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This Day in Pop: Britney Spears appears on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 1999 (April 15)


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On April 15, 1999, Britney Spears appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. In the picture shot by David LaChapelle (who would continue collaborating with Britney in future projects throughout her career) Britney appears lying in a bed covered with hot pink satin sheets, wearing some dotted pj shorts, her unbuttoned shirt revealing a black bra, a telephone in her left hand, and her right arm wrapped around a Tinky Winky doll from the Teletubbies. 

"Inside the Heart, Mind & Bedroom Of a Teen Dream" was the headline, surrounded by other stories about Cher, Bill Maher, Norm Macdonald, the Hole & Marilyn Manson tour and the lost tribes of the Amazon.

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Steven Daly starts the article talking about her "honeyed thigh" and the logo of her t-shirt "distended by her ample chest".

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Britney Spears extends a honeyed thigh across the length of the sofa, keeping one foot on the floor as she does so. Her blond-streaked hair is piled high,exposing two little diamond earrings on each ear lobe; her face is fully made-up, down to carefully applied lip liner. The BABY PHAT logo of Spears’ pink T-shirt is distended by her ample chest,and her silky white shorts — with dark blue piping — cling snugly to her hips. She ***** her head and smiles receptively.

But hold on. It’s not like that. You’re falling into the same trap as the lovelorn youths who call Spears’ local florist to send her long-stemmed roses and the randy fellows outside the MTV studios with prom invites scrawled on their chests. Admittedly, that trap is carefully baited by a debut video that shows the seventeen-year-old singer cavorting around like the naughtiest of schoolgirls. But, as Spears points out, nothing is actually revealed.

“All I did was tie up my shirt!” she says, addressing the critics who would hunt her down like a gay Teletubby. “I’m wearing a sports bra under it. Sure, I’m wearing thigh-highs, but kids wear those — it’s the style. Have you seen MTV — all those in thongs?”

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The interview took place at Britney's home in Louisiana while she was recovering from the surgery after a knee injury she got during a dance rehearsal. With just one single out, 1998's ...Baby One More Time, and the album just recently released a few months prior, she was already on top of the world.

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The song that put Spears on top is a strutting statement of intent called “…Baby One More Time” — and that ellipsis tells a tale. The three dots mask a chorus hook line — “Hit me, baby” — that some have taken as a *******ic come-on. “It doesn’t mean physically hit me,” says Spears. “It means just give me a sign, basically. I think it’s kind of funny that people would actually think that’s what it meant.”

Perhaps the linguistic confusion arises from the fact that the creative force behind “…Baby One More Time” is the Swedish Ikea-pop maestro Max Martin, who is also behind Backstreet Boys and Robyn. As cowriter and co-producer on the record, Martin would run lyrics past Britney, ten years his junior, for approval. “I asked them to change the words to ‘Born to Make You Happy.’ It was a ***ual song,” reveals Spears, who cleaves to the Baptist faith, I said, ‘This may be a little old for me.’ Because of the image thing, I don’t want to go over the top. If I come out being Miss Prima Donna, that wouldn’t be smart. I want to have a place to grow.”

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Being a generational mascot brings with it certain responsibilities. “You want to be a good example for kids out there and not do something stupid,” Spears says. “Kids have low self-esteem, and then the peer pressures come and they go into a wrong crowd. That’s when all the bad stuff starts happening, drugs and stuff. I think if they find something that keeps them happy — writing, drawing, anything like that — then they’ll have confidence.”

Spears, who won her first talent show when she was six, sounds more middle-aged than teenage as she delivers this brisk message. Doesn’t she think that people her age are struggling with self-esteem because of a torrent of media images that promote feelings of inadequacy? Spears thinks about this for a moment. “When people see things on TV that they can’t do,” she ventures, “that should make them want to go out there and make something of themselves. That’s how I looked at it.”

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They also dived a bit on the breakup with her ex-boyfriend Reg, as well as the rumors that linked her romantically to members of NSYNC and Backstreet Boys

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“It wasn’t that I was changing,” says Spears. “We broke up before any of my success had happened. He became insecure with himself, I felt. I wasn’t gonna do anything — I’m a straight-up, honest person, and if I was gonna do something, I’d tell him before I’d do it and end the relationship. I was really head over heels in love. I don’t think I’ll ever love somebody like that again….I just woke up one day and click, it was gone.” Spears shrugs off the rumors linking her with both Lance Bass and Justin Timberlake of ‘N Sync. “Overseas they say it’s Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys,” she notes wryly. Right now, she says, she prefers to concentrate on her work rather than romance. “I have,” she says, “no feelings at all.”

 

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“She was always singing — she would never hush,” coos Britney’s mom, a diminutive forty-three-year-old with large brown eyes. Kinesiology student Bryan Spears remembers his sister dancing in front of the TV, trilling Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.” “It was very annoying,” he confirms.

Before she was ten, Spears had pretty much nailed the talent-show racket. “Those little competitions got really old,” she says. At age eight she impressed judges at an open call for the Disney Channel’s revival of the Mickey Mouse Club, but she was deemed too young for the show. So she did TV ads and an off-Broadway play, Ruthless, attending New York’s storied Professional Performing Arts School for three summers. Then, finally, came a two-season Mouseketeer stint in Orlando, where Spears palled around with Russell and future ‘N Sync members JC Chasez and Timberlake.

In contrast to most child-performer scenarios, it was Spears who got her parents to set up the Mickey Mouse audition. Jeff Fenster, Jive Records’ senior vice president of A&R, who signed Spears, was quite surprised when he saw the family dynamic at work. “Her parents were not pushing her at all,” he says. In other words, Britney Spears is her own stage mother.

 

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Spears hobbles out of her kitchen and down a photo-lined hallway to her old bedroom. “It’s a girly room,” she warns. To say the least. The tiny space, like the rest of the house, is awash in floral patterns and frills; throw cushions cover every square inch not colonized by an impressive collection of pale-faced dolls, from porcelain models to squishy plastic specimens. “I knew this would happen!” says Spears in mild exasperation. Her little sister has been trying to fashion one doll’s hair into dreadlocks.

For Spears, these dolls, like Mom’s abiding ban on long-distance phone calls, are reminders of an earlier life. She has no intention of going back.

 

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Britney also reflects in the kind of music the label ultimately made her record, as well as the origin of the ...Baby One More Time music video.

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According to Spears, the record that was subsequently delivered to those pliant programmers was not quite what she had envisaged. She had vaguely imagined herself singing “Sheryl Crow music, but younger — more adult contemporary,” she says. Spears, however, is happy that she went along with Jive’s choice of high-gloss producers and writers. “It made more sense to go pop, because I can dance to it — it’s more me.”

When it came time to make a promo clip for . . . Baby One More Time, Spears had to show that her Southern conviviality had its limits. Jive had hired on video director Joseph Khan, whose concept reached the storyboard stage be-fore Spears spoke up. “They had this really bizarre video idea, this animated Power Ranger-y thing,” she explains. “I said, ‘This is not right. If you want me to reach four-year-olds, then OK, but if you want me to reach my age group …’ 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.” The seventeen-year-old won the day, and the rest is chart history.

 

You can read the full article here.

 

 

Britney and David would later talk about the controversial photoshoot that caused a lot of criticism among parental groups that were concerned about the message Britney was sending to kids.

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Britney Spears has been on nearly 100 magazine covers, but her first was Rolling Stone, in the spring of 1999. “It was freakin’ awesome,” she says. “Most girls my age would have done their first cover for Seventeen or something.”

Her debut album, … Baby One More Time, was already triple platinum, but Spears was only seventeen and still living with her parents in her Kentwood, Louisiana, childhood home. Which is where David LaChapelle and his crew spent two days snapping the pop star, in her element. Her father, Jamie, hosted a crawfish cookout on the first night, and her mom, Lynne, lent set designer Kristen Vallow a sewing machine to stitch together the purple satin sheets Spears is lying on.

Spears and LaChapelle both say they knew the photo would cause a bit of commotion, but they figured it was worth it. “I said to her, ‘You don’t want to be buttoned up, like Debbie Gibson,’ ” LaChapelle recalls. “I said, ‘Let’s push it further and do this whole ****** thing.’ She got it. She knew it would get people talking and excited.” Spears proved, even then, that she was going to take charge of crafting her own image. One night while they were shooting, LaChapelle says, Spears’ manager, Larry Rudolph, walked in at 2 a.m. to find her posing in her bra and *******. Rudolph demanded to know what was going on. “Britney said, ‘Yeah, I don’t feel comfortable,’ ” says the photographer. “At first I felt betrayed. But as soon as Larry walked out, Britney said, ‘Lock the door’ and unbuttoned her shirt wide open.”

Says Spears, “Holy Roller religious people made such a big deal about that photo, and I didn’t really get it. That’s the way I’ve always been, and I thought that photo was a good representation of who I really am.”

 

She also covered the magazine several times throughout the years

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 I am a performer. I am a Mom. I am funny. I am your friend! I am Britney Jean

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On April 15, 1999, Britney Spears appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. In the picture shot by David LaChapelle (who would continue collaborating with Britney in future projects throughout

Wasnt she 17 when these pics were taken whewwwwww mixed feelings to this 20 years later now that I’m grown lol 😱🥴

Dixie, Lala, and Poe are forever pressed. 

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5 hours ago, SUCCESSICA IS A QUEEN said:

She was so beautiful during this shoot. Her make-up was laidT. :yesplease_yas_agree_preach:

No :lmao: We should be talking about how she was below 18 when she did this, not her makeup :lmao:

Young Billie Run Pop :lemmetellu_telling_preaching_yelling_talking_points_finger:

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4 hours ago, AreYouReady said:

You forgot this one on purpose?

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Yeah, that wasn't really a cover that Britney agreed to do, or a photoshoot that was meant for this magazine, it was an article about her, and it wasn't very nice for what I remember. 

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 I am a performer. I am a Mom. I am funny. I am your friend! I am Britney Jean

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Her last official rolling stone cover, should have been the alarm that a problem occured.

 

Jenny who did the liner notes for her first greatest hits album, interviewed her final cover story, and there's a big reason why it's her last. 

 

She was very much told she couldn't ask about the last couple of years, her reasons why it happened, she said herself she has a right to tell her side, but she is forbidden to, I could only ask about the new album, and I found that superficial, cod we don't want to know that. 

 

 

Unfortunately, she broke the NDAs by addressing it on showbiz tonight, thus she's barely mentioned on rolling stone, cos of Jenny's interview on live tv, how people didn't see what Jenny was saying was a red flag in 2008, baffles me. 

I'm the hunter, you're the fox 🦊.

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