The Princess of Pop




I always wanted to be a singer, it’s what I wanted to do since I was little. I’m doing it now and I couldn’t be happier.” –Britney Spears


Britney Jean Spears, lahir pada tanggal 2 Desember 1981 di Mississippi, Amerika Serikat, adalah seorang penyanyi solo pop yang mendunia. Sebagai penyanyi wanita yang sempat mendominasi industri musik dunia pada awal tahun 2000-an ini, Britney mendapat julukan sebagai ‘the Princess of pop’, yang melambangkan penguasa dalam generasi tersebut setelah generasi sebelumnya dikuasai oleh Madonna sebagai ‘the Queen of Pop’. Hingga kini, Britney telah menjual lebih dari 100 juta kopi album di seluruh dunia. Ia juga merupakan the best-selling female artist of the first decade of the 21st century. Britney menduduki posisi delapan dalam daftar Artist of the 2000s milik Billboard.
Britney Spears tumbuh besar di Kentwood, Lousiana, Amerika Serikat. Ia telah menunjukkan minat dan bakatnya terhadap musik sejak kecil, terutama ia suka sekali menari dan menyanyi. Pada tahun 1990 ia bergabung dengan The Mickey Mouse Club, yang merupakan gerbang awal baginya untuk merintis karir di industri hiburan. Setelah sebelumnya sempat ditolak oleh tiga label rekaman, Britney akhirnya berhasil mendapatkan kontrak dengan Jive Records pada tahun 1997. Sepanjang tahun 1998 dihabiskan Britney untuk mengerjakan materi album debutnya bersama para produsernya, Max Martin, Denniz Pop dan Rami Yacoub.


Bergabung dengan industri musik yang tengah didominasi oleh grup-grup boyband dan girlband bukanlah sesuatu yang mudah. Namun Britney Spears berhasil melakukannya. Ia mendobrak dominasi tersebut. Pada bulan Januari 1999, album debut Britney, “…Baby One More Time”, dirilis ke pasaran. This album was a huge success. It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was certified two-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America after a month. Worldwide, the album topped the charts in fifteen countries and sold over ten million copies in a year. It became the biggest selling album ever by a teenage artist. Single pertamanya adalah title track dari album ini. The single sold 500.000 copies on its first day, and peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, topping the chart for two consecutive weeks. “...Baby One More Time” later received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The title track also topped the singles chart for two weeks in the United Kingdom, and became the fastest-selling single ever by a female artist, shipping over 460.000 copies. It would later become the 25th most successful song of all time in British chart history. Britney is also the youngest female artist to have a million sellers in the country.


Album kedua Britney Spears, “Oops!... I Did It Again” dirilis pada bulan Mei 2000. Again, this album was a huge success. It debuted at number one in the US, selling 1,3 million copies, breaking the SoundScan record for the highest debut sales by any solo artist. The album sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The album’s lead single, “Oops!... I Did It Again”, peaked at the top of the charts in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and many other European nations. The album as well as the title track received Grammy nominations for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, respectively. Pada tahun yang sama, Britney menggelar tur konser dunianya yang pertama yang menghasilkan 40,5 juta USD.


Pada bulan November 2001, Britney Spears merilis album ketiganya yang bertajuk “Britney”, dengan lead single kontroversial, “I’m A Slave 4 U”. But, again and again, this album was a huge success. It debuted at number one in the Billboard 200 and reached top five positions in Australia, the United Kingdom and mainland Europe and sold over 12 million copies worldwide. The album was honored with two Grammy nominations, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the song “Overprotected”, and was listed in 2008 as one of Entertainment Weekly’s “100 Best Albums from the Past 25 Years”. Untuk melengkapi promosi album ini ia menggelar tur konser dan berhasil meraup 43,7 juta USD. Her career success was highlighted by Forbes in 2002, as Britney was ranked the world’s most powerful celebrity.


Britney Spears merilis album keempatnya, “In the Zone” pada bulan November 2003. The album produced the hit singles such as “Me Against the Music” (which is also its lead single, is a collaboration with Madonna), “Toxic” (which won Britney her first and only Grammy for Best Dance Recording), “Everytime” and “Outrageous”. Still as ever, this album was a huge success. The album listed as one of “The 50 Most Important Recording of the Decade”. “In the Zone” sold over 609.000 copies in the United States and debuted at the top of the charts, making Britney the first female artist in the SoundScan era to have her first four studio albums to debut at number one. It also debuted at the top of the charts in France and the top ten in Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. “In the Zone” sold over 10 million copies worldwide.


Semakin tinggi pohon menjulang, maka akan semakin kuat pula angin yang meniupnya. Berbagai kontroversi, konflik dan skandal memenuhi kehidupan seorang Britney Spears. Mulai dari perubahan image-nya dari gadis remaja yang polos dan lugu menjadi wanita dewasa yang liar dan nakal, persaingannya dengan penyanyi Christina Aguilera, hubungan percintaannya yang kandas dengan Justin Timberlake, pernikahannya yang hanya 55 jam dengan Jason Allen Alexander, hingga pernikahan kontroversialnya dengan seorang penari latar bernama Kevin Federline. Setelah menikah dengan Federline pada bulan Oktober 2004, Britney mengumumkan bahwa ia akan mengambil rehat sejenak dari dunia hiburan untuk fokus pada keluarganya. Sebagai bentuk farewell, Britney merilis album “Greatest Hits: My Prerogative” pada bulan November 2004.


Di tengah segala kontroversi yang menimpa dirinya, rupanya pesona Britney Spears masih menancap dalam di benak para penggemarnya. Album kompilasi pertamanya ini juga sukses besar di pasaran. Worldwide, “Greatest Hits: My Prerogative” sold over 5 million copies. Setelah melahirkan putra pertamanya, Sean Preston Federline, pada 14 September 2005, Britney kembali merilis album kompilasi. Kali ini adalah album kompilasi dari remix lagu-lagunya yang bertajuk “B in the Mix: The Remixes”, yang dirilis pada bulan November 2005. The album has sold over 1 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best selling remix albums of all time. Unfortunately, setelah melahirkan putra keduanya, Jayden James Federline, pada tanggal 12 September 2006, Britney justru bercerai dengan suaminya, Kevin Federline, dua bulan kemudian.

Tidak ada gading yang tak retak. Begitu pula dengan seorang Britney Spears. Dengan segala kesuksesan dan popularitas tinggi mendunia yang telah ia peroleh, Britney tidak lantas terlepas dari berbagai kesulitan yang membelenggunya. Ia sempat mengalami ketergantungan terhadap alkohol dan obat-obatan sehingga harus menjalani proses rehabilitasi. Britney juga sempat mengalami depresi hingga mencukur habis rambutnya sendiri menjadi botak. Kata orang, gangguan psikologis tersebut kerap terjadi pada public figure yang sudah terkenal sejak usia sangat muda. Karena hal ini terbukti tidak hanya terjadi pada Britney saja, melainkan juga sejumlah artis yang telah menuai kesuksesan dan popularitas sejak kecil, yaitu Macaulay Culkin dan Lindsay Lohan. Ini terjadi karena begitu besarnya tekanan yang telah mereka dapatkan sejak usia muda yang sangat rentan. Namun pada akhirnya Britney membuktikan bahwa ia sanggup bangkit dari keterpurukannya dan mencoba menghindar untuk terjatuh di lubang yang sama. Pada tahun 2007, Britney merilis album kelimanya, “Blackout”. The princess has finally back on track.

Onstage I’m the happiest person in the world.” –Britney Spears


I would like to be called an inspiration to people, not a role model, because I make mistakes like everybody else. When I’m offstage, I’m just like everybody else.” –Britney Spears

Sepanjang karirnya di industri hiburan dunia, Britney Spears telah mengalami pasang surut dan jatuh bangun. Berkali-kali ia dihempaskan, berkali-kali pula ia bangkit kembali. Setelah segala persoalan yang membelitnya seputar rumah tangga dan kehidupan pribadinya akibat tekanan psikologis yang ia hadapi, akhirnya Britney melakukan comeback di dunia musik setelah hiatus selama tiga tahun. Album kelima Britney, “Blackout”, dirilis pada bulan Oktober 2007. It debuted at the top of charts in Canada and Ireland, number two in the U.S. Billboard 200, France, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom and the top ten in Australia, Korea, New Zealand and many European nations. In the United States, Britney became the only female artist to have her first five studio albums debut at the two top slots of the chart.


Britney has proved that she still has her charisma as ‘the Princess of Pop’. “Blackout” sold over 3,1 million copies worldwide. This album won Album of the Year at MTV Europe Music Awards 2008 and was listed as the fifth Best Pop Album of the Decade by The Times. Album ini menelurkan tiga buah single yang masing-masing juga menuai sukses di pasaran, yaitu “Gimme More”, “Piece of Me”, dan “Break the Ice”. “Gimme More” rocketed to worldwide success, peaking at number one in Canada and the top ten in almost every country it charted. The second single “Piece of Me” reached the top of the charts in Ireland and reached the top five in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The third single “Break the Ice” was released the following year and had moderate success. Perceraian Britney Spears dengan Kevin Federline rupanya menyisakan beberapa masalah. Termasuk masalah hak asuh anak dan pembagian harta gono-gini. Di tengah kekisruhannya dengan mantan suaminya tersebut, ditambah lagi dengan masalah kesehatan yang membuatnya harus keluar masuk rumah sakit, Britney tetap menuai prestasi di dunia musik. On September 7, 2008, she won Best Female Video, Best Pop Video and Video of the Year for “Piece of Me” on the MTV Video Music Awards.


Pada bulan Desember 2008, Britney Spears merilis album keenamnya yang diberi judul “Circus”. This album debuted at number one in Canada, Czech Republic and the United States, and inside the top in many European nations. In the United States, Britney became the youngest female artist to have five albums debut at number one, earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. She also became the only act in the Soundscan era to have four albums debut with 500.000 or more copies sold. “Circus” became one of the fastest-selling albums of the year, and has sold 4 million copies worldwide. Its lead single, “Womanizer”, became her first number one in the Billboard Hot 100 since “...Baby One More Time” and topped the charts in countries such as Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway and Sweden. Menyusul kesuksesan albumnya, Britney mengadakan tur konser bertajuk The Circus Starring Britney Spears, yang menghasilkan pemasukan sebesar 131,8 juta USD. Britney Spears mengeluarkan album kompilasi keduanya, “The Singles Collection” pada bulan November 2009. Single terbaru yang merupakan andalan dari album ini, “3”, became her third number one single in the US, and was the first song to debut at the top of the charts in three years.


“Femme Fatale”, album ketujuh Britney Spears, dirilis ke pasaran pada bulan Maret 2011 lalu. The lead single, “Hold It Against Me”, debuted at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100. This gave Britney her fourth number-one single on the chart, and made her only the second artist in history to have two consecutive singles debut at number-one, after Mariah Carey. The album peaked at number one in the US with selling 276.000 copies in its first week, Canada, and Australia, and peaked inside the top ten on nearly every other chart. As of March 9, 2012, “Femme Fatale” has sold 883,000 copies in the US and 2,2 million worldwide and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. On early May, the second single “Till The World Ends”, reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and had ninety-eight million audience impressions on the Billboard chart, granting Britney the highest weekly audience of her 13-year chart career.
The third single “I Wanna Go” reached the top forty on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 2011. Ini menandai rekor perolehan Britney dalam daftar tangga lagu top 40. Among females in the last thirteen years, Britney now has the third-most top forty hits, with twenty-one. In August, the single managed to reach the top-ten on the Billboard Hot 100, which is the first time for Britney to have three songs from one album in the top-ten. On the week ending September 24, 2011, “I Wanna Go” moved 2–1 on the mainstream top 40, becoming her sixth number-one on that chart and her first number-one and third top-ten pop song for “Femme Fatale”. Britney now has the longest span of number ones on the mainstream top 40, with a length of twelve years, seven months, and four days. Later that month, due to her continued popularity, Britney became the seventh artist to gain one billion cumulative views on her Vevo account. Rolling Stone Magazine named “Till the World Ends” one of the best songs of 2011.


Saat ini, Britney Spears sudah dapat dikatakan sebagai legenda. Berbagai acara tribut diselenggarakan untuknya, bahkan ketika ia masih hidup dan terus berkarir hingga sekarang. During the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2011, MTV played tribute to Britney with a group of young female dancers that memorialized Britney’s music videos, performances, and style. Following which, Britney accepted the MTV Video Vanguard Award from Lady Gaga, who said that “industry wouldn’t be the same without her”. Sebuah program serial drama musikal Amerika, “Glee”, pernah membuat satu episode khusus yang dengan tema Britney yang dipersembahkan untuknya pada tanggal 28 September 2010. Episode tersebut berjudul “Britney/Brittany”. Britney muncul sebagai cameo dalam episode tersebut dan membuat episode itu menjadi episode dengan rating tertinggi selama penayangan “Glee” saat itu.
The Observer menyatakan: “Spears is famously one of the ‘oldest’ teenagers pop has ever produced, almost middle aged in terms of focus and determination. Many 19-year-olds haven’t even started working by that age, whereas Britney, a former Mouseketeer, was that most unusual and volatile of American phenomena — a child with a full-time career. While other little girls were putting posters on their walls, Britney wanted to be the poster on the wall. Whereas other children develop at their own pace, Britney was developing at a pace set by the ferociously competitive American entertainment industry”. Saat ini, Britney menjadi juri dalam sebuah ajang pencarian bakat terkemuka bernama “The X Factor”, bersama Simon Cowell. Musik adalah jiwa bagi Britney. Selama ia masih dapat berkarya, ia akan terus berkarya. Selama ia memiliki kesempatan untuk hidup bersama musik, ia akan terus hidup bersama musik. Will the Princess becomes a Queen someday? Or she will be remaining in people’s mind as a Princess always, ever after? Apapun, Britney adalah legenda dalam dunia musik. Long live, Brit!


I don't like defining myself. I just am.” –Britney Spears

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