A decade of Britney

It’s hard to believe Britney Spears has really been around for a full 10 years. Yes, she’s been through a lot – and most of it in the public eye – but 10 years, that’s a long time! And what a pop culture phenom she has become.

From her Mickey Mouse club days to her first CD, she seemed so sweet and innocent. Granted, “Hit me baby one more time” isn’t the purest of song titles, but she developed a solid preteen fan base. My friends and I loved her in fourth and fifth grade. Then “Oops!” came out and sexy-fied Britney appeared on the scene, but still, she kept the elementary schoolers with her through dance jams and bubbly ballads. I won’t dwell too long on where she went from there … children, marriage, divorce, a shaved head, baseball bats. With her failed “Gimme More” performance at the VMAs, she was all-but written off the map of legitimacy. Then rumors of bi-polar disorder and parental drama cast the vocal stylings of Britney Spears in shadow. Some more albums came out, but only the most loyal of her fans cared to listen to, much less buy, them.

But now, with the smashing success of “Circus,” man is Britney back! Bursting on the scene with “Womanizer,” followed by “Circus” and “If U Seek Amy,” she’s kept herself squarely centered on the pop culture radar for the past few months. I didn’t consider myself a Britney fan until becoming addicted to this latest album. And yes, it helps that she sings what I joke is a song about me, but no one can deny that this stuff is just so fun.

Still, if you had asked me even just six months ago if I could see myself ever attending a Britney concert, I would have answered with a resounding no. But after being offered an extra ticket a few weeks back, I found myself enthusiastically driving to Kansas City for the concert Thursday. In the days leading up to it, I finally let myself relish the techno beats of her latest album. And then Britney appeared. She likely lip-synched the entire show, but with circus stunts, lights, costume changes and dancing, who cared? Part of me is ashamed to admit it, but I am now a full-fledged Britney fan. I’ve even started to love those albums that came out during her dark days.

I justify it to myself as this: Who doesn’t love a good comeback? Who doesn’t root for the underdog? Yes, she still has issues to work out, but after being considered over, Britney Spears is getting her life back together. We see pictures of her having fun with her kids. She got her body back. Her daddy may be a helicopter, but he’s helped her put together a tour that’s selling out around the country. And, obviously, there’s her latest album. No one will ever argue that she’s classic like Mozart or genre-defining like the Beatles, but her music’s topping the charts and it’s just so much fun. I love it. It’s edgy and upbeat and crazy … “it’s Britney, bitch.”


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