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Britney Spears - princess of pop

BRITNEY SPEARS - PRINCESS OF POP.

"I know not everyone will like me, but this is who I am so if you don't

like it, tough!"

-Britney Spears.

Unless you are living under a rock, you know who Britney Spears is.

She's the most famous 19 year old in the music industry. She has outsold

and broken records set by artists years before she was even born. Her first

record "BabyЕ One More Time" made her the youngest artist in Soundscan

history to have a certified RIAA 12 times platinum record.

Every few days a potential star is launched onto an increasingly cynical

music buying public. Manufactured groups and singers come and go with

fashion, and few manage any sort of real, lasting success. Not so Britney

Spears!

Britney's singing, dancing and natural stunning good looks made her the

girl that every other girl wanted to be, and the girl that every boy wanted

to be with.

Her records have sold and continue to sell millions of copies all over the

globe, her singles are on high rotation being played constantly at radio

everywhere, and her merchandising sales are going through the roof - there

is nothing you can't buy without her face on it! Dolls, t-shirts,

lunchboxes, pens, mugs and caps to name but a few. She is a phenomenon in

all senses of the word, and a marketer's dream. She is the face of pop

today.

Britney Jean Spears was born on the 2nd of December 1981, in Kentwood,

Louisiana, U.S.A. Britney Spears began her career as soon as she could walk

and talk. She has always loved singing, dancing, acting and performing. She

started out taking ballet and basic tumbling classes. Very soon after, she

was enrolled in a gymnastics class where she excelled in floor exercises

and the uneven bars. Britney went on to compete at state level competitions

and won several titles. She kept up with gymnastics until she was nine

years old.

As a young girl growing up, she always knew she wanted to pursue a

musical career and took her talents to her local church, where she

performed "What Child Is This," and even on national television, with her

appearance as a Star Search contestant.

At the age of 8, Britney auditioned for the popular children's variety

show, Mickey Mouse Club, but was refused because of her young age. Luckily

for Britney, one of the show's producers saw the young singer's talent, and

helped her find an agent in New York City.

Britney spent the next three summers in New York, where she studied at

the famous Off-Broadway Dance Center and at the Professional Performing

Arts School. To add to the formation of a future international star,

Britney appeared in commercials and Off-Broadway shows, one of which

showcased Britney as an innocent 10-year-old who is really an evil bad

girl. " I was playing this really bad child who seems real sweet but she's

evil too. It was so much fun," she recalls.

Three years after her first Mickey Mouse Club rejection, Britney finally

landed a spot as a "Mouseketeer" at the age of 11. Britney was already a

seasoned performer in TV commercials, theatre and film. She also got her

big break, finally making it onto the Mickey Mouse Show on which she

starred for two years.

Joining a cast of talented teens on the show, Britney showed off her

acting, dancing and singing talents on the show that also spawned the

careers of fellow beauties Keri Russell and Christina Aguilera. After 2

years of living in Orlando with her family while doing the show, Britney

moved back home to Kentwood after the show was cancelled, and returned to

high school. Britney went back home with dreams over even more success.

Her one normal year as a fourteen-year-old high school student would be

the last bit of normalcy in Britney's life.

"It was fun for awhile but I started getting itchy to get out again and

see the world," she says.

She began to audition for record companies, singing live and

unaccompanied to groups of executives. With a dream of pursuing a career as

a singer and a desire to leave her small hometown, Britney set off to New

York City yet again, this time destined to sign with a major record label.

Now a seasoned performer at age 15, an audition for an all girl vocal

group led to her developing a solo career as a pop singer as well as

continuing her high school studies with tutors. "I need a lot of help in

geometry and Spanish!" she admits.

The lucky company who decided that young Britney had what was needed for

stardom was Jive Records.

Britney finally signed with Jive Records, after an executive was fully

impressed with the talent he heard on the demo tape.

Working with Eric Foster White, a producer who had previously worked with

artists such as Boyzone and Whitney Houston, Britney's debut album was

finally ready for its January 12, 1999 release date. Not long after, "Baby

.." was released and the rest - as they say - is history.

Britney took America by storm back with her debut single СЕBaby One More

TimeТ, which smashed into the American Billboard charts at #1. Her debut

album of the same title was released only a few weeks later also debuting

at #1, making her the first ever female artist to have a simultaneous

Billboard #1 single and album with a debut release. The impact was mirrored

on charts throughout the world. Britney Spears had arrived on the music

scene in a very big way.

With the high-energy video and infectious groove, С...Baby One More TimeТ

was welcomed by the World of pop music with open arms. A cover of СRolling

StoneТ (April Issue 1999) increased the frenzy. Britney was rocketed from

pop-starlet to mega-star. She became a phenomenon across the World and was

in demand from virtually every corner of the globe. Her 2nd single,

СSometimesТ - a soft summer ballad - was released in June 1999 and was

warmly received by a rapidly growing fan base.

The album was certified RIAA 12 x platinum (it has gone on to sell more

than 20 million copies).

The highlight of 1999 for Britney was performing a poptastic medley at

the MTV Europe Music Awards in Dublin, where she was the undoubted star.

She won all four awards for which she was nominated. The categories were

Best Female Artist, Best Breakthrough Act, Best Pop Act and Best Song for

СЕBaby One More TimeТ.

After a massive summer tour across North America, Britney returned to the

charts with another smash hit, С(You Drive Me) CrazyТ.

Born To Make You HappyТ, the fourth single to be taken from BritneyТs

debut album, was released in January 2000 and shot straight into the top of

charts around the World, securing her status as a pop phenomenon.

Between recording her second album, Britney went on an extensive

worldwide tour.

From the sweet melody of "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart," to the

driving funk of "Baby One More Time," to the funky reggae beats of "Soda

Pop," to her soulful take on the Jets hit "You've Got It All," Britney's

lively, assured vocal style is intoxicating. "I want to an artist that

everyone can relate to, that's young, happy and fun," she says.

Despite a refreshingly adolescent attitude, Britney's life has hardly

been traditional. "I've done the prom thing, but it's only once a year,"

she notes about her unconventional teenage lifestyle. "I need to sing and I

love to travel."

A huge Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson and Madonna fan, Britney has been

scrutinized by the media with reports of a breast augmentation, and a love

affair with England's most eligible bachelor, Prince William.

After the success of her first album, it wouldn't have suprised many

onlookers if she'd disappeared, replaced by the next big thing in Girl-

Pop. But she didn't! Britney came back with a second album, that had the

same kind of infectious pop songs as the first, but now with a more

sophisticated, sassy sound.

With the Britney Spears hype nowhere near over, she returned to the music

scene in 2000 with her follow-up album, entitled Oops!... I Did It Again.

With a hit video accompanying the hit title track (in which Ms. Spears has

definitely done it again, this time in a red leather catsuit), a second

worldwide tour in support of her album, and millions of fans, Britney has

definitely accomplished what few artists ever accomplish, at the mere age

of 18.

The album debuting at #1 in the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan,

France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and 15 other countries

worldwide.

The title track and first single was "Oops! I Did It Again". As Britney

said herself - "I'm not really doing anything different this time around

but I am really growing up, as a person and that just all flows with the

overall sound and feel of this record. ThereТs no master plan! IТm just

gonna be me and hope it all works out!"

It certainly did work out! Britney, armed with more maturity had produced

an album that strengthened her position as the most successful (and most

iconic) singer since the emergence of Madonna. The title track, which deals

with romantic mis-intentions, was written and produced by longtime

collaborators Max Martin and Rami and has already broken the record for

first week adds at CHR/Pop radio with 155 adds.

"ItТs an incredible song!" Britney declares, I think itТs even better than

"Baby One More Time!" Also incredible is the video whose

futuristic/Barbarella concept was Britney's idea.

In regard to the emotional depth of the album, Britney asserts, У I donТt

want to just be some singer who sings a song just to sing it. When you

sing a song with feeling and do your all, you connect, and thatТs crucial

to me. Especially since I think that the songs on this album are ten times

better than on my first album, so I really want my fans to feel and hear

how much these songs mean to me.Ф

Along with her rigorous schedule and the release of her successful 2X

Platinum home video УTime Out with Britney SpearsФ in late 1999, Britney

and her mother have written a book entitled Heart To Heart. As if that

werenТt enough, Britney has also created the Britney Spears Foundation

in conjunction with the Giving Back Fund. Its first endowment is the

formation of a performing arts summer camp for underprivileged kids in

Massachusetts. "IТm so happy to be able to give kids the opportunity to

learn about amazing world of dance and music that IТve have been lucky

enough to make such a big part of my own life."

The 8 times platinum Oops!... I Did It Again spawned number 1 singles

like "Lucky," "Stronger" (in which she performs a lap dance to a chair),

and "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know." One listen to "Oops!.. I Did It

Again" and Britney will make a believer out of you - one more time.

The most noticeable aspect of the single, the video and the album is

maturity, which is just what Britney had in mind.

Britney - "People have to remember that when I did my first album I was

only 16. I had never been in the studio, it was all new to me and so before

I let people help me out and honestly I think that was because I was just

so new to the music industry, not only because I was young. But making

records and being part of the process and becoming more in charge of my

sound was something I had to experience and grow with and on this album

IТve had the chance to do that. This album is closer to who I am. ItТs

funkier!"

That funkier spirit is loud and clear on up-tempo rump shakers like

"Stronger" and "Don't Go KnockinТ On My Door" which find Britney in a

frisky and fierce state of mind. But as she proved on her debut, Britney

can deliver ballads with as much intensity as her more high energy cuts.

On the aching "When Your Eyes Say It" (written by Diane Warren and

produced by Steve Lunt and Robert Jazayeri) and the thoughtful "Don't

Let Me Be The Last To Know" (penned by Shania Twain and Robert Mutt

Lange and produced by Lange), Britney shows her depth. "I donТt want

to just be some singer who sings a song just to sing it," Britney offers

speaking to the emotional range of the album. "When you sing a song

with feeling and do your all you connect and thatТs crucial to me.

Especially since I think that the songs on this album are ten times better

than on my first album, so I really want my fans to feel and hear how

much these songs mean to me."

In keeping with that need to communicate is "Dear Diary", co written by

Britney. Britney began writing melodies and songs while on the road and

she has plans to learn guitar (she is proficient on the piano) in hopes of

writing more songs in the future. "I think IТve always had these songs

that I've been writing in my head," Britney explains. "Now I feel ready to

let people start to hear them."

The second single from the album, was СLuckyТ - a bittersweet tale of

loneliness and stardom - containing the apt lyrical phrase Уthe World is

spinning and she keeps on winning!Ф BritneyТs СOops!ЕТ World Tour was

announced on May 12th 2000. Her fans couldnТt wait to see her perform. The

shows packed 90 minutes full of her classic hits, energetic dance routines

and magical costume changes. Fans were left in awe. StrongerТ - an

attention grabbing slice of classic up-beat pop - and СDonТt Let Me Be The

Last To KnowТ - a smooth ballad, co-written by Shania Twain - , followed as

the final singles from an exciting sophomoric record, that showed immense

growth as a performing artist and a tight relationship with a sound that is

undoubtedly СBritney!Т and now?Е

Britney has appeared on screen and in print around the globe. СTime

MagazineТ (International Edition), СMarie ClaireТ (UK) СElleТ (UK and

Japan) and СVogueТ (Spain) are some of the magazines that have embraced

BritneyТs charismatic image for their cover stories. MTV, CHANNEL V, FOX,

M6, RTL, along with a countless number of other television networks and

programs around the world, anticipate BritneyТs new releases as fans would

themselves.

Britney co-headlined at the Rock In Rio Festival in Brazil in January,

2001, performing to an audience of over 250,000. Also in January, Britney

appeared with Aerosmith and *NSYNC at Superbowl 35 during the half time

show, performing AerosmithТs classic hit "Walk This Way". Britney presented

and won an award at the 2000 Billboard Music Awards and co-hosted and

performed at the 2001 American Music Awards.

In 2001, the reigning Queen of Teen Pop shows us a fresh and more mature

side. The new songs on her third album, СBritneyТ, reflect the changes in

her life and her development from a teenage girl to a mature, young woman.

Working with producers such as The Neptunes, on the first single СIТm a

Slave 4 UТ has allowed her to move on to the next level. Other producers

and songwriters on the album include Max Martin, Rami, Riprock СnТ Alex G,

Dido, Josh Schwartz and Brian Kierulf of KNS Productions, Rodney Jerkins,

Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears herself.

2001 was a banner year for the pop star, as she co-hosted the American

Music Awards with L.L. Cool J.; performed with Aerosmith, *N Sync, Nelly,

and Mary J. Blige at the Super Bowl; appeared on a spoken-word CD of the

Pope's prayers; and signed a multimillion-dollar endorsement with Pepsi.

While she dances with factory workers in a warehouse, impressing even

Viagra-enhanced Bob Dole and his dog, Christina Aguilera stars in a Coca-

Cola commercial, fueling more than just a pop war.

Britney and her legions of teenage fans aren't her only admirers: it

turns out her role-model, Madonna, has said that she's a big fan of

Britney, and a duet with the new Princess of Pop is in the works. Britney

also appeared in a one-hour BBC documentary on the Material Girl.

As if CDs, sold-out concerts, books (her second co-written book with her

mother was released in April 2001, entitled A Mother's Gift), and a huge

endorsement aren't enough, Britney is now working on an acting career and

tinkering with the idea of a fashion line.

But for now, being the youngest female to achieve 10-times platinum

status and to notch a number 1 album and single in the US with debut

recordings, ain't all that bad.

Today Britney even says "I never knew I would be this famous" She is

still going srong and even stars in the new movie "Crossroads".

Transcending her tumultuous teen character in "Crossroads," a self-assured

Britney Spears will live life in the fast lane for her next movie.

Spears' self-titled third album was a laboured attempt by the singer to

cultivate a more mature image. Although its initial sales were not as

strong as her previous two albums, Britney shot straight to the top of the

US album chart on its release in November 2001 for a brief stay.

Britney Spears is a cultural phenomenon. Though there have been pop music

princesses before, none have had the impact, success and influence of

Britney Spears (though the Spice Girls gave it a good shot before imploding

spectacularly).

Britney has become an icon to millions of fans worldwide and her

infectious brand of pop/R&B has become the template for girl pop.

She has spawned a new era in music in which the audience in control of

record companies' multi-million dollar profits are teenage girls. Britney

has also drawn a host of imitators into pop music that include: Christina

Aguilera, Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore.

Britney is here to stay and getting bigger and better all the time. All

we can say is watch this space!!



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