Still the Queen
BY: Jean Fitz
Here’s something to make you feel old as fuck: “…Baby One More Time” was released FIFTEEN years ago. In honor of this, Rolling Stone reprised their 1999 Britney cover story. This not only elicits a response of extreme shock but also schoolgirl excitement. Let’s look closely at the one woman who has been with our generation through everything: the princess, now Queen, of Pop.
Britney Spears has had seven studio albums (all platinum at least three times), eleven compilation albums, three greatest hits albums, and two remix albums. She has countless magazine covers along with a few movie and television roles, a year as a judge on the X-Factor, a deal with Pepsi, and eleven best-selling fragrances. She has created an empire of fans and spoke to a generation. Her musical styling ranges from cookie-cutter pop-star to techno meets dance to ballads to R&B-electro-pop.
Britney got her start in “The Mickey Mouse Club.” If you don’t remember this show, I feel bad for you, but to recap, it ran from 1989-1994. Full of comedic skits, music videos, and themed days, It was somewhere between “All That”, “SNL”, and a “High School Musical” pep rally, emphasis on the pep (Go, Wildcats!). This show brought years of reruns and the fame of Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Ryan Gosling, Christina Aguilera, and Britney.
In 1997, seventeen-year-old Britney signed with Jive records. She released “…Baby One More Time”, the single, in 1998 and her first album in January of 1999. This album is great as a starter for a pop star, but Britney has deep talent that she didn’t get to show off. She released five singles off this album, among which a poppy ballad “Sometimes” and “(You Drive Me) Crazy” which was as full of innocence and rainbows as her first. This album, followed by deals, tours, and fame solidified her as the Princess of Pop.
Britney started many years of pop-star dreams and glittery-headset Halloween costumes. Her first-album videos featured three outfits: sweats/a sports bra, an age appropriate outfit, and one “sexy” getup. When she came out with her second album, Oops! … I Did It Again, her outfits moved from a sports bra to a cat suit (the music video that changed the world). Here, she had more room to play with her voice in songs like “Lucky” and “Stronger” while remaining true to pop.
Her first VMA’s performance in 2001, was “Slave 4 U” (yes the time she walked out with a fucking python). Her third album, Britney was her breakout as a sex symbol. Her first hiatus came with her breakup with Justin Timberlake, breaking the hearts of America but ending the trend of couples’ Canadian Tuxedos. The 2003 VMA’s was the Britney-Madonna kiss and the Britney Rebellion with her fourth album In The Zone that featured more auto-tuned songs like “Toxic” and the sexy “Me Against the Music.”
From 2004-2007 Britney focused her energy on building a family with Kevin Federline. By 2007, she had her public breakdown, shaving her own head after losing custody of her sons and divorcing K-Fed. She also released her fifth album Blackout, my favorite. This is her four-times platinum/three-times gold way of saying, “fuck you”. Circus (2008) followed suit; Britney dominated the charts once more while keeping a sort-of-decent game face. Circus is home to electro-pop favorites like “Womanizer” and witty “If U Seek Amy.” Femme Fatale (2011) continues Britney’s no-fucks attitude with everyone’s favorite “Hold It Against Me” that features interesting sound effects, sick vocals, and a great sound.
Britney’s albums get better because she’s a dynamic talent and keeps her sound fresh. She’s best-selling, ever-popular, and will always be Queen. Next time you’re feeling down, remember this phrase from BuzzFeed: if Britney Spears can make it through 2007, you can make it through this day.