Britney Spears invented pop music. No, she didn’t singlehandedly construct the genre, but she did a damn good job of bringing up-tempo melodies and hair flips to a multicultural audience in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Her singles "...Baby One More Time," "Toxic," "Sometimes," and "Crazy" topped charts and were sung off-key by teens everywhere, which helped crown the Louisiana native the Princess of Pop. In her time, she has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and is the fourth best-selling female album artist in the United States. But what is she doing today?
According to her Instagram feed, Britney is living her best life. Night three of her Piece of Me Tour saw her go-cart racing in Atlantic City. She went to the beach, tanned in a baby-blue bikini, and is now preparing to give her fans an amazing show piled with the classic throwbacks we know and love. Her set list will include a mix of new singles from her latest album, Glory, as well as throwbacks, and we’re OK with that. Old Britney is the good Britney — you know, before she shaved her head. Fitting into what’s cool isn’t an option for Spears, though it was worth a try.
Many pop sensations of the 2000s have attempted to revamp their careers by looking at what the kids are doing and then emulating it. Britney tried this and failed. In 2015, she released an AutoTuned hot mess with rising Australian star Iggy Azalea, Pretty Girls, which did nothing but question the pop star’s direction and give us a headache. Although this attempt to bring Britney into a new age was a flop, it showed she is able to tap into present-day pop music; it just isn’t for her. Social media ripped her to shreds, which ultimately led to a Twitter fight between her and Azalea. Oops.
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In 2018, social media plays a huge role in new artists' careers. A viral cover video or a catchy freestyle can send a cashier working at Dollar Tree to the A&R’s office at RCA overnight. Britney Spears doesn't need to pump out the next viral video. The pop star went for years without releasing new music, mainly because she was working on Glory, but, quite frankly, she didn’t have to. Once you’ve hit more than 100 million sales, staying true to yourself becomes more important while the kids have to keep up with the next best thing.
Ariana Grande is running around singing into her ponytail, and Selena Gomez still holds the record for the most followers on Instagram. The pop charts are dominated by Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars. So how does Britney Spears fit in? She does it by staying true to herself and her classic hits and giving the performance of a lifetime. If you’re asked who the original princess of pop is, remember: It’s Britney, bitch.
Britney Spears. 8 p.m.. Friday, July 27, through Sunday, July 29, at the Seminole Hard Rock, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 866-502-7529; seminolehardrockhollywood.com. Tickets cost $105 to $330 via ticketmaster.com.