- Britney Spears has been in the limelight for over 20 years, but fans might not know these fun facts.
- Her career-launching debut song “Baby One More Time” was originally intended for another artist.
- She’s been dancing and singing since she was a kid, and she won her first talent show at 6.
In 1999, she told Variety that she traveled an hour to take dance lessons as a kid and studied at the Off-Broadway Dance Center in New York City — which helped prepare her for touring the globe as a teen idol.
In recent years, she’s shown off her gymnastic skills both onstage and on social media, posting Instagram videos of her intense workouts and gravity-defying routines.
She went on to win her first talent show when she was 6.
“I found out what I’m supposed to do at an early age,” she told the publication.
But she was originally rejected from the show because she was too young.
She was 8 years old at her first audition, so the casting directors told her to continue studying acting, singing, and dancing. She eventually made her triumphant return to the teen variety show in 1993.
In the time between, she starred in TV commercials, appeared on “Star Search,” and studied at New York’s Professional Performing Arts School for three summers, according to her 1999 interview with Rolling Stone.
In 2014, the show’s writer and lyricist, Joel Paley, told The New York Post about meeting Spears, who stepped in as understudy for Laura Bell Bundy.
“We thought, ‘We’re never going to find another [girl] — we’re really screwed,'” Paley said. “And that’s when we found Britney Spears.”
The 10-year-old had “singing, dancing, acting, [plus] confidence and a great mom,” and stayed on for eight months before actress Natalie Portman stepped in as the understudy.
The two formed a close friendship in later years, even co-hosting a New Year’s Eve party in 2002. And in 2013, Spears told a fan on Twitter that she’d want Portman to play her in the movie version of her life.
The first audition tape that landed her a deal with Jive Records was a performance of “I Have Nothing” by Houston, and she told Variety in 2018 that she “really admired” both her and Jackson.
But pop music wasn’t her initial direction — in fact, she told Rolling Stone in 1999 that she envisioned herself singing “Sheryl Crow music, but younger — more adult contemporary.”
Ultimately, her label decided it would be better to go more pop.
“It made more sense to go pop, because I can dance to it — it’s more me,” she said.
According to The New York Times, the Orlando-based group was meant to be “an American version of the Spice Girls,” but Spears had big solo aspirations and left to carve out her own career.
“I’m really happy with what I’m doing right now, but four years from now, I definitely want to have a family and children and settle down,” she told Variety in 1999.
She had her first child, Sean Preston Federline, at 23.
According to The Guardian, the original working title for the film was “Not a Girl,” inspired by the singer’s ballad “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” which appeared in the film and on her third album, “Britney.”
“Crossroads” was written by Shonda Rhimes — who went on to become one of the biggest showrunners in TV history, creating hit series such as ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away With Murder.”
Spears also paid homage to the film in her 2011 music video for “I Wanna Go,” in which a film marquee advertising “Crossroads 2: Cross Harder” can be seen in the background.
In 2014, after Saldana praised Spears and her acting abilities in an interview with Andy Cohen, the singer tweeted a GIF from the film, thanking the actress for the kind words and adding, “Truly the sweetest … Nothing but great memories of working w u. Crossroads pt 2?”
According to Entertainment Weekly, the star landed a development deal with the studio behind “Dawson’s Creek.” She was also offered small roles on teen shows like “Freaks and Geeks” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” But her popularity never materialized into a TV career.
In a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, she also said that producers came calling for a role in “Grease 3.”
“Britney and Kevin: Chaotic” was short-lived, but the pop icon doesn’t seem to have fond memories of the UPN docuseries.
“I would never do something like that again,” she told The Telegraph in 2013. “Actually, that was really bad. That was probably the worst thing I’ve done in my career.”
However, Spears was knocked from her reality-TV throne in 2018, when Katy Perry earned a reported $US25 ($AU35)-million salary on ABC’s “American Idol.”
She told Rolling Stone in 1999 that director Joseph Khan had an animated vision for the video.
“They had this really bizarre video idea, this animated Power Ranger-y thing. I said, ‘This is not right. If you want me to reach 4-year-olds, then OK, but if you want me to reach my age group …'”
She continued, “So I had this idea where we’re in school and bored out of our minds, and we have Catholic uniforms on. And I said, ‘Why don’t we have knee-highs and tie the shirts up to give it a little attitude?’ — so it wouldn’t be boring and cheesy.”
“I want to be dancing on Mars … I want to be in a red jumpsuit. I want to have a really cute spaceman, but there can’t be any rockets,'” she said.
Of the red catsuit, director Nigel Dick told MTV, “There was another catsuit, actually, which was fantastic, which I loved, and the night before, I was told that Britney hired this guy that worked with Michael Jackson. And so we’re going to use that [red] catsuit. So that’s the catsuit.”
According to People magazine, she’d been “quite friendly” with the young royal in the early 2000s.
Per People, in a 2002 interview on “The Frank Skinner Show,” Spears told the host, “Yeah, it was just like, all blown out of proportion — we exchanged emails for a little bit, and he was supposed to come and see me somewhere, but it didn’t work out.”
A Revlon rep told InStyle magazine in 2018 that her fragrant concoctions have made more than $US1 ($AU1) billion in sales.
In 2017, a fan asked McKee about the song on Twitter, and she replied by writing, “The inspiration for [Britney Spears]’s song ‘Hold it Against Me’ was [Katy Perry]’s babely bod. True story.”
According to BuzzFeed, during the interview, she played a snippet from a new song, “Mona Lisa,” but it was never released, and the album never materialized.