Iconic pop star Britney Spears turned 40-years-old today. In her 40 years of existence, Britney has earned, achieved and lost many things, chief among which is winning back her freedom from conservatorship, which her father had forced upon her, and regaining control of her finances.
The singer, who rose to massive popularity as a teenager with her debut hit '...Baby One More Time', has shied away from the musical limelight for many years but her absence couldn't make people forget her.
Her successful musical career has earned her six number one albums on the Billboard 200 and four number one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100.
This year as Britney turned 40, she has a lot to celebrate after winning her fight to end her 13-year-long conservatorship. And to celebrate her glorious legacy, The Business Standard has picked five of her songs that have redefined pop music over the years.
5. Womanizer (2008)
Britney has described 'Womanizer' as a girl anthem. The song's lyrics recall a womanising man, while the protagonist of the song makes clear she knows who he really is.
'Womanizer' was critically acclaimed because of its hook, melody and empowering lyrics. Critics also observed it as a stand-out track from the album, while some deemed it a comeback single for Britney as she had spent a good amount of time in the hospital, after which she managed to pull her life together and released 'Blackout' (2007).
4. Toxic (2003)
'Toxic' is the lyrical interpretation of a young girl falling in love with a man who is a wrong choice for her. And although she knows that the man she has fallen for is not good for her, she can't help but keep falling for him - turning the relationship toxic.
This song has a stronger appeal to the brown community due to being a dance-pop and techno-pop number with elements of Bhangra music in it. 'Toxic' is accompanied by high-pitched Bollywood strings, sampled from Lata Mangeshkar and SP Balasubrahmanyam's 'Tere Mere Beech Mein'.
3. Piece of Me (2007)
Swedish music producers Bloodshy & Avant and Klas Åhlund wrote 'Piece of Me' as a response to the media scrutiny and sensationalism of Britney's private life, which they had witnessed first hand after working with her for years. The song is Britney's manifesto and its lyrics are biographical retelling of her mishaps.
Britney was extremely psyched when she came to the recording studio to record 'Piece of Me' and she recorded the song in just half an hour. She had already learned the lyrics by heart in her car.
'Piece of Me' had garnered international acclaim and was labelled as one of the highlights of 'Blackout'.
2. Oops!...I Did It Again (2000)
'Oops!… I Did It Again' features Britney Spears taking on the role of someone akin to a seductress and the lyrics refer to her current romantic interest. The twist is that while the man is very much into her, the female counterpart is simply not feeling it.
As per the song's lyrics, it's implied that she led him on while genuine feelings of love blossomed inside him.
This track was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2001 ceremony but failed to bag the accolade. On the bright side, 'Oops!… I Did It Again' garnered generally positive reviews and is still on the playlists of many Britney fans around the world.
1. ...Baby One More Time (1998)
If there is one Britney number that can be described as a timeless piece, '...Baby One More Time' is the one, which also happens to be Britney's debut single and the reason for her fame.
'...Baby One More Time' is more famous for its poppy tune rather than the lyrics, which honestly don't make much sense. Although it has been speculated that Britney was singing about the anxiety of being a teenager and not domestic abuse.
Whatever the lyrics may have referred to, the catchy beats and groovy tune of the song rightfully take the crown.