On Sunday 11th July it was announced that Britney’s single “Everytime” had actually moved UP the UK charts after 4 weeks in the top 3. And that her album “In The Zone” had reached its highest ever position in the UK charts 8 months after release.
These two facts are among the indications now emerging that Britney’s music is at last achieving credibility with the British public.
These gains in position have not been achieved because of purchasing by her existing fan base – they would have bought both the single and the album long ago.
And they are not the result (as some Popdirt posters seem to think) of some strange magical trick by which people besotted by airbrushed pictures of “beautiful Britney” are hoodwinked into thinking that because she’s glamorous her music must be good.
In fact, the UK tabloids carried, almost every day for a month, pictures taken of Britney on her balcony the day after she came out of hospital. She looked pale, tired, spotty, disheveled, depressed and unwell, and boy, did the tabloids let everyone know about it. No one could have looked less glamorous.
And it’s not because of media hype. She hasn’t appeared live on UK terrestrial television for at least 6 months, there have been no special programs about her, and even when she scored her second consecutive No.1 with “Everytime” it was ignored by most of the UK pop music programs because the video was considered too harrowing.
The main TV companies BBC and ITV keep “bigging up” such stars as Kylie Minogue and Beyonce, showing repeated repeats of their concerts from 2003, while their actual sales performances are falling steadily. But not a word about Britney.
No, people are not buying her music because of hype or because of perceptions of her glamour. It’s because they have heard the brilliant singles “Me Against the Music”, “Toxic” and “Everytime”. And it’s because of brilliant “word of mouth” reports about the quality of “In The Zone” .
People who once thought of Britney as a 17-year-old poppet and probable one-hit-wonder have at last realized that Britney has grown up, is not “all image” but startlingly real, and is now making some of the best, most varied and most innovative pop music around today.
In the UK singles chart she has vanquished all the media darlings like Jessica Simpson, Kylie, Brandy, McFly, Razorlight, Will Young, Girls Aloud, George Michael, Shaznay Lewis…..even Elvis. While the media were looking the wrong way, Britney has settled firmly on her throne as Princess of Pop.
She is gaining support from other artists every day – in the last few months stars as diverse as Dido, Joss Stone, Alicia Keys, JoJo, Geri Halliwell and Emma Bunton have all given their compliments to Britney.
In a famous debate on ITV’s CDUK, when veteran pop svengali Louis Walsh tried to maintain that Britney hadn’t a very good voice he was shouted down by an angry audience and taken to task by new rap star Jentina and by Lee from Blue who both maintained that she had in fact a very good voice.
A few weeks ago, UK tabloid The Sun was claiming that Britney’s “star was fading fast”. How wrong could they be? It’s now shining more brightly than ever.