For months now the Vegas valley has been a buzz with Britney Spears‘ long awaited residency at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Her show entitled “Britney: Piece of Me“, is finally slated to open up on Friday, December 27, 2013. The pop princess and Las Vegas have a had a long standing relationship, full of ups and downs, but now she’s here to stay. Well, for a 2 year contract at least. My relationship with Britney is however, forever. A true fan from the beginning, I’ve felt like I’ve grown with Britney, as have many others. “Piece of Me” is really an apt title for this residency – we all feel connected to a tiny piece of Britney and she’s given us such an array of pop culture moments that are deep in the collective consciousness. It was no easy task, but I, with help from the LucyVegas.com staff, have composed the Top 13 Britney Spears Moments in honor of her new performance home!
13. TEARS ON PRIME TIME WITH DIANE SAWYER This moment gets the last spot because, DUH, she’s crying. Its not a pleasant sight to say the least, but it was a polarizing moment for Britney in 2003. Diane Sawyer probed at her recent breakup with Justin Timberlake, agonized over bad publicity stemming from some unsavvy moments with fans abroad and much more. Reflecting on her rough year unexpectedly brought Spears to tears (rhyme unintended). If you loved Spears you were moved; she is human and like the heady, overzealous pop fan you were, a maternal cloak cast itself over you and you immediately wanted to protect your pop royalty from the media savages. If you were not a fan or indifferent, a scoff of how the mighty had fallen was basically heard round the world and many an internet joke was born. Either way, it was somberly memorable.
12. QUICKIE WEDDING IN VEGAS Just when you think you had seen it all from Spears … Opps! She goes and surprises you again. Dressed in the most chic of baseball caps and torn jeans, Spears wed a childhood friend after a night of partying in Vegas in 2004. The gentlemen in question is named Jason Alexander and his moment in the spotlight lasted as long as their marriage, the quintessential 15 minutes. In all reality, the marriage was annulled within 55 hours making it the shortest celebrity marriage on record, thus making it quite the moment in Spears history. It marked what seems to be many notches on the post between Britney and Las Vegas.
11. MADONNA/XXXTINA VMAs KISS Whether you were Beyonce, happily clapping along in the audience or more like Justin Timberlake, skeptically gazing on, you saw the most televised three way female kiss in history and had a reaction to it. Madonna more or less bequeathed her pop legend onto Spears and Christina Aguilera with a very suggestive and symbolic kiss during their 2003 VMA mash-up performance of “Like a Virgin” and “Hollywood“. The kiss helped kick start America into being a little less uptight about seeing the same sex lock lips. It also cast Spears’ heir to the throne. One might argue what about Aguilera? But c’mon, its just being considerate recalling that XXXtina was even there, she might as well have been Missy Elliot. What, you don’t remember she was in this performance either?
10. CROSSROADS Haters, is that you? Well, pipe down because I’m not trying to hear you right now. Crossroads was Spears official transition from the pop realm to the film realm in 2002. It was highly criticized but it holds a special place in my heart. This movie had Spears’ beloved goofiness and a heartwarming tale of friendship and coming of age as a trio of girls travel cross country. The film stars Zoe Saldana of Star Trek, Taryn Manning of Orange is the New Black and Sons of Anarchy, Kim Catrall of Sex & the City, Dan Akroyd of general amazingness, Justin Long of his relationship with Drew Barrymore, and Kool Moe Dee for crying out loud. This movie gets a free pass on cast alone. Ok, yes she did a really terrible rendition of “I Love Rock n’Roll” for the film, but hey, so do you at karaoke – let’s consider us even. But, don’t make me remind you of the films’ title track “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman” and the video to follow with Spears’ midriff baring outfits, and it’s beautiful setting in the Grand Canyon, and moving message, and her midriff, her abs, THOSE ABS, did I mention abs? Honestly, I can’t believe its taken me this long to mention them in the first place. Forgive me, Godney, for I have sinned.
9. MGM ELVIS POSTER “Have you ever had a dream that felt so real, you couldn’t tell the difference between the real world and the dream world?” That was the opening line to Spears’ 2001/2002 “Dream Within a Dream” tour. And being able to drive down the Las Vegas strip and see Spears, larger than life splashed across the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, dressed as the ultimate Vegas icon, Elvis, when I was a 14 year old girl was pretty much like a dream. I could go on about the unusually similar dichotomies the King and Spears share with their respective good girl/boy and bad boy/girl images, but instead I will just tell you that I was present for the taping of HBO special: Britney Spears: Live from Las Vegas featuring the “Dream Within a Dream” tour that this poster advertised, and it was AWESOME. Pop dreams within pop dreams and then some.
8. PARIS HILTON/ LINDSAY LOHAN/ BRITNEY SANDWICH Back in 2006 a very strange trifecta was born. That trifecta consisted of three tabloid fixtures – Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Miss Spears herself. What brought on this bizarre ménage à trois, what conspired during it, and what dissolved it will remain a mystery to the public eye, but it was more or less the girly gathering calm before the storm. A storm that later consisted of Hilton fading from the spotlight, Lohan surfing the peaks and valleys of addiction and a dwindling career, and lastly it may have played some part in the catalyst of Spears’ much publicized meltdown. Regardless, this friendship is a compelling one, however brief it was.
7. CHEETOS/ FANTA/ STARBUCKS Oh Britney, have we told you lately that we loved you? Because we do. A large part of that has to do with Spears being a down south homestyle girl, one that loves her snacks. I love my snacks, and I’m sure you love your snacks. So, when miss abs USA started to become synonymous with Cheetos, Fanta, and Starbucks frappachinos as she was photographed with one of, if not all three, on a daily basis, I think we all shared a collective sigh of relief. The abs snacks; unhealthily at that. This also brought on a period of time in which Spears appeared to have a wardrobe that consisted solely of daisy dukes, truckers hats, and Ugg boots. You can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl. Gotta love her.
6. ROLLING STONE 1999 COVER Britney Spears has been on a total of 8 Rolling Stone covers. No small feat for any musician. However, I’d have to say her first cover in 1999 takes the proverbial cake. Spears was photographed by famed fashion photog, David LaChapelle, in her lingerie, holding a telly tubby doll and a telephone on which she seemed to be beginning the conversation, “Hello, America? Are you there? It’s me, media scandal and titillation”. The tagline read “Inside the Heart, Mind, and Bedroom of a Teen Dream”, and so the coyness continues. This image is so idyllic as it is a blatant representation of Spears’ constant cat and mouse game of juxtapositioning her innocence and sexuality within her image branding. And abs. There were also abs. Abs forever.
5. MATCHING CANADIAN TUXEDOS WITH JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE The 2001 American Music Awards were a simpler time. A time when J dawg and BritBrit were still an item, a time when the two called each other “Stinky” and “Pinky” affectionately (true pop fans holla if you hear me on that little known fact), a time that is so nicely summed up in an image of the anointed prince and princess of pop venturing out in public dressed in disastrous matching Canadian tuxedos. The fashion faux pas just warms the cackles of my heart. It also makes me think that if you love each other enough to wear those monstrosities together you will probably get back together, right? RIGHT?!
4. TOXIC VIDEO The Toxic video is a pivotal moment in time for Spears. It is post Timberlake breakup scandal, post lady kiss VMA scandal, but it is however prefixing to her marriage to Kevin Federline and the media whirlwind that followed, as well as her 2007 meltdown. There’s something wonderfully defiant about this video. The storyline, which she concocted herself, of Spears disguised as various femme fatales that plot to poison her unfaithful lover is so playful and sexy, and pretty much Spears in a nutshell. Some may say it was the last time we really saw Spears in her true form. Her next video was for Everytime, and while decidedly more genuine and tragic and beautiful, signified a turn in Spears’ career, one not necessarily for the better. On a brighter note, the image of Spears writhing around in that sparkly number that held all the implied nudity the world could muster, is yet another nail in the coffin cementing Spears as a sex symbol. Its simply iconic.
3. VMAs I’M A SLAVE 4 U PERFORMANCE I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain much about this. Britney and her abs and a snake named Banana danced to “I’m a Slave 4 U” at the 2001 VMAs. It was basically in this moment that Spears earned her crown as one of the most enthralling live performers in pop and we all learned that she and the VMAs worked essentially as peanut butter and jelly with one another. No offense, but Miley, this you will never be. There is a distinct line between playfully salacious suggestion and chaotic vulgarity. Spears is the chieftain of the former, as seen with this performance, and basically her entire career. Additionally, I will take out a personal vendetta should anyone ever compare that foam finger to Banana.
2. BABY ONE MORE TIME VIDEO This is another no brainer, and a if you have to ask you’ll never know type situation. The tip tap of Spears’ stacked loafers as she impatiently waits for the bell to ring, the pig tails, the school girl uniform, and more combinations of sports bras and track pants than any girl really needs are all emblematic of the ushering in of the pop era of a generation. This is classic; this was our introduction to Spears so if you have to ask why this moment is listed, there is the door, see your way out. Also, abs.
1. 2007 MELTDOWN You might wonder why Spears’ over publicized meltdown tops our list. Its simply a cautionary tale for the ages. Spears has been held on a pedestal for most of her life, not that she didn’t earn it, but it dehumanized her to a harsh and unyielding public – fans and critics alike – that either expected too much or judged too sternly. Its been speculated that nearly every aspect of her life has been controlled in some manner in her rise to fame and also that Spears suffers from mental illness. For her to crack under those elements of pressure is not only understandable, but somewhat predictable. Its as though the world baited a caged animal to not attack. And if a pop culture icon can open up discussions about mental illness into a forum where the subject is usually spurned then I am all for it, even if she is not actually participating. The winning element of this moment in time is that Spears has risen above it and is still serving up pop hits one after another and is now gracing Las Vegas with her presence. If Britney Spears can make it past shaving her golden locks and surprise umbrella attacks in 2007, she can make it past anything. She’s still got it and we can’t wait to see what’s next.
Agree or disagree with our picks for Britney’s top moments? Can’t wait to see her show? Can’t wait to see it go? Let us know in a comment!