without beating around the bush, he is simply a pop genius. His skill at crafting melodies and hooks is unparalleled, and has been demonstrated time and time again - such as his recent work with Kelly Clarkson, Pink and Katy Perry. I can see the criticism that she is merely a puppet on strings, and this puppet is only as good as her puppeteers. Perhaps this was true in her early days, but as time has gone on, Britney Spears has been the one who has been controlling her image. It was her idea to don the schoolgirl outfit in her first video. She was the one who decided the bold move to explore her more sexual side. She was also the one to create the concept for her recent, 'Circus' album and tour. Many of her producers have praised how in the studio as she works on the song, she is simultaneously creating the stage show and music video.
Although I would not disagree that Britney Spears is largely a performer and an entertainer (a thoroughly visual artist), I would like to take a moment to point out that she does have a handful of writing credits on each of her albums. For me, two songs stand out. 'Everytime', a piano laden ballad was written by her in the aftermath of her break-up with Justin Timberlake. It is largely regarded as one of her best songs, and if you read some of the lyrics and listen to her haunting vocal delivery, it is hard to maintain that she is a singer completely void of any emotion or writing talent. Similarly, an oft forgotten track named 'Someday (I Will Understand)' is a favourite of mine. It was written for Britney's unborn child, and has her searching for the reasons for her existence and asking God what her purpose on this earth is. Given how lost and lonely those few years were for her, this song is powerful and again, shows that there is some substance behind the layers of hair and make-up.
But yes, admittedly, most of her songs are not as deep as the two I've mentioned. The sizzling sex appeal begun as merely suggestion ("I'm not that innocent", she breathes on 'Oops I Did It Again'), but it wasn't until the 'Slave 4 U' video came out, where we saw things become more explicit - a video which depicted a scantily clad, sweat-covered Britney writhing amongst half-naked men. "All you people look at me like I'm a little girl/But did you ever think it'd be okay for me to step into this world?" she sings, almost anticipating the criticism. However, in a strange way, the song does in fact deal with the age-old coming of age dilemma (certainly for most child stars) but also, a conflict facing a lot of teenagers - do you continue doing what other people expect of you, or do you take control and follow your own desires? Then of course, in recent years, songs which do not even try to veil the sexual undertones. Her recent hit '3' is unashamedly blunt as it sings about a ménage à trois, leaving little to the imagination.
These songs make for great performances though. I was lucky enough to see Britney Spears on tour last year at the O2 arena, where these songs lent themselves so well to the stage. The rawness of some of her hits and the heat of some of her lyrics, transfer well into live performances because quite simply, the primal act of sex and lust is easy to show through movement and dance. If Britney had the golden-voice of Whitney Houston, then sure, her performances would be different and less reliant on dance and image. But she doesn't, so she plays to her strengths.
The lip-syncing issue is always brought up, and honestly, I'm tired of it. She does it. Deal with it. If you don't want to see someone lip-sync, then fine, don't go to her concert. However, testimony to the fact that the large majority of her fans do not care is the sheer scale of her recent 97-date world tour. Everyone who went knew full well that they were not going to get live vocals, and from everything I heard from the fans around me, that did not affect them one bit. Everyone had a great time because what Britney does not put into her live vocals, she puts into her dance and visual aspects of a performance. If she were standing there by a microphone, not moving but still lip-syncing, I'd have a major problem. But the fact that she is dancing around the stage, constantly moving, I can overlook it.
Her personal life has always been fodder for the tabloids, but in recent years, it's gone into overdrive. It is no secret that after the death of her aunt and the break-up of her marriage, she had a rapid decline. She shaved her head, began using drugs and drunk to excess. I think it's not surprising this happened. She never really had a chance to get this rebellion out of her system, as she lost her teenage years to performing and becoming a star. The fact that she is constantly watched and judged can't have helped either, and as seen with so many stars (Michael Jackson, for example), the more famous you are, and the more money you earn - you become such a target for parasites, meaning you end up becoming a complete recluse with no confidantes or anyone you can trust. Britney's meltdown was understandable.
Luckily, in 2008, she was able to pull herself back together - get clean and sort her life out. I find it a sad commentary on the mindset of journalists today who can rip her apart for her breakdown but not offer a single kind word of praise for how she was able to overcome her issues and be a good mother, and stronger human being. Particularly when Britney does suffer from bipolar disorder, a devastating form of depression which leads to its sufferer swinging between paralyzing sadness and euphoric mania. Feel free to challenge me, but If I were to mock the behaviour of someone with this illness walking down the street, people would think that I was a disgusting human being. But it's acceptable for journalists to do it? Something doesn't seem right there.
The documentary, 'Britney Spears: For the Record', reinforced my opinion when she made the comment about her recent struggles with a smile on her face saying: "I sit there and I'll look back and I'm like: I'm a smart person. What the hell was I thinking?". Although that documentary was tinged with sadness. For me, it also made me fall in love with Britney as a person. Not only do we see her as a loving mother and having a sense of humour but also, she speaks candidly and honestly about the nature of her life: "When I tell people the way I feel... it's like they hear me but they're not listening. It's like they're hearing what they want to hear. It's... it's bad." Tears begin to roll down her face. "I'm sad," she says at last.
I think anyone who attacks Britney Spears' music, is attacking pop music in general. I understand that you may oppose the image she puts out. Fair enough. The overt sex appeal isn't everyone's cup of tea. However, you can't put down her 85 Million record sales to the fact she dresses in skimpy costumes. I know that I have never in my life bought an album because "Oooooh! She's not wearing clothes!". Otherwise, every Page 3 girl to ever grace the Sun would have been able to launch platinum-selling music careers. There's no logic to this argument. People like her music because it's mood-enhancing. It's bright and breezy, and sometimes you need that. I love all types of music - rock, country, indie, r'n'b, soul - you name it! I listen to experimental stuff, and songs with heavy lyrics, but at the same time, there's nothing wrong with just listening to music to have a good time. Not all music has to be there to make you be introspective. For me, music which puts a smile on your face is just as powerful as the music which makes you cry. If I'm dancing to 'Toxic' or singing along to 'Womanizer', it does make me happy. And in the kind of world we live in, with so many problems, so many disasters and such cruelty - a slice of well-crafted pop helps you stay positive and offers three or four minutes of fun and respite.
I know this review sounds defensive, which, to an extent it is. I just think that Britney Spears is unjustly criticised. She is a pop singer. She's never claimed to be anything more, and so it's hard to deny that in the field which she's in, with what she does, she does it incredibly well. With a new album coming in 2010 (boasting production from David Guetta, Danja, Rodney Jerkins, Max Martin and potentially Lady GaGa), it seems that she has no intention of slowing down. I, personally, cannot wait to see what she serves up next. As the lyrics of 'If U Seek Amy' sum up so well, it seems that whether you love her or you hate her, you just can't take your eyes off her.
* Who Is Britney Spears *
Britney Jean Spears is an American pop star who has been active in the music world since 1999 when she burst on to the scene with her well-known song 'Hit Me Baby One More Time' wearing a school uniform.
* Biography *
Britney was born on December 2nd in 1981 to parents Jamie and Lynne in Mississipi although she grew up in Kentwood , Louisianna.
She was an accomplished gymnast and dancer and took part on the Mickey Mouse Club televsion show alongside fellow popstars Christina Aguilera and her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake.
Britney and Justin dated for four years but split up in 2003.Rumours say that Britney cheated on Justin , due to the reason that in Justin's 'Cry Me A River' video there was a girl who had exactly the same features as Britney , e.g the hair.In this video this girl had been cheating on him , so he cheated on her and filmed it so she could see it.
Britney married Jason Allen Alexander who was one of her life long friends.Their marriage lasted just over 50 hours.
Britney then married dance Kevin Federline , who she has now divorced.Together they have two children : two year old Sean Preston and one year old Jayden James.Kevin currently has custody of the two children.
* Hits *
Britney has had many hits.Here is a list of Britneys ...
Hit Me Baby One More Time
Oops I did It Again
In The Zone
My Preogative : Greatest Hits
Hit Me Baby One More Time
(You drive me) crazy
Born To Make you Happy
Oops I did it Again
Don't Let Me Be The Last To know
Not A Girl , Not yet A woman
I love Rock and Roll
I'm A slave for you
Me Against The Music ( Duet with Madonna)
My favourite Britney Songs are : Overproteceted , Everytime and Born to make you happy.My least favourite song is Don't let me be the last to know because I think it stays the same all the way through it and it's quite boring.
* DVDs *
Time Out with Britney Spears
Britney Live and More ( please take a look at my review )
Britney : The Videos
Britney : Live from Las Vegas
In The Zone
Greatest Hits : My Prerogative
Britney and Kevin : Chaotic
* Movie *
Britney had a lead role in the movie Crossroads in 2002.Although this movie had a lot of negative critisim I thought that it was a good movie.
Britney plays a girl named Lucy.She is eighteen years old.Her mother left when she was three years old and so she has lived the last fifteen years with her father.The story is that she goes on a road trip with her two best friends who she hasn;t spoken to since they were about ten and then they mend their friendship and Lucy meets her mum and falls in love with this guy!
* She's Back *
After approx. three years away from the music world (but definately not from the paparazzi world , Britney is back with a new album - Blackout. She's already released the first single from the album and it's called 'Gimme More'. At first I didn't like it , but then after hearing it a few times it grew on me.
Britney is an excellent entertainer and is world-wide famous.She has some great songs and lets hope that she's back for a few more great songs!
*My Opinion *
I think Britney is soo talented.I have been a fan of hers since the very beginning.She's a good dancer and has some funky moves.She also has some of the best songs out there.After everything she's been through over the last few years , I think her comeback will make her realise that she's got so many fans that are all supportive of her which will hopefully help her get better!
* Jamie-Lynne Spears *
Britney's sister Jamie-Lynne ( who I must say looks exactly like Britney) is the main character in a kids tv show on nickelodeon called Zoey-101. She is also a dancer and a singer.
Thanks for reading :)
I was around 11 when Britney released her first song, and I was a big fan. I remember listening to her first album as a cassette on my Walkman repeatedly. I drove everyone else mad, so I'm surprised I didn't get sick of it sooner!
Since then I've grown up a lot...I'm 22 now, and though I still listen to and like some of her songs, I'm nowhere near as interested!
Although her songs are catchy she rarely (if ever?) sings them live, and after watching Britney-style X Factor I can see why - it's almost impossible to make them sound good without digital enhancement! I think it's more the happy dancing and her general talents as a performer that have kept people interested - but she's been getting more and more disappointing recently. Perhaps complacent, or trying to ignore people telling her what to do all the time as much, I don't know.
I do feel sorry for her though as I don't think she has any idea who she is - being in showbiz from a really young age and being pushed by her family, especially her mum, she's already done more than most people do in a lifetime but she isn't happy. And with the whole world seeing her problems and judging her, I can't imagine how tough it must be. And with news articles and gossip magazines always going back to things she's done like shaving her head and marrying Kevin, in a way she'll never be able to escape them or even forget them temporarily.
Overall, I hope things get better for her and she gets a chance to be out of the limelight for a while. If I were her I'd quit completely, but I guess she's signed into contracts and stuff.
I love this girl she is a very talanted dancer and singer.
Her songs are brillent and some of them i can relate too , she is a brillent dancer and performs to her best ablilty .
Yes she had a break down but she is getting healthy and stronger again .
Britney was named britney jean spears and was born in mississippi and was raised in kentwood .
She became famous in 1993 when she was in the mickey mouse club but sadly it didnt last , at the age of 13 she was no longer in the mickey mouse club and then she decided to go back to school .
Then in the year 1998 she became a household name when she release the hit song "Hit me baby one more time".
After 2 failed marrages and 2 georgous baby boys and a nervous break down she now back on track taking the worlds by storm with her new album circus which is due to be released 2 december 2008 on her birthday .
I love Britney even though i don't think she has the greatest voice i think she is the bestest all round entertainer.Having been in the spot light most of her life no wonder she had a break down but its so unfortunate that it had to be shown to the whole world.
I dont know why so many people trust what the papers say and to be honest i am sick of seeing her in the papers,id rather see her happy while being captured not being stalked by loads of papz many people say it comes with the job but id say there should be a line drawn when there waiting outside your home and running your car off the road.
I love being nosy like anyone else but i think celebrity's should have a choice in whats been shown.
Its great to see her back to her best in the music and i cant wait for her album to come out.
it looks like Britney's back! :-)
I remember this first time I head baby one more time. I must of been around 13. I fell in love with her music after that, I religously bought every single, CD and Video. Her music was so catchy and i'd know evey single lyric to every song!
I feel that the life Britney has had so far has been hard. Coming into such a manipluative and judgemental showbiz world at such a young age obviously had an effect on her.
She is such a great women which such aspriation, seeing her on the MTV awards was like stepping back and seein her back a few years ago when she was her normal self.
i feel that the press portrayed Britney ito a nutter and mental case. Having the press n your back 24/7 couldn't have helped Britney being in such a way anyway. Everyone is allowed to have a bad time in their lives. The inundated media pressure constantly more than likely escalated the way she initally felt at the time.
I think Britney is back for good now :) Good Luck
In 2007 Jive Records released "Blackout", the fifth studio album from Britney Spears and her first original material for nearly four years.
To just listen to the record it would be easy to declare it a return to form. Vocally, what some take as over-serious, others see as self-deprecating, and although the voice is thin it sounds assured, and contrasts the bold escapist electro-bounce of the bass, which dances throughout. Maybe the melodies can't match the textures and the beats but the lyrics work on the level of garish urban-sleaze and the whole effect is brash and futuristic and at times almost avant-garde, all intoxicated by the oxygen of shameless hot and sexy publicity. The singles "Gimme More" and "Piece of Me" are two of her best and skewer the insanity of being famous with a knowing and filthy glee.
But alas, things are rarely that simple. Anybody who was paying the scantest attention to the tabloid press last year - perhaps anywhere in the western hemisphere and lots of places beyond - and I don't say that lightly - will be aware that a rather different story was unfolding in all too public a fashion.
Although Spears had certainly started her career with a more wholesome reputation than she has today - which her handlers had told fans belied the contradiction of the coquettish ingénue she had supposedly only played in her debut video - rumours of reckless behaviour and scandal were by now nothing new. In 2004 Spears had briefly been married to a childhood friend for all of two days before having the ceremony annulled.
The most alarming signal that something was dramatically wrong came in February 2007, when Spears was filmed shaving her head totally bald, the day after reportedly checking herself out of a drug treatment program, having stayed there for less than twenty-four hours. She was soon in and out of clinics and courts and there were repeated reports of traffic accidents and custody disputes. Her behaviour was volatile. Rolling Stone has since reported that she flipped out in front of fans in a shopping mall and screamed obscenities at them when they requested pictures to be taken, and this after throwing a tantrum at shop assistants.
What could have been a triumphant comeback was fast undertaking the trajectory of a tragedy. The world was regaled with pictures and words from beyond the brink of breakdown - a bristling commentary of noise illuminated by flash photography - and was told it could not take its eyes away. Although the darkest outcome thankfully never came to pass, it was not for want of cultish devotion from the strange cadre of paparazzi who document her every move for the mainstream media and internet gossip sites alike. Reporting on the life of Britney Spears had become big business. Entertainment media outlets began to admit they had dedicated divisions whose primary responsibility was to generate stories on her because they sold so well. News outlets that arguably should have known better were picking up a lot of these stories and giving them considerable coverage.
Nobody was precisely sure of the credentials - or even the identity - of this parade of grubby men - with ostentatious clothes and trendy haircuts that never quite fit them - and yet there they were at every opportunity, chronicling the daily activities of their quarry like courtiers, or courtesans; and when these modern day packs of hunter-gatherers armed with lenses weren't stalking in convoys down the freeway, they populated the gossip rags; the nightly cable-news talk-shows; the blogosphere. One of them was even rumoured to be dating Britney, whilst fighting a battle of wills against her new "manager", against whom her parents had supposedly taken out a restraining order. All of which turned out to be true.
The manner in which she courted the press had elements of an elaborate game and she seemed to revel in the freedom to make her own choices and fashion her own persona - even if it was all being done in front of the cameras - because after years of being stage managed she had finally broken free from caring about following the rules of what was expected from her, by her managers, by her family, by the media, by her fans, by the public, by society itself. Whilst undoubtedly there did appear to be the signs of serious mental illness, perhaps there was also a sense of release - of the start of a necessary healing process that could one day lead to a post-celebrity enlightenment in which the pressures of fame no-longer mattered.
Whereas other socially ambitious stars fawn for the producers of "reality" television, Spears had some how transformed a whole section of the mainstream entertainment media into her own personal entourage, who followed her night and day, participating in her very own reality, not on television, but in their own lives. Reclaiming her individual private life - even in the face of insurmountable public intrusion - was nothing less than an act of transubstantiation, an epochal redefinition of the social contract that we've all written with twentieth century technology without consent. Her meltdown was in many ways the death of celebrity itself. The terms "star" and "media" no longer held any meaning. All there was is real life. And it had always been thus. But everybody had forgotten. Before Britney.
None of which is to make light of her very serious problems, which have nothing to do with her career or her fame. A judge has stated that she was a "habitual, frequent and continuous" drug user. She lost custody of her two children for a time. Helicopters photographed her being wheeled from her house into an ambulance on a gurney, in the accompaniment of police officers. She has strained relationships with family and friends and former acquaintances. But the symbolism of her behaviour in the context of how we think we know her is important.
For a long time it was popular to contrast Britney's fortunes with those of Christina Aguilera. This PR script always owed more to similarities in the manner of dress the two women affected in their music videos - or perhaps their shared history as teenage co-stars on the Mickey Mouse Club alongside Justin Timberlake - than it did to their music. But few now remember that the infamous torch passing kiss at the 2003 MTV Awards actually included a third person on the stage. It has long since become apparent that Aguilera's vocals should properly be placed in context with those of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston before her.
The more natural comparison for Spears is with Kylie Minogue, and Madonna. Both have recently released records attempting to modernise their pop-dance sound with an approximation of the current leading edge, but neither "X" nor "Hard Candy" can match "Blackout" - not musically, and most importantly, not in terms of the natural ease with which the younger woman feels at home in her delivery of the material. And whilst Britney has some way to go to match them both for longevity, she undoubtedly surpasses Kylie already for genuine, lasting, pop significance, after a decade in the public eye.
Spears probably cannot match the output that Madonna enjoyed in that first five-year period between "Holiday" and "Express Yourself" - an era that produced seventeen singles that each sold (often well over) a million copies, including "Like A Virgin", "Papa Don't Preach", "La Isla Bonita" and "Like A Prayer". But then again, nobody can match that - short of Susanna Hoffs, Cyndi Lauper and Belinda Carlisle arguing a case between all three of them. Actually, there's no probably about it. But for all of her constant reinventions and PR, the truth remains that Madonna hasn't had a hit that truly mattered since "Vogue", and that was back in 1990. Of course she kept making pop music, some of it good, but the culture moved on, and her relevance, in as much as she had any, was in sales of her nostalgic greatest hits record - which evoked the spirit of the eighties to a whole generation - as well as the increasingly ambitious stage shows she has performed during her world tours. The music industry changed in the intervening years, and it was Britney who spearheaded the resurgence of popularity in the teen market around the turn of the century, with her breakout hit, "Baby One More Time", coming in Autumn 1998. Perhaps nothing she did afterwards again matched the impact that her Swedish producer Max Martin's instant classic had on the popular imagination back then - at least not musically - although "Toxic" and "I'm A Slave 4U" stand the test as fine singles that were possibly slightly ahead of their time. Even so, worldwide, the first two Britney Spears albums both outsold any Madonna album.
Spears has greater currency as an avatar of celebrity - to be studied and worshipped in the popular press with constant fascination - than she does as a singer - although her talent is real. The moment she transcended her genre has so long since passed that it hardly matters any more if pretenders like Avril Lavigne, Girls Aloud and Rihanna put out better records than she does - and she was reputedly offered the single "Umbrella" after Mary J. Blige had refused it. Her status is assured.
All you need to know about the marketing campaign for "Blackout" is this: In September 2007, Britney appeared at the MTV Awards; looking tubby and slightly spaced-out, she mimed and danced her way through her latest single and the audience watched on like the witnesses to a slow motion car wreck. Immediately afterwards, the comedian Sarah Silverman took the opportunity to eviscerated her on stage. "Wow, she is amazing. I mean, she is 25 years old, and she has already accomplished everything she's going to accomplish in her life. It's mind-blowing." Silverman herself then mimed something that's too crude to describe.
The album "Blackout" was released at the end of October. The bad publicity continued in a series of debacles through the end of the year and undoubtedly boosted sales. Although Spears was able to shoot a pair of music videos, her medical and legal problems saw to it that she was scarcely available to provide the kind of promotional face time that a major label would expect for a release of this scale. Reviews were favourable but the public mood was reserved, even jaded. "Gimme More" and "Piece of Me" sold a combined three million units, and "Blackout" itself has sold upwards of 800,000 copies in the USA to date.
My own personal opinion is that her producers and writers actually do good work on this record - they probably had more freedom to do what they wanted under the circumstances they found themselves. The two big singles certainly are very good by the standards of contemporary chart pop. The problem is Spears, to be kind, was a complete mess for the marketing phase, and obviously there was a big backlash. With Britney they really do need to get the public perception part of the bargain right - because it's a long time now since her teen pop days and so people have to be primed to know what to expect from the machine behind her. Once the fan base has been told it's okay to like her, the record label is not short of collaborators who can deliver the musical goods. Britney has the budget to buy the best.
One key writer/producer on "Blackout" is the Timbaland protégé Nate "Danja" Hills who contributes to five tracks, including "Break the Ice" and "Gimme More". On "Hot as Ice" he collaborates with T-Pain. Danja also received five co-credits on the last Madonna record, but has more room to manoeuvre here. Four more tracks, including "Piece of Me" are provided by the Swedish production duo Bloodshy & Avant, who had previously delivered "Toxic". They have two credits on the last Kylie record, but none of the hits. The track that closes the record is by Pharrell Williams. He is credited with seven tracks on the Madonna record. There are some other names as well who cut across more than one of the records. The incestuous nature of the production circles should be obvious, but the Spears record is superior to the other two - although it's not as good as the recent Nelly Furtado and Gwen Stefani records, with which it also shares common ground, and which benefited from the best level of work available from Timbaland and The Neptunes respectively. Furtado and Stefani both have enough cache to appeal to a hipper market, and don't have the traditional pop base that Spears would normally need to cater for - if indeed "Blackout" had been produced under typical circumstances - although they have largely broken that market too with their recent hits. Christina Aguilera has also shared a number of other songwriters and producers with those singers named above, although the quality of her voice has allowed her to branch into different directions. It can be an instructive exercise to map out who wrote and produced which singles in a given year and to see which musician could have compiled the strongest album if they had put out all of their pop material in their own name. The results, full of unexpected connections, are frequently surprising. So much of the contemporary chart scene is not what it seems.
In many respects "Blackout" sounds like something of a sonic mongrel that is stronger for the opportunity to take more risks, but which ultimately can only travel so far from home when the babysitter isn't looking. Nevertheless, the lyrics to "Piece of Me" are inspired, and Spears revels in them. "I'm Miss American Dream since I was seventeen / I'm Mrs Lifestyles of the rich and famous / I'm Mrs Oh my God that Britney's shameless / I'm Mrs Extra! Extra! this just in / I'm Mrs She's too fat now she's too thin." This statement is much more apposite and perceptive than the now empty protestations sang by the tragic but shallow Amy Winehouse on her song "Rehab". Winehouse is herself propped up to an unknown extent by collaborators such as Mark Ronson and the Dap-Kings, as well as judicious choices of source material. It's fair to say that Winehouse outstrips Spears in terms of writing and singing, but not in dancing and charisma, and so it is that Spears is the bigger icon, and deservedly so. Somebody somewhere is watching both of them and taking notes on how to make headlines. The next evolution may be to pretend to have a nervous breakdown in public. Pray that nobody's that stupid.
It was unsettling during Britney Spears' recent troubles that rather than sympathy for a national treasure, the tone at large was mostly one of derision and ridicule. The message was that the culture empathically forgives and applauds artistry from the verge of psychological breakdown when it comes from beat poets and jazz musicians, abstract expressionists and method actors; but not from iconic pop stars. Yet, ironically, the episode appears to cement the ascension of a new star to join the constellation shining brightest through the smog above the Hollywood hills; one that plots a lineage back to Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley amongst others. Maybe Tom Cruise should have bounced a little higher on that couch, because the mythmakers were hiring; when the history books choose their idols par excellence, nobody will remember who fluffed the final interview. For twelve months Britney Spears was the seer who stared into the abyss for us all; her piece of performance art delivered a critique of the rampant gossip society driving the nexus between consumer-capitalism and celebrity on the internet at the outset of the twenty-first century. This was the soundtrack.
Way back in the day in 1999, when I was just 10 years old and like all girls my age, obsessed with the Backstreet Boys and the whole boyband phenomenon, suddenly I caught a video on MTV that would signify the complete transformation of pop music.
That video was '...Baby one more time' by Britney Spears.
Say whatever you like about Britney Spears. She is obviously a woman of limited intelligence and singing ability. Her trashy tabloid persona and personal trainwreck life has completely overshadowed any scrap of talent she may have and she seems to be almost on a mission to destroy her career and throw everything away, but the fact is there was a time when Britney mattered. I would honestly say she still does, for different reasons. She has become the case study for the effects of fame and encapsulates everything that today's entertainment industry is about.
But back then she was a fresh faced, smiley girl plucked straight from the deep south and kitted out in a skimpy schoolgirl outfit and used as the puppet for record executives in their plan-to produce a star with both wholesome appeal to young girls and a suggestive sexuality that would make men go crazy too. Not an easy thing to, and now with hindsight we can see just how dangerous it is.
When '...Baby one more time' came out it was all about the contradiction. Whereas Britney would talk in interviews about her faith in god, her wish to remain a virgin until marriage and her love for her mother, in her video her outfits got pulses racing, her lyrics stirred controversy and her photoshoots were racy to say the least. ...Baby one more is full of sugary pop perfect for young girls, with sweet ballads like 'Sometimes' alongside cool teen anthems like 'You drive me crazy'. Now looking back its almost uncomfortable, to know that this young girl could be presented as an object of desire and you know she had absolutely no control over it, this was just a teenage girl with dreams of emulating her idol Madonna. The '...Baby one more time lyrics 'recieved accusations of promoting everything from domestic violence to underage sex, and in fact if you play it backwards the words 'When i'm not with you i lose my mind, give me a sign' become 'Sleep with me i'm not too young.' Nevertheless it sold millions and a superstar was born.
However, a media circus was also born. Every star needs headlines and paparrazi if they are to sell, and Britney could be accused of courting the controversy more than most with her antics. With Britney the media interest is nothing short of extraordinary. She is hounded by dozens of photographers wherever she goes and her every move is documented and analysed in newspapers. She has become such a 'celebrity' that it is often forgotten that Britney was an entertainer, and in my opinion, a damn good one. At her best her performances were exciting, her music led the way in the late 90s pop explosion and spawned a string of copycats eager to follow a successful formula. Watch the youtube video of her performance of 'Oops I did it again' at the VMAs and you will see what i mean. Her first two albums are polished with great hooks and production. The key word is formula, because Britney had almost no control over her product. The songs were written by a team of mega producers, directors were brought in the make videos worth talking about and all Britney had to do was turn up, dance, smile, lip synch and say whatever it was they told her to. Her second 'edgier' album had an *NSYNC style sound that was so successful back then, with less sugar and much more attitude, such as on 'Stronger' with its more computerised sound.
Another part of pop music is how disposable it is. By most standards, Britney should have been over years ago. Three albums is all most pop stars get. As Britney got older is was necessary to change in order to keep interest in her. The turning point came on her third album, where she seemed to assert some creative control. The lead single 'I'm a Slave 4 U' was produced by the Neptunes, the trendy production team of the time, and its sound was innovative. This went alongside 'Boys' which sounded like an old Prince song updated for the new millennium. Bubblegum pop was replaced with hypnotic beats and a performance with a snake at the VMAs. There was no contradiction anymore, Britney was all grown up. Suddenly she seemed a lot more comfortable with her image. Although she had had one songwriting credit on her second album, the dreadfully sappy 'Dear Diary', it was her third album when she began to assert herself as an artist, co writing five of the albums tracks. It's wrth noting that even though Britney is slammed for her lack of musical talent, she has indeed co written many of her own songs and also plays the piano (as she demonstrated live on her Onyx hotel tour).
This stage is the absolute peak in Britney's story, a time when she truly did have it all. Her records sold 20 million each, she was going out with the biggest boyband superstar on the planet, FHM voted her the sexiest woman in the world, and the public went crazy for anythign and everything Britney. She had spawned an empire of merchandise. Creepy little Britney dolls sold in their millions, along with posters, lunchboxes, rucksacks, everything. She was paid $8 million to become the face of pepsi, alongside her contracts with Sketchers, Clairol, Mcdonalds and Got Milk?
Its hard to imagine that time now. Britney today is an advertisers poison. She can no longer sell any product, even it seems, her own. It's not difficult to pinpoint the time when it all started to go wrong for Britney. Her film 'Crossroads' had just come out and been slated by critics. He single 'I'm not a girl not yet a woman' was doing well in the international charts, but the truth was, Britney hadn't had a massive hit single from her third album. Sales were down too, originally 5 millions for 'Britney'. Compare this to 20 million for ...Baby one more time and it's quite a drop. Her 'Dream within a dream' tour had recieved rave reviews, but Britney herself was tired. Add into this, her split from boyfriend Justin Timberlake. Britney announced soon after that she would be taking a year off from her career.
The 'comeback' was crucial. A year is a long time in pop music. Would people still care? With any other artist this is a worry, but the answer was simple - it's Britney, of course they would care. The challenge was to still relate to the fans, who were now older and were buying into new artists such as JT. Pop had changed, noone wanted the bubblegum pop that Britney built her career on anymore, she had to evolve.
She certainly did that. The lead single off the new album 'Me against the music' was a duet with Madonna. It was promoted with a notorious girl on girl kiss at the VMAs, and the album 'In the Zone' was her most mature to date. It featured hypnotic RnB and pop laced with dance music, with input from everyone from R Kelly to Moby. There were hip hop influences on 'I got that boom boom' an eastern sound on 'Outrageous' and a pure dance sound on 'Breathe on me'. Britney herself co wrote a large amount of the album, including two of the singles. The second single, 'Toxic' put Britney back on the radar in a major way, becoming her biggest hit since her debut and earning her a grammy award for best dance recording. The controversial video was just a sign of things to come, Britney wasn't going to play it safe anymore.
The third single 'Everytime' was a simple, beautiful piano ballad written by Britney. It's video featured Britney apparently dying in a bathtub after being injured by paparazzi. While people commented on Britney's new found craziness, including her notorious 55-hour Las Vegas marriage, it didn't seem to hurt her record sales too much. However the opinion that Britney's day had been and gone was starting to become the norm.
Britney then met, and very quickly married, the man who would (some people say) destroy her career. Britney shacked up and had babies with Kevin Federline, only to divorce him just as quickly. In that time, Britney's career had been sidelined as she had lost her famous figure and become mocked as 'white trash'.
From then on it's hard to know exactly what happened to Britney. Maybe its drugs, maybe she's just insane, but it seems like every day is just another drama. Whether she's shaving her head, going to rehab or losing custody of her children (surely her biggest low) Britney just doesn't seem to care about anything anymore. Could it be that the media has simply driven Britney insane? No other star in our time has had the media attention to quite the same extent as Britney Spears. I would go as far as to call her the Michael Jackson of our generation. She exemplifies everything about modern stardom, the idea of being famous for who you are rather than what you do. People stopped caring about Britney as a singer and she became purely a celebrity.
In all the turmoil, however, Britney returned to the studio to knock out another album, truly her make or break album. 'Blackout' is the reason why I truly believe Britney is and always be a star. People suddenly seemed to CARE. While people roll their eyes at Paris Hilton and wish for her to just go away, people genuinely seem to want Britney to get it together. Even though her performance at the VMAs was awful, the video was awful, and she did no promotion for anything at all, the single 'Gimme More' was still a massive success. And the album was AMAZING.
Britney's music will not be to everyone's taste, but if you like pop music you really can do no better. It's polished, perfected, with amazing production, catchy hooks and above all, personality and attitude. No more so than on her fourth and fifth albums. In the Zone is one of my favourite pop albums. Blackout is an incredible club album with original and current sounding dance music along with the trademark Britney sound. Even if you hate pop music, you might be pleasantly surprised by Blackout.
All in all, Britney has had 22 singles, all of them massive hits. Her videos have had more attention than any other artist besides maybe Madonna and Michael Jackson. She has sold around 80 million records worldwide. I strongly urge you to pick up her greatest hits album, and forget the tabloid drama for a second and just enjoy the best pop music around. People of all musical tastes can enjoy Blackout too, and it hasn't done nearly as well as it should considering it kicks the ass of every other pop album released this year. Yes, it's better than Beyonce, better than Justin Timberlake, certainly much better than Christina Aguilera, and even Madonna. I can't recommend it more.
* PERSONAL STRUGGLES *
For nearly ten years now the world has had an unhealthy obsession with Miss Spears, who of course then went on to get married, then divorced within 48 hours. Britney then got married again to a 'farmer' named Kevin Federline, who it feels she divorced within 48 hours - apart from the obvious two kids. It has been well documented, her spiral downwards, and many wonder if it all starts from 1998 where she was launched into fame for asking someone to hit her one more time, and we all know how child fame affected Michael Jackson.
Britney Spears now plans to return in 2007 with her fifth studio album, and to aid the launch of that album her first single is entitled 'Gimme More'. Some may remember seeing some pictures of a video shoot, that we now know was for the well guarded secret of Gimme More, where Britney just looked really unclassy swinging around metal poles and then crouching down looking onwards in what seemed like a daytime daze. Obviously the most shocking moment of her whole past two years disaster trail was when she shaved her head bald, and after coming out of a rehab and her feud with her mother, she didn't seem to be getting any better with these unsavoury images of her in the newspapers. Now, at this point I couldn't see her coming back at all and it is no wonder that her 'surprise' performance at this months MTV Music Awards was beginning to come under doubt, but after hearing Gimme More it makes me wonder if the newspapers were just feeding us bullcr*p, or was Britney just living by the rules of no publicity is bad publicity?
With Britney planning to launch Gimme More as a debut single off her fifth album in just a matter of days over seas, I cannot see her pulling out of any sort of high profile MTV performance as she has an album to promote that should be released in November. Is Britney merely just an excellent professional who has learnt how to switch it on in the studio but is really falling apart outside it? Or is this woman finally fixed? I think it must be time to put the new single under the analysis.
* IT'S BRITNEY, BITCH *
If there is one thing that Gimme More is going to become known for, it is without a doubt its introduction. "It's Britney, bitch," hits and it has you moving in your seat instantly. I can already see the drones cheering and running to the dancefloor as that plays. Radio stations are already using this track to their advantage, playing that one line within other songs to try and tease its possibly upcoming play, and of course getting everyone to text in saying how much they want to hear the new track. I haven't heard radio DJ's milk a new song so much since Usher's 'Icebox' remix, and even that had nowhere near the reception that Gimme More has had. It just shows that Britney still does have that power to pull in an audiance that she has had since she was seven-teen.
An infectuous beat hits and you honestly don't know what to expect. I think that the general impression is that it doesn't sound anything like a Britney Spears song, however her vocals are there and they sound hardly played with - an easy trap to fall into considering that robot voices and dance tracks are the typical theme to go for. Of course this is adult Britney Spears, and if the message is about giving more - and she's almost losing breath as she repeats the slogan over and over again - you know what she is talking about giving. There is also the odd groan over the beat. I do not think the song is shy about the message it is trying to set across, including comments such as 'Display of affection, feels like no one else in the room.' The actual lyrics come few and far between though, and if you listen to the song on in the background you are not likely to pick up on anything but her cries for more, and you will probably find it hard to work out where abouts in the song you are listening to because it is all very similar. My general impression is that Gimme More is not a fully fledged dance track, although I'm sure something will be done about that in remixes so that it can appeal even further to the clubs, however Gimme More is one of the best pop songs I have heard in some time and it is no surprise it comes from Princess Pop herself.
There is currently an unofficial remix of Gimme More circulating on the internet, that features hip-hop superstar TI (see my TI vs TIP review). The track is about 30 seconds longer due to the extra vocals, so we're talking 4mins 34secs as opposed to the usual 4:04. It's a shame that Britney couldn't include someone like the likes of TI on the track from the offset, because I definitly would have sat up and listened to the new direction she is trying to go in if she could give me some definitive answers to who she wants to work with. Instead TI just appears stuck on here and there. TI did wonders for showing Justin Timberlake to a wider audiance when he appeared on 'My Love', so if Britney could release a second single with a big name on it things could get very interesting for a more grown up fanbase. If I'm sitting here drawing comparisons between the old lovebirds of Britney and Justin, I shall mention of how Justin hit back with 'Sexyback' and whilst I think it would be going over the top to say Gimme More is every bit as sexy, it's getting close. In closng though, you shall see me more regulary than not listening to the TI remix, rather than the original.
* AGAINST THE MUSIC *
This shall be the fifth time Britney has had to pick a single to try and launch her new album, and the first time she has tried to launch an album in four years - her longest gap yet.
In 1998, Britney launched her debut album entitled '...Baby One More Time' with a single of the same name. This dominated every chart in the world, featuring the top spot on everyone.
In 2000, 'Oops!... I Did It Again' was released with a single of the same name once again, where we saw Britney parading around in a red PVC suit and everyone thought that is the most outrageous thing she shall probably ever do.
In 2001, keeping ahold of the reigns of her success she released an album simply entitled 'Britney' and used the single 'I'm A Slave 4 U', which became her most unsuccessful comeback single at that point - perhaps due to its raunchy content.
In 2003, 'In The Zone' was released with the single featuring Madonna entitled 'Me Against The Music' (this was around the same time as the infamous awards night kiss). Whilst it was her most unsuccessful comeback single in the States, only reaching #35, the rest of the world showed they still had love for Britney by buying the single.
I would say that there has been a clear progression between each album, as her music got sexiest as her first three albums were released, and then with her Madonna release Britney found that her music could be used in a more adult/dance way. Gimme More comes as a culmination of dance and the sweet, in a sexy way, music that Britney has already released. I wouldn't say it is unbelievable that Britney could come out with a song like Gimme More, and I do not think it is a revelation in anyway, I would say that it is very refreshing though.
My hopes are that Britney can do very well out of her currently entitled fifth album, as the first single I ever bought was her debut single when I was about eight years old and they had nothing but her running around a gym in a sports bra on the music channels. Two other new tracks have leaked on to the internet whilst all the fuss has been concentrating on Gimme More. It is said that Britney is currently deciding whether or not the new tracks are up to scratch, and if they should be included on her new album.
'Cold as Ice' has the sex appeal of Gimme More x100, as it has quite a radical beat that adds a fast pace to the song. The song sounds very cheesy, as she sings about what she's like in the bedroom being twice as nice as heaven, and a further lyric goes on to say, 'Foolishness and f*ckery.' Hearing Britney use the f-word, now I've seen everything. Hated the song at first, but really like it now. The second rumoured album track is 'Baby Boy', where she is singing about her relationship with her ex-husband K-Fed. Tune wise it sounds like it could be coming from a music box, so think along the lines of 'Everytime' off her last album - just about Kevin, not Justin. Great to hear a new ballad from her, and if these two songs are worthy of being left off her album we are in for an eventual treat.
* HEARING IS BELIEVING *
Gimme More - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-nJDRGxKq8
Gimme More (remix) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_urI7YSVCA
Cold as Ice - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wkw9xzaBQ4
Baby Boy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFcDtvpX4NA
you look at her and you can't keep yourself to call her a bitch or a whore because she's made it and your still living at home while she's only 21 and making upon millions of $$$. but you know one song made her as big as michael jackson just by a snap of your fingers. you know what britney makes great pop music but you can't expect her to do the same music over and over again that's just not her she develops new tastes and wants to explore different styles of music. britney spears is not a role model she said it herself she wants to be an inspiration and that's what she is! she's inspired me to become a better singer, dancer and even take some acting classes. i'm only 22 and i have a long life to live and so does britney. just because she's on every single magazine books or posters or whatever it is she's still going to be here whether it's music movies or just showing up at award shows she's going to stirr up a lot of attention for herself, and to be int his kind of buisness you have to have the "buzz" factor and the "it" factor and you sure as hell know britney has those and more. well at lease i'm not afraid of saying i like her heck my whole family likes her. she can captivate an audience just by saying hello. anyways britney's music is what is comes down too. her music is fun and makes you want to sing along and dance too. that's what music is supposed to be not some hard metal thing that you say bye bye to because that's not what's big anymore one simple name to say with ouw saying her last name because she so huge all over this world is simple, BRITNEY! she will always be BRITNEY!!
Britney Spears... what can I say? You either love or hate her, or most likely a bit of both. You feel compelled to reject her as another record company puppet that invades our screens with her raunchy dancing and skimpy outfits, but then you look at her and her perfection intrigues you. You keep watching and before you know it you've been drawn in. You have become another one of Britney's fans. Despite your reluctance to admit so, you are attracted by images of Britney on your television screen, you consider buying the magazine from which Britney smiles out at you on the cover, you tune into a strangers' conversations when you hear her name, she has become another one of your idols. By now Britney has succesfully taken you over. Her familiarity is warm, but her image is intriging. She is no longer a person to you, but a product representing everything you desire to be, but everything you wish not for. She is the puppet, but she holds the strings, and as she gyrates to her latest dance hit it becomes difficult to tell who really is in control. One thing is for sure, its not you! You have been captured by her beauty, and you are in love. So now I'll turn to why so many of us also feel compelled to hate her. Did I mention Britney is a singer? Talent aside, her music is actually ok. Nothing remarkable, and I wouldnt know anyone that owns her albums, but she is a singer none the less. Her songs are often the focus of our hate; we dont like them, yet we end up singing along and getting up to dance when we hear the familiar first chords of 'baby one more time'. Oh and her attitude is so diva, which annoys most of us more - who does she think she is all of a sudden? Those of us who are older than her (which is most) cannot help but be jealous of her short path to fame and wealth. Then comes those provocative first few videos, alongside interviews with headlines such as 'I am saving myself for marriage' and 'I want to be a good ch
ristain role model'. C'mon thats blatant hypocrisy! I think at the end of the day, its ok to hate her a little. She is no longer the lovely looking girl from next door. She is scandalous in both her behaviour and appearance. Every girl envies her figure and every man desires a women like her. However, it is also ok to love her too. She works damn hard to retain that body and that career. She is just human, despite her pleasant doll-like appearance. Some even go so far as to insist she is a good role model for younger girls, providing an identity for them to aspire to. It is my firm belief that (on some level) everyone that has ever seen Britney is her fan! She quenches our thirst, and yet increases our hunger. Which is why I chose to write this article, and you desired to read it!
Britney Spears is the blonde 21 year old singing sensation from Kentwood, Louisiana. As her success was growing in America she also managed to crack the UK. She not only sings but dances and does some acting. Her career lifted off well, with many top ten hits and sponsorship deals to promote many great products. She modelled for Tommy Hilfiger and in return he sponsored her tour, she appeared in all Pepsi adverts and did the same for footwear company Skechers. She was born on the 2nd of December 1981 in Kentwood, Louisiana, USA and named Britney Jean Spears. In such a rural area there was never much chance of her pursuing her dreams as a singer so she had to travel. Her parents are Jamie and Lynne Spears and her siblings are Jamie Lynne and Brian. Britney attended dance classes and also did well with gymnastics as we can tell from the flips she does in the Baby One More Time video. She won many competitions for gymnastics but did not want this as a professional career. At age 8 she tried to get into the Mickey Mouse Club but was told she was too young. She then went to a show called 'Ruthless' and was the main character for 2 years. At 11 she then tried again to get into the New Mickey Mouse Club and made it as a mousekateer. In this show she worked with people who are also now famous Justin Timberlake, JC from Nsync and Christina Aguilera. Late 90's she finally got a deal from Jive Records and released her debut single 'Baby One More Time which got noticed a lot because of it's originality. It sold a lot of copies and the school girl image became huge around the world, this was Britney's own idea to add this to the video. Back in those days she looked like a normal girl and was more natural but now she has gone for the fake blonde look and the over the top with make up look. When Britney finally got noticed her career really bgean she released the album Baby One More Time which sold millions of copies as did her second al
bum Oops I Did It Again. She became the first solo artist to have a number one album and single on the Billboard charts at the same time with a debut. In the UK Britney sold around half a million copies of Baby One More Time on the first week. Many people were saying she was the next Madonna and would be around for a while but now things have changed. Trying to be controversial now with all of her outfits and her videos being really suggestive her younger fans have abandoned her which have resulted to her career hanging by a thread with threats from her record company to drop her if her next album doesn't sell over a million. Her deal with Skechers was stopped after she sued them for $1.5 million and also she was no longer to advertise for Pepsi because they felt she was no longer one of the biggest stars and half of the time she wasn't drinking Pepsi considering they paid her millions to. Christina Aguilera on the other hand had her Coca Cola contract renewed which is starting to show who the real survivor of the teenage stars was. Britney attempted acting in her first film Crossroads which was not a success with her acting very poor and the critics did not give brilliant ratings at all. She also didn't do well walking past disappointed fans who had waited for hours because she turned up at the premiere of her film late. She did this twice and had to apologise. The story was predictable and even though it was a teen movie it was really very poor. She also had a cameo role in Austin Powers in Goldmember which was nothing spectactular. She claimed to be a virgin for ages but finally it was obvious with the outfits she was wearing she no longer was. It wasn't that people were annoyed she was not one it was the fact she kept lying and made the big story about being one who actually cared and why did she have to start the whole thing? Rumours have been started after the whole break up between Justin and Britney that they are
back together, which would be a bit stupid if they were considering Justin's new video and what had been said. Britney had a try at opening a restaurant also in New York called Nyla, NY for New York where it was opened and LA for Louisiana which are the letters for the state and together make NYLA. This was a restaurant for Louisiana style food, southern fried but after many cases of food poisoning it was closed down. This was not a success but many celebrities have different style foods and more experience in the restaurant business. Maybe it was just another way of making money. Over the years Britney has focused more on getting a bigger male audience after firing all of her dancers for newer ones which I find quite creepy. She changed her whole style and now she can't dress nicely anymore she has appeared more in the bad fashion pages and worst dressed rather than as a style icon. She always shows off her stomach which sometimes she could cover up because we don't always want to see it. She has turned raunchy and in I Love Rock'n'Roll the whole motorbike scene just made the video cheap and shows why the song didn't do well also in Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know that was a video which could have been made better than being so cheap. Britney had her latest album released titled 'Britney' this was an ok album but did not get a lot of sales at all. The singles taken from it did not sell really well the only one that did ok was I'm Not A Girl Not Yet A Woman. Although it got high it didn't sell a lot of copies. The Oops I Did It Again album did better before this album and the single releases were still successful. Now Britney's sister is beginning her career trying to get known but will only do well because she is Britney's siser. She is in the TV show all that and is exactly like Britney but atleast she is doing acting. After Britney being compared as one of the b
iggest female solo artists and one of the ones who would be around for a long time, it isn't looking very good for her future and maybe in a couple of years she will just be a thing of the past. She will have to come back with a brilliant album.
When she first came onto the pop music scene in the UK in 1999, Britney Spears had a sweet innocent image. Even though she wore a school uniform in Baby One More Time, she still talked about how she came from a small town, was close to her mum and was a virgin. For years, she insisted she and Justin Timberlake from boyband 'N Sync were just good friends, then she finally admitted that they were dating and had been for ages. So why when she lied about that, should anybody believe her when she says she's a virgin? Britney isn't that good a singer, but she is a good performer and I like her music. I've got her albums Oops! I Did It again and Britney. She hasn't got as strong a voice as Mariah Carey, or Shakira, but she makes up for it with her dancing. Lately, Britney has lost her good girl image, with rumours that she drinks, being pictured with a cigarette and Justin telling everyone she's not a virgin. She also got in trouble when she stuck her finger up at photographers. It seems like she lies about things, but she does have to put up with the papparizzi following her around and people wanting to know everything about her, so maybe she wants to keep something private. Britney has sold millions of records and is adored by people everywhere so she must be doing something right. At the end of the day, people enjoy her music and go to see her perform and performing is what she's best at.
She has two children with her former husband Kevin Federline, whom she filed for divorce from in 2006 citing irreconcilable differences.