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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of "MMMBop," it was the epoch of "...Baby One More Time."
Get on your (baggy) dancing pants, and follow us back to the late 1990s.
Among Marky Mark, dial-up internet, and Friends, the late 1990s was also the time of the teenager. The economy was booming, and teens were the biggest growing target market. With "...Baby One More Time," Britney Spears, a former Mouseketeer with an adorably nasal voice, became an overnight poster child for the teenyboppers who ruled the day. For anyone who thought the line "Hit me, baby, one more time" was a little risqué for a high school junior, we sure hope they missed Britney's Catholic schoolgirl shtick developed to go with it.
Whether you think she's an innocent talent or an insidious trend, Britney's rise to fame brings up a lot of questions: is it possible for a girl like 16-year-old Britney Spears to be cutesy and flirtatious without being sexualized? Should there be an age cut-off for dirty dancing? Can Britney sing? Wherever you fall on these very big questions, you can't deny that you've gotten this masterfully catchy piece of teen pop music stuck in your head a time or two.
|Producer(s)||Max Martin, Denniz Pop, Rami Yacoub|
|Musician(s)||Britney Spears (vocals), Thomas Lindberg (guitar), Johan Carlberg (bass guitar), Max Martin and Nana Hedin (backup vocals)|
|Learn to play||Guitar, Bass|
|Album||...Baby One More Time|
New Kids On The Block
The Backstreet Boys
Britney and Lynn Spears: Heart to Heart (2000)
This autobiographical fan-oriented paperback is further cutened (to coin a term) and sweetened by the fact that it is written by Britney with the help of her mom. For the non-fan, however, we doubt this will be any fun.
Kathleen Sweeney: Maiden USA: Girl Icons Come of Age (2003)
This book follows a trend in feminist cultural explorations of young girls, and compares the career trajectories of several different young women à la Britney Spears.
...Baby One More Time (1998)
Britney's debut album may have raised some eyebrows, but it is one of the most successful albums in pop history.
Oops! I Did It Again (2000)
Spears came back a couple of years later with a clearly coy reply to her unhappy critics—and another round of scandal over her precociously sexual presentation.
Femme Fatale (2011)
Although Britney has had several worthwhile albums and singles in the interim, Femme Fatale has been her biggest hit yet with critics (who previously have not really cut her much slack). She might be a robotic hit machine, but she's good at what she does.
...Baby One More Time Cover
Clearly, the record execs were pandering to a teen audience.
Mickey Mouse Club Britney
We can see why those who grew up seeing Britney as a goofy-looking child talent might have had a hard time with her sudden transition to sexy tween.
Britney and Justin
Both international sensations at a young age, it was natch that they stumbled together. You live, you learn.
Britney's pigtails and fluffy writing pen in the "...Baby One More Time" video further play up her youth and innocence.
1999 Rolling Stone Cover
A lot of people were scandalized that the photographer in question got the seventeen-year-old to take off her clothes in bed for a photo shoot. Britney claims she came out of that one unscathed.
Britney Spears Grows Up
The slightly baby-faced teen look is gone these days, with "femme fatale" taking a full-time front seat.
Britney's acting career never really took off, which might be because it started with this movie.
Official Britney Website
All the latest Britney everything.
Rolling Stone: "Britney Spears, Teen Queen" (1999)
It was all fun and games back then.
Rolling Stone: "The Tragedy of Britney Spears" (2008)
Nearly ten years later, this cover story depicts Britney as a fallen star: "She is not a good girl. She is not America's sweetheart. She is an inbred swamp thing who chain-smokes, doesn't do her nails [...] and screams at people who want pictures for their little sisters." It might be a bit pitiless coming from the very people who over-sexualized her in the first place, but the long feature is a great review of just what happened to Britney behind the scenes.
Britney Spears Bio on Biography.com
This Britney bio features a long documentary video that opens with a medley about Britney's complicated public image.
Britney Spears overview on IMDB
The Internet Movie Database handles Britney's bio with a thorough timeline of important events in her life.
"...Baby One More Time" Official Video (1999)
This video is a classic of the teen pop genre. That's a lot of good break dancers for just one little Catholic school.
Britney Spears VEVO
Get it all in one place. The advertisements are a shame, but the videos are awesome.
"Hold It Against Me" Official Video (2011)
We can always count on pop music for bad double entendres—and fun music videos.
"Till The World Ends" Official Video (2011)
Just little old Britney, going apocalyptic with the rest of 'em. Dance until the world ends.
"Britney Crazy Baby" (2011)
Every time anyone says "crazy" or "baby" in any Britney song, all right here on one track. Totally worth a ridiculous listen.
"Slumber Party" (2016)
Hey, her ninth album later. You gotta admit, she must be doing something right.