A Close Encounter Of The Britney Kind

Radio & Records print edition: Spears makes a surprise visit to KIIS/Los Angeles.

It was just your average day in beautiful downtown Burbank. At least it started out that way for Clarence Barnes, who has been doing weekends for quite sometime at KIIS/Los Angeles - when he's not doing mornings at KOSS/Palmdale, CA or his other gig as executive producer of The Rick Dees Top 40.

On the Thursday before New Year's, otherwise known as New Year's Eve Eve, Barnes was minding his own business while filling in for KIIS afternoon driver Valentine when he received a call on the request line - a call that not only profoundly changed his life and the lives of everyone in Southern California, but, more important, a call that was instrumental in helping us fill this entire page with words.

No Way In Hell

At around 6 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2004, Barnes' phone op burst into the studio to breathlessly give him the news: Someone claiming to be Britney Spears was on the request line. Now, Barnes is not fresh out of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting; he's been around a while, and he knew that it was a distinct possibility that the person on the phone could be someone doing a bad Britney impersonation trying to get on the radio. His initial suspicion centered on several bored teenagers out in Pacoima, CA betting on whether they could fool the dude on the radio.

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