Ever since the beginning of her music career, Britney Spears has been a lightning rod for public attention, whether it be for better or worse. Spears came onto the scene during the 1990s and instantly became one of the biggest names in pop music. Since then, she has achieved legendary status and to this day is one of the most talked-about people. This doesn’t apply just to music but in general.
Spears has had moments that have cemented her status as an icon, as well as moments that became the headlines for tabloids around the world. Let’s take a look at Spears’s career and remember some of the times when Spears broke the internet, causing a massive reaction (either good or bad).
The Head Shave
2007 was an extremely tough year for Britney Spears, and on February 16, she reached a boiling point. With the paparazzi looking on, Spears shaved her head almost completely bald while sitting inside a hair salon. For Spears, it came at a time when she wasn’t able to see her two sons following her split with Kevin Federline. Years later, we found out the reason why Spears shaved her head.
Tattoo artist Emily Wynee-Hughes was the first one to speak with Spears immediately after it happened. When she asked Spears why, Wynee-Hughes said “It was, you know, ‘I just don’t want anybody touching my head. I don’t want anyone touching my hair. I’m sick of people touching my hair.’”
Shortly after Spears shaved her head, she continued to be a target for the paparazzi, with members of the press trying to catch her on film during her downward spiral. Spears grabbed an umbrella and started swinging it at a car owned by a paparazzo. The attack was caught on camera, and Spears was silent on the topic for months.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2007 that Spears addressed the situation. “I apologize to the pap for a stunt that was done four months ago regarding an umbrella,” she said. “I was preparing my character for a role in a movie where the husband never plays his part so they switch places accidentally. I take all my roles very seriously and got a little carried away. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the part.”
For much of her career, Spears had been in conservatorship with her father having control over her estate. Once this was revealed to the public, there was an outcry that led to a trending hashtag, #FreeBritney. This sparked interest in revisiting the conservatorship, especially following the release of the documentary “Framing Britney Spears”.
2021 saw the big push to have this conservatorship removed It took several months and a lot of court appearances, but on November 21, Spears’s conservatorship came to an end. Shortly thereafter, Spears went back to releasing music, even teaming up with Elton John to record what would end up being a top-10 hit. While the conservatorship has been debated since then, it was a big moment for Spears.
It was hard to pick just one of her performances from the MTV Video Music Awards, so we’ll just include the back-to-back performances from 2000 and 2001. The first of the two featured Spears in her sparkling nude-colored outfit. During the performance, Spears belted out “Oops!…I Did It Again” followed by a cover of the Rolling Stones hit “Satisfaction”.
The next year, Spears was somehow able to kick it up a notch when she performed “I’m A Slave 4 U”. This time around, Spears brought out a live Burmese python. Spears said that she received a pep talk from Justin Timberlake prior to the performance when the two were dating, helping to relieve some of the nerves she was feeling prior to taking the stage.
In 2004, Spears had a whirlwind year when it came to her love life. Early in the year, she married Jason Alexander (not the one from “Seinfeld”), but the marriage lasted for just 55 hours. Just a few months later, Spears got married to Kevin Federline, and it was the start of people really starting to wonder about Spears’s personal life.
Things really got interesting in 2005 with the release of the reality television show “Britney and Kevin: Chaotic”, which premiered on May 17, 2005. Spears seemed to be erratic throughout the show and left people with a lot of questions. Several years after it happened, Spears looked back at it in a bad light. “I would never do something like that again,” she said. “Actually, that was really bad. That was probably the worst thing I’ve done in my career.”