IT’s a thought that Britney is just 22 years old. She exploded on the world stage at 15, in late 1998, when she released her debut single Baby One More Time – a breezy piece of dance pop. The single shot to No 1. Her blonde good looks, riveting dancing prowess and naughty videos made her a hit with the teen crowd and a magnet for the media.

Her debut album entered the charts at No. 1 and stayed there for six weeks, powered by more singles – (You Drive Me) Crazy, Sometimes, and From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart. The album sold over 13 million copies.

Spears was a superstar, a intriguing mix of a virginal attitude contrasting with highly sexual costumes, videos and stage performances.

Oops!… I Did It Again appeared in the spring of 2000, and the title track was an instant smash. The album entered the charts at No. 1 and sold over a million copies in its first week of release, setting a new record for single-week sales by a female artiste. Follow-up singles included Lucky, the gold-selling Stronger, and Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know. The album sold close to 10 million copies. Her third album was also her third No. 1, although this time around the singles weren’t as successful: I’m a Slave 4 U, I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman, and Overprotected all missed the Top 10. The album sold a paltry (for her) four million copies.

And so what next? Well, she’s newly married after year of bizarre behavior, while falling attendance at her concerts indicates her time may be up unless she manages to reinvent herself. In the meantime, while she takes a break and ponders her next move, here’s her greatest hits set. This album kicks off with a new track – My Prerogative. It’s an updated version of the Bobby Brown hit, better listened to by those who haven’t heard the original! But as a record of her career, this album does a good job. Perhaps the only hit missing is From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart, a largely forgotten ballad from her debut, released just before her second album.

Oops!… I Did It Again is still fun to listen to. Baby One More Time still retains its punch, (You Drive Me) Crazy is classic dance-pop. I’m A Slave 4 U is an outright tribute to Prince, not a bad thing at all.

She teams up with Madonna on the funky Me Against The Music.

Boys features Chad Hugo, whose Curtis Mayfield falsetto and breathy rap add immensely to the song. The Darkchild Remix of Overprotected is isn’t as strong as the original though.

The last two entries on the disc are similar to the first, in that they’re both previously unreleased and are pretty strong dance tracks.

Nobody would really consider her a wonderful singer, but she and her team seem to hit on what teens around the world were going for. Still, perhaps her most lasting legacy is that she popularised the low-rise jeans look that every self-respecting teen, male or female, finds mandatory in their wardrobe these days. thanks britneyglamour

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