Can you believe that Britney’s Hit Me Baby One More Time rose to the top of the charts two decades ago? The classic song made records and went down in history for one of the best pop songs of all times. Here’s a look back on Britney’s rise to fame and where she has landed twenty years later.
Most successful single of all time
On October 23, 1998, Britney Spears released Baby One More Time into the universe. The song was her first single off her first album, and boy did it make an impact. By 1999, the pop-hit had become one of the most successful selling singles of all time, with over 10 million copies sold. The smash song skyrocketed the then sixteen year old Spears to a superstar level where she would remain for many years to come.
Meaning behind the song
The technical elements behind the opening of Baby One More Time are actually quite similar to some other hits you may be familiar with, such as Queen’s We Will Rock You and the Rolling Stone’s Rock Me Up. The 3 minute and 30 second song was a natural recipe for success, despite controversy over the lyrics. The song, written by the Swedish songwriter Max Martin, came under fire when critics questioned if the lyrics hit me baby one more time, was concerning domestic abuse. The Swedes, and Britney, had to clarify that it was merely a case of a non-native English speaker’s mistake, and that the intent was totally innocent. Britney said, “doesn’t mean physically hit me. […] It means just give me a sign, basically. I think it’s kind of funny that people would actually think that’s what it meant.”
Britney becomes a pop culture icon
Britney’s video for the hit song was even voted one of the most influential videos of all time in 2010. In the video, a school-uniform clad Britney singing about her recent breakup. In what would become signature Spears style, the singer also showed off her dance skills through carefully choreographed numbers. Here’s a fun fact about the video: Britney’s first-cousin plays her love interest in the video, and her assistant plays the role of Britney’s teacher! One thing is for sure, Britney’s Catholic
Experience that broke the bank
Upon analyzing the success of Spears, Rolling Stone wrote that the singer, “spearheaded the rise of post-millennial teen pop … Spears early on cultivated a mixture of innocence and experience that broke the bank.” After Baby One More Time, Spears enjoyed a slew of other hits including (You Drive Me) Crazy and Oops! I Did It Again. Unfortunately, the young super star’s quick rise to fame and fortune proved more than she could handle, and in 2007 she suffered a series of mishaps including divorcing husband Kevin Federline, losing custody of her two kids, and went in and out of rehab facilities. Her father, James, was granted conservatorship, which gave him control over her daily life and finances.
Britney goes abroad in 2018
Today, Britney claims she is doing well saying, “Today I’m at a better place in my life. My kids shaped my personality and filled me. They made me not worry about what was happening to me.” In January of 2018, Britney announced she was taking her residence Las Vegas show abroad. Ticket sales went through the roof and additional dates were added to accommodate demand. Britney’s 2018 world tour ended up grossing $54.3 million with 260,531 tickets sold. The tour became the 6th highest-grossing female tour of 2018, and the 2nd best-selling female tour of 2018 in the U.K.
Britney in 2019
In 2019, Spears was supposed to continue with her Las Vegas residency and was set to make over $500,000 per show- making her the highest paid performer in Vegas. Sadly, due to her father’s poor health, Spears has put the show on hold and has announced an indefinite work hiatus so that she can spend time with her family. We really can’t believe that 20 years ago Spears first entered our radios (and our hearts!) and despite her difficult path it sounds like the girl who brought us so much iconic 2000s pop, has found herself again. Nowadays Britney’s Instagram is full of hilarious posts and scenes of her out and about with her beloved boys, Sean and Jayden. May 2019 be a great year for Britney!