The music world was forever changed 20 years ago today when Britney Spears released her debut album …Baby One More Time.
The pop icon helped usher in a new generation of teen phenomenons alongside Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC and many more who brought this genre of music back to the forefront after grunge, R&B and hip-hop dominated for many years.
We were first introduced to Britney only a couple of months beforehand in October of 1998 when her song of the same name debuted on radio and music video rotation on MTV and VH1.
Music video director Nigel Dick helped create the vision of how audiences were first introduced to the Kentwood, Louisiana native for the classic music video that is considered by some as the best pop music video of all time.
Her schoolgirl ensemble mixed with an incredibly catchy song helped propel Britney from somewhat unknown (unless you watched The Mickey Mouse Club in the early 90's) to a global superstar, where her legions of fans couldn't wait to get ahold of her debut album.
…Baby One More Time was released on January 12th, 1999, and became an instant hit the minute it hit shelves. She debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts, selling 121,000 copies in its first week of release. Not only that, but she broke several records in doing so like being the first new female artist to have a number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 and album at the same time.
The album wound up selling 1.8 million copies within its first two months of release and spent a whopping 51 weeks in the Billboard 200 Top 10. It also placed number two on the 1999 year end list for Billboard's Top Albums of the Year and number 29 on their decade-end charts.
It eventually sold over 12 million copies and remains as one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Not too shabby for a debut effort where only one of its songs hit number one domestically ("Born to Make You Happy" also placed atop the UK Charts).
Britney experienced similar success with her future albums, notably her sophomore effort Oops! I Did It Again, however nothing compared to her debut effort in terms of the legacy it created and how she helped change the music landscape to what it is now.
She was the first female pop singer to really emerge from the pack and did it bigger and better than everybody else in terms of sales and fame compared to others who followed like Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson.
Britney talked about the album's release on her Instagram today, saying "Can you believe that this album was released 20 years ago today??!! I can’t. It’s definitely been the journey of a lifetime, full of ups and downs, but I’m grateful for every single moment of it all. Getting to know you all over the years has been such an incredible experience, and has made this all worth it. Thank you for your support from 20 years ago, all the way to today. I am blessed."
For all the Britney fans out there… what was your favorite song from …Baby One More Time?