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Britney Spears: Strong and Iconic

By: Jenna Kelley

“I always wanted to be a singer, it’s what I wanted to do since I was little. I’m doing it now and I couldn’t be happier.”

Some people call her the Queen of Pop, others know her as ‘that one pop singer that shaved her head,’ however, she is nationally known as Britney Jean Spears, a trailblazing diva that has been turning heads her entire life. From winning an immeasurable amount of awards, establishing a net worth of $63 Million, and successfully balancing parenthood, Spears constantly leaves her audience at the edge of their seats. Oops! She did it again. From her scandalous love life to her relentless amount of success, Spears is leading a life of loyalty to her fans, her career, and her family. “I’ve been very hands-on with everything I’ve done since I had my children, and it’s just really important for me to understand the big picture,” says Spears, “Where everybody’s coming from, what’s the real purpose of this shoot and this song, or whatever it is in that moment that I’m doing.”

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Born in Mississippi on December 2, 1981, Spears moved to Kentwood, Louisiana, where she explored her vocal talents. She took a trip to Atlanta, Georgia to audition for the 1990’s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club and unfortunately, they rejected her due to her young age of eight years old. Determined to make it in the limelight, Spears moved to New York City and landed the understudy for the lead role in the Off-Broadway musical Ruthless! Ruthless, she was. Being casted on Star Search opened up commercial opportunities for her, as well. Determined to patch up her earlier rejection, Spears finally landed a role on The Mickey Mouse Club in 1992, where she co-stared with A-list celebrities, such as Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and even the dreamy Ryan Gosling.

When The Mickey Mouse Club’s cancellation was final in 1996, this childhood superstar began to make “Britney Spears” her own brand name. “Never doubt yourself, never change who you are,” says Spears, “Don’t care what people think and just go for it.” After being rejected from three different labels and rejecting an offer to be in a girl group named “Innosense”, Jive records finally signed a contract with Spears, when she was sixteen years old. The Queen of Pop’s reign began with her hit single “Baby One More Time,” performed in a shopping mall as the opening act for NSYNC. Baby, did her fans want to hear from her one more time. Her sophomore album, released in May of 2000, debuted as the number one album in the United States, selling around 1.3. Million copies. She was Grammy nominated at nineteen years old, printed on the cover of national publications, released autobiographies, and starred in her own movie, Crossroads (2002). This same year she was the first musician listed as #1 on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list and it is safe to say that Spears skyrocketed as a music headliner, and her fans were hooked.

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Hopping aboard Britney Spears’ emotional rollercoaster, her immense amount of fame was quickly followed by infamous scandals. Shortly after The Mickey Mouse Club, Spears found love in 1999 with her co-star Justin Timberlake. This power couple lasted until 2002 and Timberlake’s song, “Cry Me a River,” was allegedly about the young beauty queen. In the midst of their break-up, Spears performed with a show-stopping performance at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA’s), which included an albino python and a caged tiger. PETA, an animal rights organization, rescinded Spears’ ability to be their spokesperson after this performance. At the 2003 screening of the VMA’s, Spears had the opportunity to perform on stage with her lifelong friend, Christina Aguilera, and her idol, Madonna. During the performance, Spears kissed Madonna as Aguilera sang “Like A Virgin,” Madonna’s hit song.

In 2004, Spears went off the beaten path and married her childhood friend, Jason Alexander, in Vegas. The couple later annulled their divorce 55 hours later. Within that same year, she married dancer, Kevin Federline and they were married for three years and had two kids. Spears took a break from her career to focus on her family. After the divorce, and a nasty custody battle that followed, Spears made a comeback with her fifth studio album, Blackout (2007). Soon after her hit comeback, Spears made headlines when she, in a depressive state of mind, shaved her head.

After being hospitalized for drug use and mental health reasons, an ambitious Britney Spears made another comeback with her fifth album, Circus (2008) and was finally seen as a stable career artist and mother. She began making more albums, guest appearances on TV shows, and even became an “X-Factor” judge in 2012.

In 2013, the pop singer signed a residency with Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino at The AXIS in Las Vegas, where she performs her greatest hits, new and old. This show, “Piece of Me,” was soon to be named the best show in Vegas, just two years after she signed her contract. Besides her onstage career, Spears got creative and not only has been adding to her fragrance line that began in 2004, but also she debuted a lingerie line in 2014.

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Currently, this lifelong success story has just released her 9th album, Glory, in August 2016. The vocal soprano has performed at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, but kept it conventional and clean this time around. She performed her new song, “Make Me,” featuring the talented rapper, G-Eazy. She earned four People’s Choice Awards nominations and had the amazing opportunity to perform a medley of her hits at the Billboard Music Awards. Most recently, Spears revealed her newest fragrance, “Maui Fantasy,” to add to her tasteful collection.

“Viva Las Vegas” seems to be Spears’ favorite motto because she extended her contract with Planet Hollywood until December of 2017, when it was supposed to end in 2015. But is the two-year extension for Queen Spears too long? It just might be two years too long considering her fans are itching to see her “Glory” album on tour. “I hope we can do some touring! It’ll be fun to see my fans from overseas who haven’t been able to make it out to Las Vegas,” says Spears. There are optimistic discussions of a tour to come, but for now we will have to fly over to Nevada if we want to see this pop star in action.

“People can take everything away from you, but they cannot take your truth. But the question is, can you handle mine?” Well, Ms. Spears, that is a question we still have yet to answer.