It’s Britney, bitch. And she’s back with a new album (Britney Jean) and a Las Vegas residency to close out 2013. Leave it to the singer to make us work all year just to hear some new music. But that’s okay, because there’s so much Britney to enjoy. After 15 years in the music business, Spears has left us with a number of memories and a few not-so-easy-to-forget moments. We thought this would be a great time to break down the singer’s career from A to Z.
A: Austin Powers In Goldmember
Never forget the time that Spears made a brief but funny cameo appearance in Mike Myers spy spoof film series. Austin Powers’ sexual prowess was too much for Spears to handle, the fembot version of herself exploded with desire.
B: “…Baby One More Time”
Fifteen years ago in September, Spears introduced herself to the world with one purr of a song, “…Baby One More Time.” Spears quickly set herself a part from the rest of the pack as pop’s first female force sense Madonna, Tiffany or Debbie Gibson. The song became a massive hit propelled by her Catholic School girl music video and the explosion of Total Request Live.
Sadly, this is not in reference to the hit record by Mariah Carey and Bone Thugs N Harmony. Instead, Crossroads was the film that featured Spears acting debut. The movie co-starred relative unknowns, Taryn Manning (Orange Is The New Black) and Zoe Saldana (Avatar),
If there’s one thing Spears shouldn’t do is drive. Her history of driving includes several accidents and a child in the front seat:
- 2008: Involved in a minor traffic accident – no injuries, no charges.
- 2007: Charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run while driving without a valid license.
- 2007: Ran over a paparazzo.
- 2007: Ran over the foot of a female sheriff’s deputy.
- 2007: Ran a red light with her sons in the car.
- 2006: Part of a stop-and-go traffic accident.
E: Electric Clippers
The haircut heard around the world was probably one of the most standout moments for the singer. It also officially marked her decent into media through the eyes of the media. In February of 2007, Spears shaved her head with electric clippers at a hair salon. She quickly followed up the news of her new look by attacking a van with an umbrella giving the Internet “angry Britney.” The months following, she was in and out treatment centers, loss custody of her children and eventually was placed under a conservatorship.
Like many entertainers, Spears has branched out beyond singing to capitalize on her fame. One particularly successful venture has been perfumes. Spears has released eight fragrances with Elizabeth Arden. Over one million bottles have been sold worldwide, generating $1.5 billion in sales. And that was just in the first five years. Her latest scent, Radiance, came out in 2010 and it wouldn’t be surprising if another popped up next year.
Of the more random endorsement deals in Spears’ long career was her line of sunglasses called Shades of Britney in 2000. But it was her other deals with Pepsi and Sketchers that proved more successful.
Like N’SYNC and the Backstreet Boys, Spears briefly worked with Lou Pearlman. Before she signed a solo record deal, she was in talks to join the manager’s girl group, Innosense. Luckily, a family friend urged Spears to tryout for several record labels. Spears was signed to Jive Records, which was responsible for N’SYNC and the Backstreet Boys.
H: How I Met Your Mother
Of the more notable appearances on television, Spears had a small part on HIMYM in 2008, after all the drama in her life began. It was promoted as a big get for the show, but she was really only there for a few laughs. Her additional acting creds include Will & Grace, Saturday Night Live and Glee. But we’ll always have Abby, the receptionist.
J: Jean, Britney
On her eighth studio album, Spears has created a new persona, Britney Jean, who represents a deeper side of the singer. The concept album is supposed to reflect the loneliness of pop life.
K: Karlsson, Christian
The only song to earn Spears a Grammy Award was the 2004 hit, “Toxic,” written by Christian Karlsson aka Bloodshy aka Miike Snow. The producer has since gone on to write a number of songs for Spears, including “Pieces of Me” and “Radar.” However, “Toxic” remains both of their best song to date.
L: Lip Syncing
If there’s one rumor that has plagued Spears’ career the most, it has been accusations of lip syncing. Even though the singer has refuted claims that she doesn’t sing live at concerts, it’s been widely reported that she relied on backing tracks during The Circus tour and during the 2007 VMA performance it was evident she was not singing live or even pretending to do so. Luckily for Spears, she’s never had a Ashlee Simpson moment. So there’s that.
M: MTV Video Music Awards
While several artists have become staples at the MTV VMAs, none more memorable than Britney Spears (at least in the TRL era). The singer made her official debut at the 1999 awards in a medley with N’SYNC. She followed up that performance with a striptease to “Oops!… I Did It Again” in 2000. The following year, she wrapped herself with an albino python while singing “I’m a Slave 4 U.” She joined forces with Christina Aguilera and Madonna for a three-way kiss in 2003, which turned 10 this year. Of course, her most infamous performance was in 2007 when she solemnly stared her way through “Gimme More” causing everyone in the audience to plea, “gimme less.” In addition to all the performances, the singer has racked up 6 Moonmen including the Video Vanguard Award.
Watch Britney react to fans comments about her 2000 performance, when she stripped down to a nude outfit:
If there’s one place that has become a significant location in Spears’ career, it’s Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s where much of her troubles began. In January of 2004, she married childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at The Little White Wedding Chapel. The marriage was annulled 55 hours later. Several years later, Spears made headlines again following a wildly confusing and downright awful MTV VMA performance of “Gimme More” in 2007. Since then, she has been determined to make Vegas less of a dark spot in her life. In December, she’s launching “Britney: Piece of Me,” a residency that will mix new and old music in a theater-like setting.
Spears followed in the footsteps of singers before her, become one of the major female pop stars to sign a $7 million endorsement deal with the soda company. Unlike Madonna, her deal was met with little controversy. In fact, one of her Super Bowl commercials brought together Beyonce, P!nk and Enrique Iglesias. How’s that for some star power?
Depending on who you ask, Spears is regarded as something of a queen. But she actually holds the title, when it comes to TRL. Before the show went off the air in 2008, it honored her with the titles, “Queen of TRL” and “Queen of Music Videos,” while also naming “…Baby One More Time” the Most Iconic Video of the Past TRL Decade. Aside from N’SYNC and Backstreet Boys, no other artist has been more synonymous with the show.
R: Rolling Stone
Even though she has appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone a number of times, most people only remember one. Spears’ first appearance on RS in April of 1999 was met with a lot of controversy when she was photographed by David LaChapelle in her pajamas with her bra exposed, cuddling a purple Teletubby. The American Family Association led a boycott against the singer, saying it was “a disturbing mix of childhood innocence and adult sexuality.”
S: Saturday Night Live
In 2000, Spears became the latest artist to host and perform on SNL. Her appearance was met with rave reviews as she took on rumors about breast implants in the monologue, played on her Mickey Mouse Club past and tore the house down with two live performances. The absolute best skit was her appearance on Morning Latte with Cheri Oteri and Will Ferrell. She later returned to the show in 2002 and delivered the hilarious Barbie Dreamhouse sketch with Amy Poehler.
T: Timberlake, Justin
Of all the men in Spears’ life, Justin Timberlake was the most notable. The two had a very public three year relationship that saw them wearing matching outfits to practically every award show and uniting the powers of pop for a short time. But their love affair came to an end after the singer reportedly cheated on her man with dance choreographer, Wade Robson. Sadly, Spears followed Robson with a string of bad boys, including Kevin Federline and paparazzo Adnan Ghalib.
Even though she quickly became something of a sex icon, Spears publicly stated she was waiting until marriage to lose her virginity. Even though no other pop artist was making any such statements at the time, Spears branded herself as an innocent artist with a wholesome appeal. Years later, the Jonas Brothers and other artists would follow suit – using their virginity to brand themselves in a Disney-produced world.
W: World Records
According Guinness, Spears holds five world records:
- Best-selling album by a teenage solo artist
- Best-selling Teen Age artist of all time
- Fastest most no. 1 in UK chart
- 5th Best Selling Female Artist In Music History
- Most Searched Person In 2008
- Youngest Female Artist To Have Six Of Her Albums Reach #1 On The Music Charts
X: X Factor
In 2012, Spears became the highest paid judge on a reality competition program when she joined The X Factor for a whopping $15 million. However, Simon Cowell wasn’t happy with her performance. He canned her after one season because she failed to live up to the hype of her own brand. But during her stint on the show, she gave fans countless GIF-able faces and mentored the teen category with will.i.am.
Thanks to the YouTube, Britney was the subject of one of the Internet’s earliest viral memes. In 2007, Chris Crocker uploaded a video defending Britney following her disastrous 2007 VMA performance. “Leave Britney alone,” he shouted. The video took off, raking up 2 million views in the first two hours. The video spawned countless parodies and turned Crocker into a minor Internet celebrity.