Yesterday, October 23rd, marked the 20th anniversary of Britney Spears’ debut song “…Baby One More Time” being released. It was a track that started it all for the small-town girl from Kentwood, Louisiana that ultimately helped make her into the star that she is today.
It’s something that she has clear pride in, as Britney talked about it on her social media Tuesday, giving some behind-the-scenes takes from the shoot of the iconic video and discussing it in a very upbeat manner about what the song has meant to her.
“It’s hard to put into words what today means to me… 20 years ago, the world heard my music for the very first time!” she wrote on Instagram. “So much has happened since then… but what I really want to say is thank you to my amazing fans who have been there for me since day 1. Your support over the years has meant the absolute world to me!! Love you all!”
I am someone who definitely is included in the “amazing fans” category who have been with her from the start and never wavered regardless of how hard things got for her. A lot of gay men have Madonna, Barbra, Cher, Gaga and more as their icon, but for me, it’s been Britney and I am so happy that she is still a mother f***ing legend all this time later.
When “…Baby” came out, there was all this talk about her being somewhat of a Debbie Gibson/Tiffany type in that they started out strong but faded fast. Perhaps it was her millions of fans, the times being different or just how hard Britney worked, but she shut those voices down easily by consistently putting out fantastic hit after hit while dominating the airwaves, charts and making millions of hearts melt in the process.
Britney just had… it. That “it” factor that is so rarely seen in the industry today. Now it’s more about having a big social media following or being a reality star with no discernable talent that gets you invited into all the A-list events. Ms. Spears was different from that, she had a gift, and it was clearly seen the minute the opening scene of “…Baby” happened where she tapped her shoe against the chair while waiting for the school day to end.
There was something so fascinating and captivating about her. For the most part, Britney made all the right career moves when it came to elevating her sound as she continued to push new material out. It’s something that Madonna expertly executed for decades. There have been many other pop singers that have tried to do the same, but nothing compared to what Britney has done.
Was 2007 tough for her yes? Do I think she just had it with the media in her face and criticizing her for her marriage and parenting at the time? Yes. There’s only so much a person can take. This isn’t a Chris Crocker “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!” sort of thing, but people seem to forget that we are all humans and can’t be this celebrity robot 24/7/365.
Yes, it was a scary time for her and one that is hard to look back on, but she also put out her arguably best effort to date in Blackout and only bounced back from all the drama and commotion shortly after.
It was like her second time telling the world to f**k off after they thought she couldn’t succeed. She did and persevered in many ways that others wouldn’t. Not to mention her endless sold out shows that continue to dazzle audiences all this time later, her endless support for the LGBTQ community and so much more that have made her into who she is today.
Britney probably won’t read this, and that’s all and good, but from a small-town gay kid myself from Long Island I kind of just want to thank her for being my icon growing up and continuing to do so in my 30’s. Here’s to many, many years of continued success for you… baby.
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.