Three facts about me:
1. I'm an editor of an entertainment mag.
2. I'm a blogger.
3. I'm a huge Britney Spears fan.
Now bear with me a bit while I tie those things together.
This week, Britney appeared in a small role in How I Met Your Mother. And for such a tiny stint in an American sitcom, it made headlines and was talked about in blogs. Well, Britney can just chew gum and it still gets real estate on any news outfit. She's in every issue of the magazine I edit. I always get letters from readers asking me to feature her, and I do. And it's not just because I'm a huge fan so I'm glad to oblige but because, one, her life is so bigger than life that I can't not put her there and, two, she sells the mag.
So since I mentioned it already, let's talk about her life. From the romance with Justin to its ugly breakup, the quickie marriage to Jason Alexander, the whirlwind romance and short-lived chaotic marriage with Kevin Federline, the pregnancies and the cute sons, the wild partying, the panty-less excursions, the nervous breakdowns, the rehab stints, the custody dramas, the humiliating VMA performance, et al... Britney's life is one magnetic theater that's better than any soap opera out there.
Many people wonder why everyone's still so fascinated with the fallen pop star. Well, beyond the tabloids, we have to realize that in her nine-year career, she did sell over 83 million records worldwide. She's the only female in music history who can boast that her first four studio albums debuted at number one in the U.S. charts. She's an amazing dancer and choreographer. She writes most of her songs--and those songs are undeniably infectious. She's extremely pretty but not in a scary way. She's sexy. She's always controversial. And she's so popular that anything she endorses--from pop music to soda pop--sells. She is, quite simply, a star. Honestly, I think the superstars of this world are Elvis, The Beatles, Madonna, Michael Jackson--then a host of upstarts came along--and then there was Britney. No one has really replaced her yet.
But what makes her most appealing, at least in my book, is actually what she's best at: her music. Yes, her music is always catchy, has mass appeal, very marketable. But the most special thing about her music is its diary-like feel. Her songs are always so personal, revealing her most intimate thoughts to the world. She opens up to her fans like no other star ever has and always in the realm of her music. To this generation of tabloid lovers and bloggers who are always too willing to expose their thoughts and lap up others, Britney is a gift from the gods of gossip. Before stars had MySpace, there was Britney's music.
Though she was a superstar, we were surprised when she sang this: "If there's nothing missing in my life, then why do these tears come at night?" - Lucky
After she and Justin broke up, Britney wrote this heartbreaking song: "Every time I try to fly, I fall. Without my wings I feel so small. I guess I need you, baby." - Everytime
And with the insanity that's happening in her life, I'm sure this is what she has to say: "They say I'm crazy, I really don't care. That's my prerogative... Some ask me questions: Why am I so real? But they don't understand me... Everybody's talking all this stuff about me. Why don't they just let me live? I don't need permission, make my own decisions. That's my prerogative." - Prerogative
Yup, Britney doesn't seem to care that she's living her life in front of all us: "Cameras are flashing my way... and they keep watchin'... I just can't control myself... They want more... Well, I'll give 'em more." - Gimme More
But she's shrewd. She knows exactly how we see her: "I'm Mrs. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous... I'm Mrs. "Oh my god, that Britney's shameless"... I'm Mrs. "Extra! Extra! This just in!"... I'm Mrs. "She's too big, now she's too thin" (you want a piece of me)." - Piece of Me
And yet she confesses that "I need to make mistakes just to learn who I am and I don't wanna be so damn protected. There must be another way cause I believe in taking chances but who am I to say what a girl is to do? God, I need some answers." - Overprotected
But what I really want her to be thinking right now is this: "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman. All I need is time, a moment that is mine while I'm in between... But if you look at me closely, you will see it in my eyes, this girl will always find her way." - Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman
Indeed, in this age of ravenous voyeurism, Britney is the ultimate star.
Find your way, Britney. We'll still be here waiting for you to come back to the top where you always belonged.