Rihanna and Britney Team Up For Some Good, Old-Fashioned “S&M”

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As she promised across five tweets last night, Rihanna premiered a remix of “S&M” – ??featuring none other than Britney Spears – ??on New York’s Z100.

She astutely remarked to Elvis Duran and the Morning Show in a phone interview, “It – ??s very strange. Britney never does features. It was really amazing that she really wanted to be part of this song.” She’s right – ??it is strange. The artist with the best-selling album in the country right now contributes a verse to one of the most popular songs in the country right now, and it’s a non-event – ??an almost impromptu release.

Not that the remix is bad – ??it’s not particularly different from the original. Certainly another version of the song, with an artist of Britney’s caliber, will boost sales and airplay for Rihanna. But what does the remix do for Britney?

As ever with Britney, the question is of control or lack thereof, often in contrast to the appearance of control. To hear Rihanna tell Z100, the remix was a fun thing the two artists did, hardly different from her constant Twitter repartee with Katy Perry. But Rihanna has a “voice” as an artist, and no one would mistake the Bajan patois of “MAJAH Rihmix to S&M MAJAH!!!! #S&Mrihmix #itsBRITNEYbitch” for anyone else (even if Rihanna herself didn’t write it).

On the other hand, the question of “authorship” and “authenticity” is apparently so important to Britney(‘s camp) that her tweets are all actually signed (taking up valuable characters). And yet the only semblance of Britney-personality from her Twitter is her response in December to allegations that her boyfriend physically abused her: “PS – Star Magazine, Radar Online, Jason Alexander and the rest of you liars, Ya’ll can kiss my lily white southern Louisiana a**!”

And just the other day, Carson Daly angrily tweeted that Britney’s management expected to have final cut on a radio interview he was to conduct with her, even speculating, “She probly [sic] doesn’t even know.”

Even today, Britney promised on Twitter to announce tomorrow the “Femme Fatale’s” [sic] that would be her tour’s openers, several days after Nicki Minaj all but confirmed to MTV News that she was negotiating to be on the tour. These are all minor things for Britney-as-icon, but they are social-media mishaps nonetheless.

Britney’s tour kicks off in Sacramento, CA on June 17 and runs through August 13′s Toronto date.

[Photo: Getty Images]