Britney Spears - Legacy


See also: List of awards and nominations received by Britney Spears

Spears became an international pop culture icon immediately after launching her recording career. Rolling Stone magazine wrote: "One of the most controversial and successful female vocalists of the 21st century," she "spearheaded the rise of post-millennial teen pop ... Spears early on cultivated a mixture of innocence and experience that broke the bank". She is listed by the Guinness World Records as having the "Best-selling album by a teenage solo artist" for her debut album ...Baby One More Time which sold over thirteen million copies in the United States. Melissa Ruggieri of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, "She's also marked for being the best-selling teenage artist. Before she turned 20 in 2001, Spears sold more than 37 million albums worldwide". As of 2011, she has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time based on album sales alone. She was also ranked as the fourth VH1's "50 Greatest Women of the Video Era" show list, ahead of most of her contemporaries and only behind veterans Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Whitney Houston. Spears is also recognized as the best-selling female artist of the first decade of the 21st century, as well as the fifth overall. In December 2009, Billboard magazine ranked Spears the 8th Artist of the 2000s decade in the United States. Spears is also known for her iconic performances and music videos. The music video for her debut single, "...Baby One More Time", was ranked number one on TRL's Final Countdown of the most iconic music videos. On the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, before performing "Oops!... I Did It Again", the singer appeared behind a backlit screen, and descended a spiral staircase and started performing "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", while wearing a tuxedo. After performing a shortened version of the track, she tore the tuxedo off, revealing a skin-tight flesh-coloured outfit. The following year, Spears performed her single "I'm a Slave 4 U". Jocelyn Vena of MTV summarized the performance, saying, "draping herself in a white python and slithering around a steamy garden setting – surrounded by dancers in zebra and tiger outfits – Spears created one of the most striking visuals in the 27-year history of the show." She also duetted "The Way You Make Me Feel" with pop singer Michael Jackson on his 30th anniversary concert a few days earlier. During the opening of the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards on August 27, 2003, Spears joined Madonna, Christina Aguilera, and Missy Elliott. Halfway through the performance, Madonna kissed Spears and Aguilera on the lips. The kiss between Spears and Madonna generated strong reaction from the media. This performance was listed by Blender magazine as one of the twenty-five sexiest music moments on television history. MTV listed the performance as the number-one opening moments in the history of MTV Video Music Awards.

Barbara Ellen of The Observer has reported: "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 was wanting 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". In 2011, Adam Markovitz of Entertainment Weekly commented on the cultural significance of Spears's voice and music. "We don't ask a whole lot from Britney Spears as an entertainer...we'll still send her straight up the charts simply because she's Britney. She's an American institution, as deeply sacred and messed up as pro wrestling or the filibuster. Musically, though, Spears will always have to measure up to her own gold standards of pop euphony: the operatic slither of 2004's 'Toxic' and the candied funk of 2000's 'Oops!...I Did It Again.' Spears is no technical singer, that's for sure. But backed by Martin and Dr. Luke's wall of pound, her vocals melt into a mix of babytalk coo and coital panting that is, in its own overprocessed way, just as iconic and propulsive as Michael Jackson's yips or Eminem's snarls." 'Britney Spears' was Yahoo!'s most popular search term between 2005 and 2008, and has been in a total of seven different years. Spears was named as Most Searched Person in the Guinness World Records book edition 2007 and 2009. She was later named as the most searched person of the decade 2000 – 2009. Spears is the most followed person on Google's social network, Google+. Reaching 100,000 in under two months of the sites launch, quadrupling the amount within 10 days. By November she had over 760,000 followers, and by the end of December 2011, Spears became the first person to reach over 1 million followers.

Spears has been cited as a musical inspiration by contemporary artists. Gwyneth Paltrow's character on 2010 drama film Country Strong was inspired on the singer's public meltdown. According to film director Shana Fest, "that's where this movie came from. I mean, I was seeing what was happening in the media to Britney Spears. I think it's tragic how we treat people who give us so much, and we love to see them knocked down to build them back up again, to knock them down again." Nicki Minaj has cited Spears as a major influence on her career, and commented, "the fact that she came back out with just so much fire inspires me, and it inspires young women and people all over the world. It just inspires you. A lot of my fans feel like they are the underdog and feel like they are the people who aren’t ever accepted for themselves, or who are laughed at or poked fun at forever. It just goes to show that once you keep at whatever it is you’re doing, people may not like you, people may not love you, but they will have to respect you at the end of the day. And that respect is all that matters." Lana Del Rey revealed that she is compelled by Spears in an interview with MTV, saying, "I'm not really interested in a ton of female musicians but there is something about Britney that compelled me – the way she sings and just the way she looks." Del Rey also said that the "Toxic" music video is a main inspiration of her work. During the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, Lady Gaga said that Spears "taught us all how to be fearless, and the industry wouldn't be the same without her." Miley Cyrus credits Spears as her biggest inspiration, and has referenced the singer in her hit song "Party in the U.S.A." (2009). Spears's personal breakdown was also cited as an inspiration for Barry Manilow's album "15 Minutes".

Spears has also become a major influence among many new artists, including fellow X-Factor judge Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Kristinia DeBarge, Little Boots, Marina and the Diamonds, Pixie Lott, Girls' Generation, The Saturdays, and Selena Gomez & the Scene. In 2007, R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles also expressed her love for Spears in an interview with TRL Italy, saying, "I love Britney, I'm a fan of hers. I like her new album," referencing to her then-recent album "Blackout". Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that she was happy with Spears's return to the music industry, and continued, "It's amazing. For this many years being in the business, and everything she's been through, it's wonderful to see her make this huge of a comeback. Really, it's a beautiful thing." Simon Cowell explained that he is "fascinated by . The fact that she’s one of the most talked about – not just pop stars – but people in the world today, means that you’ve got this star power. She’s still hot, she’s still having hit records and she’s still controversial, there’s a reason for that." Hyoyeon of the Korean girl group Girls' Generation has also been compared to Spears, due to her blonde hair and abilities as a dancer. Welsh singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis, known by her stage name Marina & The Diamonds named Spears as the main influence for her Electra Heart album, stating that, "I think people thought I was joking about that for a long time. But when I was a teenager there was a genuine connection with this sweet girl who also had this very sexual side that people didn't really want to accept Britney is really smart. And in the way that she inspired Electra Heart, if you step back from all the cynical stuff, it actually focuses on the idea of innocence being mixed with darkness. For some reason I really like that combination. I suppose because you don't really connect innocence with darkness." Diamandis has also stated that Spears is her main influence when it comes to popular culture and that Spears is one she aspired to being growing up. Spears has had a direct influence on singer Porcelain Black's work after growing up around her music as a child. Black describes her music as a "love child between" Marilyn Manson and Spears, with Spears's work being one of the main inspirations for Black's debut album. She also stated that Spears inspired her deep love for choreography. Bebo Norman wrote a song about Spears, called "Britney", which was released as a single. Boy band Busted also wrote a song about Spears called "Britney", which was on their debut album. South Korean singer, BoA has also spoken of love and Spears's influence on her. First meeting in 2003 while Spears was promoting "In The Zone" – Britney would later provide a writing credit to the song, Look Who's Talking, on BoA's eponymous debut English album. Spears's version of the song leaked in 2012. South Korean singer, Dara, of the girl group 2NE1 cites Spears's performance and fashion sense as well as her music among her influences, and often sang Spears's songs while growing up. Richard Cheese called Britney Spears "a remarkable recording artist" and also went on to say that she was "versatile" and what the industry calls an "artist". People magazine and MTV reported that October 1, 2008, the Bronx's John Philip Sousa Middle School, named their music studio in honor of Britney Spears. Spears herself was present during the ceremony and donated $10,000 to the school's music program. In August 2011, Spears was honored with the MTV Video Vanguard Award by Lady Gaga, for having made a profound effect on the MTV culture, with Gaga stating that "the industry wouldn't be the same without her"

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