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FutureStarrA Britney Spears Video History Lesson
Britney Spears' futuristic music videos are a triumph of iconic looks and dramatic choreography. Her sassiest turn as a flight attendant in "Toxic" pays homage to Blade Runner and The Seven Year Itch, while her edgy costumes and seductive swerves in "I'm A Slave 4 U" bring back John Woo's gritty glamour.
Britney Spears is one of the world's most beloved pop stars, her legacy spanning two decades. Her ground-breaking music made waves and won over fans with her southern charm and sweet voice; more importantly, though, were her insightful lyrics which addressed everything from immense fame to intense romantic drama.
Spears, who was raised in Kentwood, LA, achieved early teen-pop success with songs like "Baby One More Time" and "Oops! I Did It Again," both of which sold millions of copies. However, it wasn't until she collaborated with daring production team The Neptunes and Swedish pop icon Max Martin that Spears truly broke out of the bubblegum-pop box.
Spears is one of the biggest pop stars of this century, yet her career took an unfavorable turn when her first album was placed under conservatorship in 2008. The constant paparazzi attention and sexist questions from reporters eventually caused Spears to experience a mental breakdown and break her neck at 19 years old.
Spears, a former '00s teen star, has been under conservatorship for the past ten years and a half under her father's control. Spears had been fighting this arrangement for years but this summer saw progress when her new lawyer petitioned to remove and suspend this control from him.
Now, Spears has taken control of her life and taken ownership of it, leading to major momentum behind the #FreeBritney movement. If you're feeling inspired by Britney's inspiring words, consider pairing them with your next Instagram post!
From her early hits like "Stronger" and "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet Woman" to post-conservatorship releases like "Circus" and "Man on the Moon," Spears has used her platform to speak out against fame's negative aspects. Recently, with "Hold Me Closer," the teen singer is back to expressing her true feelings - which many of her fans can identify with.
Circus entertainment involves a range of acts performed in an enclosed circular arena, often with tiers of seats for viewing audience participation. Popular acts include acrobatics, gymnastics and clown shows. Furthermore, many circuses showcase animals such as dogs, horses, cats, rabbits, pigs and other domesticated mammals for viewers' amusement.
In the late 1700s, European shows of horsemanship and trick-riding became increasingly popular. These performances often featured acrobats, tumblers, ropewalkers, as well as music. This type of spectacle would later be renamed "circus." England's first modern circus was founded by former cavalry Sergeant-Major Philip Astley in 1850.
Astley created his show in London and based it off the trick-riding phenomenon that was sweeping Europe at that time. Additionally, it featured acrobats, tumblers, ropewalkers, and a clown for added entertainment value.
When the circus came to town, it would launch a grand parade of wagons decorated in vibrant colors and embellished with gold leaf, mirrors, and carvings. As they marched down Main Street they would shout "Circus!" to capture everyone's attention.
Circuses can now be found in virtually every country around the world. Some are large traveling shows, while others are one-ring resident (non-traveling) circuses.
Most circuses include a variety of acts such as acrobatics, gymnastics, juggling and clowns. Additionally, they often include circus animals like lions, elephants and birds.
Some circuses specialize exclusively in performing acrobats and clowns. Examples include Circus Smirkus in Vermont, founded by Rob Mermin; and Le Cirque Imaginaire also located there and founded by Victoria Chaplin.
Britney Spears has achieved great success as a pop star, yet her personal life remains in the spotlight. After suffering an alcohol-induced mental breakdown and entering conservatorship in 2008, her struggles kept tabloids and gossip blogs busy for years.
Spears' song highlights the world's preoccupation with tragedies and its tendency to focus on the darkest moments rather than triumphs. It's a tender ballad that offers listeners an intimate view into her thoughts.
Max Martin produced this anthem to showcase Spears' desire to break away from her controlling career and be her own person. It takes on a different tone than her usual exuberant pop sound.
Spears' voice is a formidable instrument, and she knows how to maximize its power for maximum impact. Originally intended for her fourth album In the Zone, this electro-funk deep cut has been reimagined into an alluring Ray of Light-esque track with aquatic beats and longing strings that emphasize Spears' flirtatious vocal abilities.
Spears' lyrics are dark and melancholy, reflecting her own experience with fame. She expresses a desire to be "Lucky" and "have it all."
But once the lights go out in Hollywood, she feels overwhelmed and depressed. She's uncertain if she will ever reach the top again.
It's unclear whether Spears rewrote the song or composed its melody on her own, but her poignant reflection of fame makes for a timeless, heartbreaking single. And for fans, it serves as an important reminder of how much fame can shape someone's identity and dictate their lives.
Britney Spears' debut single, "Baby One More Time," in 2000 marked a watershed moment in pop music history. It shattered charts, inspired endless bad Lolita analogies and usherd in an age of iPods, social media platforms and endless wars - it also set the template for what would come to dominate popular music for half a decade to come.
It was a sound that represented both extremes, simultaneously celebrating the rebellious spirit of the Aquarian age and pre-Kennedy assassination stability of childhood upbringing. This sound was created by an experienced team of producers, songwriters, and dancers who understood their limitations and knew what could and couldn't be done.
The subsequent record, "Oops! I Did It Again," was her sophomore effort and although not as successful as its predecessor, still made a lasting impression on pop music. The music video for the single, released in May 2000, became an enormous success and made Spears the highest-paid teen star of all time.
Spears' song tells a tale about how she led a guy to believe she was interested in him through her words and demeanor, yet ultimately decided against pursuing a relationship with him. Ultimately, he ended up breaking up with her, leaving her feeling bad about it.
The song itself is rather dull, with unintelligible lyrics. However, Ospina's Milennium Mix remix transforms it into a more upbeat tune that lets Britney's voice come through more strongly. This change makes the song much more enjoyable and upbeat than its original version; providing it with an entirely different vibe that hopefully will provide some real staying power for listeners.
Britney Spears' iconic song Toxic is one of her highest-charting singles and earned two Grammy awards (one for Best Dance Recording and another for the video). Additionally, this track was one of the most Googled songs of 2004.
In 2004, Toxic was released as the second single from Britney Spears' fourth studio album The Girl I'm Supposed To Be. Written by Bloodshy & Avant and Cathy Dennis with co-writing credit going to Henrik Jonback, this hit record achieved major success worldwide, peaking at number three on Billboard Hot 100 and number seven on UK Singles Chart.
Joseph Kahn directed the music video for Toxic, inspired by films such as Blade Runner, The Seven Year Itch and John Woo movies. It begins with an aerial shot of an airplane flying surrounded by doves. Spears appears wearing a flight attendant outfit and takes a phone call on board while serving passengers. After serving him drinks she seduces an overweight bald man by leading him to the bathroom where she steals his black pass.
Spears is then pulled into the back of a Ducati 999 driven by an anonymous man in futuristic Paris - her first appearance in a video.
The song tells the tale of a woman addicted to her partner and how, like drugs, she perceives him as being "toxic." It was her first hit single to reach the top of the charts and is widely considered one of pop music's greatest hits ever; still being an important milestone in Spears' career today. Additionally, Rolling Stone named it among their 500 Greatest Songs ever composed.