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Billboard: Greatest Pop Star By Year: 1999 - Britney Spears


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Britney Spears' debut single "...Baby One More Time" hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 the week of Jan. 30, 1999, kicking off a year that radically transformed modern pop. "Baby" spent a mere two weeks on top, and Spears didn't come close to replicating its chart success within that year: "Sometimes," her second single, topped out at No. 21, while "(You Drive Me) Crazy" wound up peaking at No. 10. While certainly respectable, these chart positions in no way reflect how thoroughly Britney Spears dominated the pop culture of 1999. 

In a way, Britney Spears's rise is analogous to the other pop phenomenons of the 1990s, trends that were incubated in the underground only to explode in the mainstream. Noisy, dangerous and defiant, alternative rock and hip-hop's ascendency dominated the decade, obscuring how a commercial counter-culture developed in their shadow. Where grunge and rap were to some extent grassroots movements, the teen-pop revolution was cannily constructed by the industry. Anchored on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, this unabashedly pop movement picked up where New Kids on the Block and New Edition left off, updating bubblegum with new jack rhythms and corporate pizzazz. Spears cut her teeth here as part of the '90s incarnation of The Mickey Mouse Club, a place where she learned how to sing, dance and be a star.

The latter is an essential element of Britney's stardom in 1999. Her fellow MMC alum Christina Aguilera actually performed better on the Billboard charts than Spears, racking up three No. 1 hits from her eponymous 1999 debut -- but her success was overshadowed by Britney. Much of that was due to the sun-blocking enormity of “Baby”: The atomic midtempo anthem quickly proved pivotal for turn-of-the-millennium pop, with its hip-hop and R&B influences officially turning the page on the Eurodance-based top 40 of the earlier decade. It quickly cemented writer/co-producer Max Martin as the defining sonic architect of the moment, and became one of the most iconic songs of the turn of the millennium, spawning countless imitators in its wake.

A large part of Spears’ rise was also due to her savvy manipulation of imagery -- a gift showcased in the teasing music video for "Baby," which featured Britney slinking through high school hallways dressed as a schoolgirl. The video caught fire on MTV thanks in no small part to Total Request Live, with the clips for subsequent singles “Sometimes” and “(You Drive Me) Crazy” following it to regular play near the countdown’s top. Britney's popularity is inextricably tied to the TRL era: Neither would've been as big a sensation without the other.

Like all great pop stars, separating the image from the music was impossible with Britney Spears. Magazine photoshoots leaned into her provocative sexiness -- her 1999 cover for Rolling Stone found her dressed in hot pants and cuddling a Teletubby -- but she spent as much time working wholesome ground. Learning her Disney channel lessons well, Spears threw herself into the industry machine, appearing regularly on television and at mall events. Even "(You Drive Me) Crazy" received a boost from its appearance in the teen comedy Drive Me Crazy, the synergy suggesting how Spears was part of a smooth-running machine.

All of these avenues had been around for decades, but in 1999, the clean efficiency of Britney Spears' cross-platform pollination felt revolutionary. ...Baby One More Time was the organizing force behind a series of multi-media events that sold Britney's stardom as much as the music itself, an idea that flourished in the social media-saturated 21st Century.

 

Honorable Mention: Backstreet Boys (Millennium, "I Want It That Way," "Larger Than Life”); TLC (FanMail, "No Scrubs," "Unpretty"); Ricky Martin (Ricky Martin, "Livin' La Vida Loca," "She's All I Ever Had”)

Rookie of the Year: Eminem

Comeback of the Year: Cher

Source: Billboard

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Of course Britney had to be artist of the year! She shaped pop culture and helped in revival of teen pop! Artist of the year was awarded to Christina..Which in my opinion should have went to Britney.Christina had that voice but Britney had that influence..And what all Britney did Christina just followed in her footsteps..Christina releasing Teen bop genie in a bottle after baby one more time..Christina’s dirtty image after Britney’s I’m a slave 4 U so yeah...Christina is vocally far more better than Britney but Britney has that impact and influence that is totally unmatched!

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She was also mentioned in

  • 2000 Honorable Mention: Britney Spears (Oops!… I Did It Again, “Oops!... I Did It Again,” "Lucky"); Eminem (The Marshall Mathers LP, "The Real Slim Shady," Dr. Dre’s “Forgot About Dre’); Christina Aguilera (“What a Girl Wants,” "I Turn to You," "Come On Over Baby (All I Want is You)”) 

And briefly in the paragraphs of 2011 as being in the radio.

Surprisingly (or not really) none of her other albums are mentioned, not even in the Honorable mention, or best comeback in either 2007 or 2008. :icant2:

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10 minutes ago, Roxxy said:

This is just further validation that she should have won Best New Artist at the Grammys the following year. :mattafact:

 

5 minutes ago, puresin_rg said:

Of course Britney had to be artist of the year! She shaped pop culture and helped in revival of teen pop! Artist of the year was awarded to Christina..Which in my opinion should have went to Britney.Christina had that voice but Britney had that influence..And what all Britney did Christina just followed in her footsteps..Christina releasing Teen bop genie in a bottle after baby one more time..Christina’s dirtty image after Britney’s I’m a slave 4 U so yeah...Christina is vocally far more better than Britney but Britney has that impact and influence that is totally unmatched!

It also kinda proves how irrelevant #1's really are. Or not irrelevant, but just not a true reflection of popularity or quality.

Despite Christina having 3 #1's, none of them were as popular as Britney's songs. And it happens even with Britney's own songs, HIAM or 3 are far from being her most iconic songs, when songs like Toxic or Oops didn't reach the top position. Sadly, for the media, or people's collective memory (those that pay attention to charts anyways) the #1's are the only thing that pass to history books, independently of actual quantities or the overall popularity, and that's how they measure how important or relevant an artist was. 

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@PokemonSpears

Speaking of #1s being irrelevant. I went through the entire list and i'll read them all later on. But, I thought Destiny's Child would be 2000 or 2001 (or both, after previously seeing Janet get two years) because I was surprised that 1999 went to Britney. And cause I know DC was Billboard's Top Artist of the Year for 2000 and 2001. And yet, it was J.Lo for 2001. I can take *NSYNC for 2000 because they outsold Oops!, but Jenny? I have the J.Lo album and I know very well its commercial performance as well as it's impact and impactwise, it's not even close to bigger successes that year like DC's Survivor and Janet's All For You. Not to mention *NSYNC's Celebrity and our very own Britney album. The only impactful thing for Jenny in 2001 is her iconic Grammys dress and no matter how iconic that is, that it prompted Google to create Google images, it's still... just not enough. It should've been DC for 2001. UGH. But the rest of the list is very accurate. Absolutely no lies. Maybe when I read the 2001 I might change my mind - although I highly doubt it because i know my pop culture history. Oh well. :embarrassney:

Also, thank you for making this thread, Pokie. ❤

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21 minutes ago, ILikeChillinWithYou said:

FYI Britney was again mentioned twice under "2010: KATY PERRY" :tiffdrink:

QCerdDx.jpg

@rik:tiffdrink:

Yeah, she was also referenced in the Alicia Keys section in another year, but her music itself wasn't mentioned again as being relevant in any other year, that's what I meant. Only Oops and Lucky in 2000 and HIAM in 2011. 

 

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46 minutes ago, Roxxy said:

@PokemonSpears

Speaking of #1s being irrelevant. I went through the entire list and i'll read them all later on. But, I thought Destiny's Child would be 2000 or 2001 (or both, after previously seeing Janet get two years) because I was surprised that 1999 went to Britney. And cause I know DC was Billboard's Top Artist of the Year for 2000 and 2001. And yet, it was J.Lo for 2001. I can take *NSYNC for 2000 because they outsold Oops!, but Jenny? I have the J.Lo album and I know very well its commercial performance as well as it's impact and impactwise, it's not even close to bigger successes that year like DC's Survivor and Janet's All For You. Not to mention *NSYNC's Celebrity and our very own Britney album. The only impactful thing for Jenny in 2001 is her iconic Grammys dress and no matter how iconic that is, that it prompted Google to create Google images, it's still... just not enough. It should've been DC for 2001. UGH. But the rest of the list is very accurate. Absolutely no lies. Maybe when I read the 2001 I might change my mind - although I highly doubt it because i know my pop culture history. Oh well. :embarrassney:

Also, thank you for making this thread, Pokie. ❤

Yeah, Jennifer Lopez was kind of random, like they just wanted to give her a place on the list. 

Which is weird, 'cause Pink, for example, doesn't appear in any year, yet they explained on their section of people that were never the best of any year

Quote

 

P!nk

Resumé: A major star since her debut at the dawn of the 20th century, spending time as a rapper, a diva, a rocker, a pop star, an anti-pop star, and an adult contemporary fixture -- with the only consistent factor being her chart success, scoring 15 top 10 hits, including three No. 1s. 

Why never MVP? Perhaps because of her unfailing production and constant presence, P!nk has never quite seemed like the defining artist of any one specific period this century.

 

they also mentioned DC

Quote

Destiny's Child

Resumé: Rivaled only by TLC and Boyz II Men among the most successful R&B groups of the past 25 years, Destiny’s Child notched three multi-platinum albums and four Hot 100 No. 1s around the turn of the century -- and oh yeah, spun off maybe the greatest SOLO pop star of the 21st century.

Why never MVP? At the height of the TRL era, so many acts were putting up Barry Bonds numbers that a couple big sluggers couldn’t help but come up short.

 

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11 hours ago, PokemonSpears said:

Yeah, Jennifer Lopez was kind of random, like they just wanted to give her a place on the list. 

Which is weird, 'cause Pink, for example, doesn't appear in any year, yet they explained on their section of people that were never the best of any year

they also mentioned DC

Yeah I only read that one in full out of all the stuff. The Top 10 who weren't MVPs and I thought Xtina would be somewhere up top. And I got to #5 nope. #4 nope... #3, #2, and then #1... :spit: No Xtina LMAO.

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37 minutes ago, ILikeChillinWithYou said:

FYI Britney was again mentioned twice under "2010: KATY PERRY" :tiffdrink:

They did mention her later :tear:

Quote

Over the early 2010s, as a class of rising and returning stars was minted on radio, iTunes, and YouTube, pop’s arms race was accelerating to unsustainable levels of hype. Each major-label release was a self-proclaimed event, each expected to be bigger than the last. Something had to give, and in 2013, the dam broke -- over and over again. Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP, Katy Perry’s PRISM, Jay-Z’s Magna Carta... Holy Grail, Britney Spears’ Britney Jean, Justin Timberlake’s two-part The 20/20 Experience; each promised the world, and each fell short in different, fascinating, and exhausting ways.

But it's also worth noting that 1999 overall, was marked as the second best year

Quote

2. 1999

Why one of the Best? The TRL era went supernova, with Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys taking teen pop to a new level, and Eminem and the nu-metal explosion providing valuable counter-programming.

And don't Forget About: The Latin Pop explosion crashing U.S. shores, with Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony all becoming enormous Stateside stars. 

 

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2 minutes ago, PokemonSpears said:

But it's also worth noting that 1999 overall, was marked as the second best year

2. 1999

Why one of the Best? The TRL era went supernova, with Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys taking teen pop to a new level, and Eminem and the nu-metal explosion providing valuable counter-programming.

And don't Forget About: The Latin Pop explosion crashing U.S. shores, with Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony all becoming enormous Stateside stars. 

Was The Cup of Life 1999 or 1998? Cause I went crazy over that as a child. Like, full on - on the level of Baby. Like full on shaking my booty. :prettyney:

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1 hour ago, PokemonSpears said:

She was also mentioned in

  • 2000 Honorable Mention: Britney Spears (Oops!… I Did It Again, “Oops!... I Did It Again,” "Lucky"); Eminem (The Marshall Mathers LP, "The Real Slim Shady," Dr. Dre’s “Forgot About Dre’); Christina Aguilera (“What a Girl Wants,” "I Turn to You," "Come On Over Baby (All I Want is You)”) 

And briefly in the paragraphs of 2011 as being in the radio.

Surprisingly (or not really) none of her other albums are mentioned, not even in the Honorable mention, or best comeback in either 2007 or 2008. :icant2:

Honorable mention? Unacceptable she should’ve been listed from 1999-2003 :lessons:

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Just now, CrazyButItFeelsAllright said:

Honorable mention? Unacceptable she should’ve been listed from 1999-2003 :lessons:

You know what, yeah tea tbh. Haha! But in a perfect world, and on a global scale probably, that should be the case. But I think they were measuring US impact only. It's actually very acceptable the ones they crowned for 2000, 2002, and 2003. Just 2001 was sooo off, like, they just wanted more popstars to get their solo years unless they have no choice but to repeat a popstar like they did with Janet and Rihanna. 2001 should've went to DC. :mattafact:

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