By Tatum Koster | October 11, 2021
America’s favorite pop star, Birtney Spears, finally broke out of the 13-year long conservatorship with her father, James (Jamie) Spears. A conservatorship is usually put in place when someone is not capable of handling their finances or daily life tasks. One example can be a person who experiences the side effects of dementia.
Spears’ conservatorship started in 2008 when she was battling a mental health crisis. After multiple public incidents and two hospitalizations into a psychiatric ward, it was decided that the conservatorship was in Spears’ best interest to allow her to focus on her mental health while also keeping her sons safe. Years later, it was revealed that Jamie Spears was taking advantage of his role, dictating every aspect of the singer’s life, such as restricting how she can spend her money and who she can and cannot see or date.
Spears had spoken up numerous times explaining that she no longer wanted her father to control her life. She wanted to be free and needed our support because her efforts weren’t working. When the reality of the situation hit the media, #FreeBritney was popping up on every platform to spread the word that Spears needed our support.
Earlier this week, Britney posted on Instagram, saying, “#FreeBritney movement… I have no words… because of you guys and your constant resilience in freeing me from my conservatorship… my life is now in that direction.”
So why not celebrate Spears’ newfound freedom that took years of protests, court hearings, thousands of hashtags, and unwavering support with a recap of some of her top songs that fostered iconic memories for so many people?
According to Billboard, Spears’ hit the ground running in 1999 with her debut album “...Baby One More Time,” selling 10.6 million copies in the U.S. The album’s title song soared with its music video achieving a viewership of over 650 million on YouTube.
UAlbany Sophomore, Odaia Marte, recounts the song’s incorporation into the Nickelodeon movie “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf” in 2010. At the end of the movie credits, the cast takes turns singing along to the song behind the scenes, enforcing how widely popular and well known the song was.
In the following year, Spears released “Oops!... I Did It Again,” letting America know she was no one-hit-wonder and had plenty of fresh beats and flirtatious dance moves up her sleeve.
If you’ve ever played Just Dance 2, you’ve probably busted a move to Spear’s timeless classic, “Toxic.” The song hit the stage as part of her third studio album, “In the Zone,” in 2003, but “Toxic” rose to the top of the charts and played on almost every radio station across the country.
For UAlbany graduate Lara Thomas, Spears’ upbeat rhythm was an inspirational spark to get up and move. “When ‘Toxic’ came out, I remember me and my friends would get together and make up little dance routines for it,” said Thomas.
Jean Yoon, a sophomore at UAlbany, categorizes “Toxic” as the greatest Britney Spears song, saying it earned that honorable title because “When I was going through my awkward phase I watched ‘Glee’ a lot. Quinn Fabray, Britney Pierce, and Santana Lopez performed the song, and it really resonated with me. It made me feel loved.”
For Yoon, each time the lyrics, “I’m addicted to you, don’t you know that you’re toxic?” ring through her ears, the warm feeling she got when she first watched the “Glee” performance floods through once again.
Spears didn’t stop there, releasing another show-stopping album in 2008, which included “Womanizer,” “Circus,” and “If U Seek Amy.”
Womanizer’s promiscuous lyrics didn’t stop young girls from singing every word with their friends. Another UAlbany Junior, Kelly Castine, explains how she would sing and dance to the song with her cousin in her grandmother’s sunroom. “My mom got so mad because it’s such a bad song for a nine-year-old to sing,” said Castine.
Brianna Delgado, a long-time Spears fan and a senior on the UAlbany campus, shares a similar recollection. Although, she still considers “If U Seek Amy” one of her favorite Britney Spears songs. “‘If U Seek Amy was so not appropriate for seven-year-old me to be singing,” said Delgado.
These are just some of the many fond memories shared among those who grew up in the era of Britney Spears. To hear more, you can check out the Apple Music playlist, “Britney Spears Essentials,” or the Spotify Playlist, “This Is Britney Spears.”