Thursday, December 1, 2011

Britney Spears: Her Perogative

My Favorite Britney Performance Of All Time
I think it is safe to say that if you have met me, even once, you know how much I love Britney Spears. This article was originally written for the ID, The Peace Corps Newsletter, but it turned out to be too long-which is way better! As a blog post I can add photos to back up my point and really show off my homegirl. This all started as a review of her new Album, and once i got started writing, i mean i just could not stop! “Femme Fatale,” Britney’s 6th studio album dropped in March of this year. I will get to that. However, I am going to take it a step (or two) further and talk about what it is like to love Britney Spears, the artist and the woman, from the perspective of a die-hard, unconditional fan. I wrote this article originally back in may but I have had to keep updating my facts on Brit because her career literally keeps reaching new heights throughout 2011. No surprise there.

"The Way You Make Me Feel"
I have been a fan now for 13 years, which by the way is half my life. Those first 3 beats of 'baby, one more time" DA DUM DUM. oh man, life changer. Britney is an absolutely incredible dancer. She is easily one of the best female dancers of all time- and her style is super unique. Dancing like Britney is a lot of sharp movements, hair-flipping and she uses her arms to guide the rest of her body. She is so sexy and athletic when she is on the floor and she is the person who taught me how to love dance.

Oops, excuse me, can you give me a hand with these?
Now I don't know much in this crazy world and I am not great at many things. I can however dance like Britney. I mean, THAT is for damn sure. I've got 108 Britney songs on my itunes and I know how to dance, as she would, to every. last. one. I don't mean this in a cocky way, but I work hard at it and it's true...I'll take that challenge anytime, anywhere. I actually just did two weeks ago...good one.

Much like the career of Michael Jackson (may the King rest in peace), Britney’s personal life has taken center stage, and at times, has negatively overshadowed her incredible music and accomplishments. What I hope to do here is present an intelligent argument defending her, and perhaps I can persuade some of you to lose the judgment and see the pop icon as I do, talented and inspirational.
I would like to start out with a straight up BLAST of some of her career achievements. Britney Spears is recognized as the number one selling female artist of the past decade, she holds the 5th spot overall. Her record sales have been beaten only by Madonna, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and Whitey Houston. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you but I just heard some LEGENDS! Britney currently holds 4 Guinness World Records including “Best-Selling teen artist,” “Best-Selling album by a teen,” as well as “Most-Searched person on the internet, 2008” and most recently in 2011 “youngest female artist to have 6 number one albums.” This record was previously held by Mariah Carey for her release of ‘The Emancipation of Mimi” at age 38, Britney was 29 years old.

Circus Tour was DOPE
Miss Spears has just recently embarked on her 7th world tour; this will be the 6th time she is headlining. I am not even close to being ashamed that I saw her live for the first time in 1999 when she was the opening act for *NSYNC. My homegirls and I snuck into the concert in Mansfield, Massachusetts with tickets for “The Charlie Daniels Band.” Don’t think little 13 year old Grace didn’t have connections, even back then! (shout out to kyle and holly) I have since seen her live 4 more times; I even made it out twice for the “Circus” Tour. The ‘Femme Fatale” tour hit Boston on August 8th and I can’t even talk about it, as I was here. She is currently in Suuth America wrapping up her tour then she will move back up through Central America...homegirl is hitting Mexico 3 times but jumping right over Guatemala...DAMMIT! although I did send out some efforts on her fb page to convince her to come but someone kept deleting She will actually BE in Mexico on her 30th Birthday, December 2nd.

Legendary VMA Performances
Throughout her 13 year career, Britney has been nominated for 431 international awards, winning 305 of those.  For her jam “Toxic” Britney took home her first Grammy for “Best Dance Recording.” In total she has had 8 Grammy nominations, won 4 MTV Video Music awards, with a total of 28 nominations, she won 7 Moon Men in Europe and she holds the record for most teen choice awards; my girl has 16 orange surfboards! In a countdown of the top 10 VMA performances of all time released by MTV, Britney takes 4 spots, including number 1 for 2001’s ‘Slave 4 u,” you remember, the yellow snake and the live tigers. She has 10 Billboard Music Awards, and holds the record for biggest jump in Billboard music history. “Womanizer” went for number 46 to number 1 in one week. Can’t forget to mention the 10 top selling fragrances she has come out with since 2004. I like to think of myself as a little bit of  a fragrance connoisseur from my years of experience working in the Victoria's Secret Beauty Room and Britney Spears' BELIEVE is hands down the best fragrance out there. trust. 
Britney has graced the cover of literally thousands of magazines, including 7 Rolling Stone covers. She has also received the same number of awards from the magazine, 4 from the Playboy Magazine Awards and 2 from People Magazine. At age 22, Britney was honored with her own star on the Hollywood walk of fame, the same year FHM Magazine named her the “Sexiest Woman in the World.” She has also made Maxim’s similar list every year for the past decade. In the 2010 issue of Forbes Magazine “Most Powerful and Influential Celebrities,” Britney took the number 6 spot.
When the hit TV show “Glee” dedicated an entire episode to the music of Britney Spears, it scored the highest ratings yet for the series with 13.3 million viewers. As for Twitter accounts, Britney has the highest number of followers in the world with 5.3 million (Lady Gaga isn’t too far behind with 4.9, I also love her too) but that’s for another day. Oh, and her Facebook page has 15.5 million fans. Honestly, being friends with her on facebook is AWESOME, now that she is on tour, she posts pics from every concert, lets us know what she's listening to, and uses FB to raise awareness of causes she supports. This morning it was fighting hunger in Africa with a link for anyone to donate. it's my favorite thing. Does anyone remember her Pepsi Superbowl commercials? Any one else wanna drink PEPSI forever?
I understand this is a lot of facts, and you can tear her down as much as you want, but I believe you have to respect her for her accomplishments, she is only 29! I know I am not the only girl in the world who feels this way towards her, since her latest album debuted at number 1; it is safe to say Britney has one of the strongest most faithful fan bases of any artist around the globe.
FRESH Pepsi Commercial
Now, I am not going to sit here and say she didn’t lose her mind in 2007, because she absolutely did. In the same respect, I don’t think it’s fair to pass judgment on her when we have absolutely NO IDEA how to relate to someone with that kind of fame. I’m not sure it was easy to predict when she landed a spot on the “Mickey Mouse Club” at age 11 with straight-across bangs and acid washed jeans, that in 6 short years she would become and international sex symbol and one of the most recognizable faces on the planet. Think I am going too far with that statement? Is there any one reading this that couldn’t pick her out of a line-up? Right.  That kind of pressure for a 17 year old is unfathomable; my biggest worry at that age was if my mom was going to let me get blonde highlights or if I was going to make the starting line-up on the high school field hockey team.
Now I know I am not the only one whose jaw dropped when the video for “Baby One More Time” aired for the first time, or again with the red cat-suit for “oops,” and yet again for the low-cut jeans in “Slave 4 u.” I know that I was blown away by her incredible dancing ability and I rushed to learn every last move of each song, while the male jaws dropped because she was the sexiest thing anybody had ever seen. Is this what Britney wanted or what her management team wanted? a mix of both? Something to think about…
The Criticism began right away. Three months after Baby, One More Time dropped, we had Christina Aguilera come out with Genie In a Bottle. Right away 'Christina has a better voice than Britney' ummm yah and Celine Dion has a better voice than Madonna, does that mean she is better than Madonna in ANY WAY. She didn't ask any of you fools, she was just tryin to do her thing. (sidenote: I also love Christina- she is  super talented, but her latest album Bionic is absolute crap. listen up XXXtina, with a voice like that you don't need techno beats, i mean seriously)
love this simple pic in rehearsal
As her success grew consistently, she became more of a public figure in the spotlight. Britney had to put on a smiling face NO MATTER WHAT for every interview, performance and photo shoot, her every move was being videotaped, photographed and her every word documented.  You could make the argument that “she knew what she was getting into,” or ‘she signed up for this” but then again if you make that argument with me, you are more or less going to lose it. No one could have predicted the TYPE of fame Britney would encounter later on in her career. Life is hard. Life is hard even when you have fame and money. It is full of challenges, pressures and tough decisions. Britney fell in love twice in the public spotlight. Her break-up with Justin Timberlake was international news, now again, she was just a teenager. Now why they HELL did we think it was our business if she was sleeping with him or not? She was straight hounded in every single interview about being a virgin, hounded.  I refer to it as the infamous ‘Virgin’ brigade", god forbid she tell the truth- what would the public think if our pop-princess had had sex? That’s not fair. That’s too much pressure. And just to keep things real, for the past 10 years, the line of women trying to sleep with Justin Timberlake could wrap 4 times around the world at any given moment. truth. 
Now i know i may not get much support on this one but i can see why she fell for Kevin Federline. In case anyone failed to notice. homeboy had it GOIN ON when she wifed him up quick. Fresh line up, fly clothes, thug attitude, these are a few of my favorite things. Of course now I don't feel that was cuz he put on some pounds, lost his swagger and he played my girl britney like a fool.

totally normal.
What I love and respect about Britney Spears is she is not afraid to express how she is feeling in her music. Whether she is feeling sexy or confident, falling in love or the transition from girl to woman, she was always candid in her songs. Now when you take a step back and really look at it, she released 3 hit singles that hinted strongly at the fact she wasn’t necessarily dealing with her found fame very well. In her jam “Overprotected” she explains how frustrated she is that none of the decisions in her life are actually made by her, she had no control. She wrote ‘I need to make mistakes just to learn who I am, and I don’t wanna be so damn protected. God I need some answers….. I tell ‘em what I like, what I want, and what I don’t, but every time I do, I stand corrected.”  Also in her song “Lucky’ she sings “She’s so lucky, she’s a star but she cry, cry, cries in her lonely heart. Lost in an image, in a dream but there’s no one there to wake her up. The world is spinning and she keeps on winning, but tell me, what happens when it stops?” Also, and yes, this is quite dark but in the end of her ‘Everytime” video, she takes her own life after the Paparazzi had followed her around like crazy. Was anybody listening? I couldn’t help but feel bad for her and of course all of this led up to the infamous ‘mental breakdown’ of the young star.
"I'm Mrs. Most likely to get on the tv for slippin on the street while gettin
the groceries now FOR REAL, ARE YOU KIDDIN ME?"
SO SHE SHAVED HER HEAD. I don’t have any idea what it’s like to have someone else do my hair for 10 straight years, do you? It’s her head, for the love of god if she wants to shave it she has every right to do so. But it’s all about perspective, when she did shave her head she was going through an extremely public divorce. She gave birth to two kids in two years, again, very publically. Is Britney immune to postpartum depression??? Wouldn’t the media like to think so, even though it affects 10-15% of American woman who have recently given birth.  I remember how I felt that year, I actually wrote a letter of complaint to both CNN and Fox News. As international media outlets, I said ‘shame on them’ for putting her head-shaving incident as their top story for ATLEAST a month. Aren’t they responsible for bringing us the events of the world nightly? War? Disease? Famine? Political unrest? The status of Britney Spears’ hair? Needless to say I never heard a response. Have you ever known anyone who had a mental breakdown? I have. Or even a drug problem? I have. I can only imagine how difficult recovery could be when you are on the cover of every tabloid in an ambulance because you wanted to keep custody of your own children. I wouldn’t necessarily willingly release my toddlers into the hands of Kevin Federline either. Give her a break.
Also- hilarious story that my Umass girls can attest to, I got in a fight with an Amherst Police officer who was talkin smack about Britney and i got kicked out of the bar...i was so upset i went home and legit wanted to shave my head to show my support bahaha...super special shout out to Matt Dillon for talking me out of that one...and a thank you muy fuerte from my parents lol.....

My fav pic of Brit of ALL TIME. album artwork from BLACKOUT
Now here is where it gets good. I had mentioned earlier that she held the Guinness world record for most searched person on the internet, 2008. It is obvious that wasn’t for her music, that was the year of her mental breakdown, not the best record to hold but I think it fends ok compared to the rest of her accomplishments. Speaking of accomplishments, during the infamous media-frenzy, she managed to release “Blackout.” In all of her album releases, this was the only one not to debut at number one, granted it reached the top spot in its second week…In my personal opinion this is HANDS.DOWN. Britney’s best album! This was recorded when she was in her QUOTE ‘trailer trash” stage, but you know what? This only proves to me what an incredible artist she is, to record this amidst the drama! It proves what a sexy confident person she is, on the inside. (Oh, and BY THE WAY PEOPLE, a tank top and a bandana IS NOT THAT BAD OF AN OUTFIT, I DO IT ALL THE TIME.)  If you don’t believe that this is her best album, why don’t you go download ‘Toy Soldier, Freakshow, Get Naked, or Hot as Ice” or you could hear “Why Should I Be Sad,” where she explains her marriage ended because she sent her then-husband to Vegas on her money, where he very publically cheated on her, you know, while she was home with two toddlers. It’s a good listen! 
you're excused.
So why don’t we just call her the comeback queen? Since the “Blackout” album, we have had the release of “Circus” and now “Femme Fatale.” No one can ever say she didn’t rise above it all, get a hold of her career, her life, and she has finally regained custody of her kids, Jayden James and Sean Preston.
Britney Spears is a symbol for anyone out there who has ever hit rock bottom and gotten right back up. She took back control of her life and in my opinion, an even better artist and better version of herself has emerged. She is on top of the world these days.
“Femme Fatale” is hot like fire! You can find me on the dance floor killin’ it with “Up and Down, Drop-Dead Beautiful, and Til the World Ends” Her Debut Single from this album ‘Hold It Against Me” broke an Itunes record of most downloads in a day with 411,000. The track “Big Fat B
Classic britney move. rehearsal.
ass” produced by and featured in by Will.I.Am. is also off the hook, It sounds like Black Eyed Peas but instead of Fergie, Its Britney…isn’t that everyone’s dream anyway? No? Just mine, Vaya.  Surprisingly my favorite track on the whole LP is called ‘Criminal” it’s a slow jam about being in love with a bad boy. Ladies, Can I get a witness? It also has this crazy snake charmer flute backdrop that’s FUEGO! The Video for 'Criminal" was filmed in the UK and just released about a month ago...It was viewed over 1 BILLION times on Vevo in 4 days..UNBELIEVABLE. It's not surprise although that's a CRAZY number, the video is so hot...its got guns, motocycles, dancing, and sex...i mean.........
Awards and Craziness aside Britney has inspired me for…. wow, half my life. Her dancing is incomparable, as well as her confidence. If I could make a soundtrack of my life, it would be Britney’s hottest dance tracks. No lie. There's not many people who can sing 'womanizer' or 'gimme more' 10 times in a row and have the hottest hooks of the year. Here are my favorite Britney Tracks IN ORDER… along with the albums they appear in…(shall you be a Britney beginner, you can trust an expert!!)
1.       Toy Soldier (Blackout)
2.       Boom Boom (In The Zone  ft. the YINGYANG twins)
3.       Hot as Ice (Blackout)
4.       Slave 4 u (Britney)
5.       You Drive Me Crazy (Baby One More Time)
6.       Circus (Circus)
7.       Criminal (Femme Fatale)
8.       FreakShow ( Blackout)
9.       Outrageous (In The Zone)
10.   Mannequin (Circus)
11.   Get Naked (Blackout)
12.   Boys (Britney, Ft Pharrel Williams)
Showdown (britney) -special shoutout to holly my best friend, this is her fav brit jam!

14.   I can’t get no Satisfaction (Oops I Did It Again…)
15.   Lonely (Britney)
16.   Baby One More Time (Baby One More Time)
17.   Piece of Me ( Blackout)
18.   Selfish ( Femme Fatale)
19.   Gasoline (Femme Fatale)
20.   Blur (Circus)

SuperBowl Performance 2001
So all and all. She is the queen. No more of this 'Pop Princess' stuff, she is 30 years old...that's QUEEN B status. Her music has been the highlight of some of the best times I've ever had, all of my friends love her too, of course. I jump in Holly's car and i'm like 'what do we got? britney?' she's like 'yup' as if we'd do anything else.
So Congratulations on life Britney Spears- Congrats on your Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award - Congrats on your two beautiful boys-  Congrats on finishing up your tour & Congrats on inspiring millions, keep doin your thing and Happy 30th Birthday!

I bet my last dime her man puts a ring on it TO-DAY!

Ladies, aprovechar the genius pick up line "superstar, where u from, how's it goin?" esp. for us international chicas...fool proof....much love- hasta la proxima!


  1. I LOVE your list of favorite Britney tracks! I can't believe we have some of the same opinions on what's "best" because these are by no means the most popular tracks. Toy Soldier, Freakshow...and I cannot believe you listed Mannequin! LOVE that song. It's like a secret gem.

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