Uncovered: Britney’s Performance Of “Something To Talk About” Highlights Her Rebellious Spirit
The impromptu performance shines light on a pop star scorned.
Uncovered is a new series on BreatheHeavy where we look at special cover performances / songs.
2017 was a spectacular year for Britney Spears. That glimmering spark fans initially fell in love with shined bright that year. Not only was her body in peak shape (she gave the Britney era a run for its money), but the pop star appeared more lucid and engaged than years prior. She frequently shared candid moments of her life with fans, whether it be a squat-tastic video montage from one of her home workouts, or a trip to the local Calabasas eatery. Britney seemed eager to show off a rediscovered exuberance that went missing for a little while. One of those glorious moments took center stage at Brit’s August 19th Piece Of Me concert.
Sources connected to Piece Of Me told BreatheHeavy at the time Britney wanted to prove naysayers wrong. Queen B received a lot of heat for not singing live during the show, something she broke her silence on in the weeks leading up to her cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “Something To Talk About.”
“I’m glad you’re addressing this question, because it’s really funny – a lot of people think that I don’t sing live… because I’m dancing so much I do have a little bit of playback, but there’s a mixture of my voice and the playback,” Britney said. “It really pisses me off because I am busting my ass out there and singing at the same time and nobody ever really gives me credit for it.”
It’s quite rare for post Blackout Britney to show anger in public, and the earnest candidness of her response was refreshing. Britney does care when people say she doesn’t sing live, and she does want to get recognition for doing so. The logical next step would be to prove she could, and her method killed two birds with one stone: a live performance that served as a giant middle finger.
After she tested the waters by singing happy birthday to her bodyguard, Britney decided enough was enough. Her team alerted the Piece Of Me crew to come in early because Britney was adamant about performing the Bonnie Raitt cover completely live – our source tells us there was a significant amount of preparation to ready Britney’s surprise three-minute performance.
Brit’s choice of song was deliberate, and it packed a punch. She quite literally wanted to give people “Something To Talk About” – it addressed nefarious accusations that Britney doesn’t sing live. She performed the tune with a handheld mic, something she said felt “illegal.”
“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, right? This morning I woke up… looked at the news, lot of things going on in the world and stuff,” she said, before adding: “One minute they tear you down, and that’s really horrible, and the next minute you’re on top of the world, but I’ve never really spoke about it. I’m a Southern girl, I’m from Louisiana. I’m from the South, and I like to keep it real, so I just want to make sure I keep having you motherfuckers something to talk about.”
I can’t help but draw comparisons from that Britney, to now. We haven’t personally heard from our fav at all this year. The only insight we have is an Instagram post that said she was taking a little “me time,” which appears to have been an attempt to soften the impending report from TMZ that she checked into a mental health facility for 30 days. The overall response on the blogosphere is that people are still rooting for her, and I anticipate her health hiatus will eventually become intertwined in a future (don’t call it a) comeback announcement. #StrongerThanYesterday
Britney’s country-tinged twang shined bright on “Something To Talk About,” and sounds unlike anything else in her discography, which is probably why it’s so outstanding (I’m told she didn’t particularly care for her rendition of it). She didn’t hop on the pop-country wave that hijacked mainstream these last couple of years, because Bonnie Raitt classics are her roots – if anything… her pop persona is the imposter! We all want new Britney bops, but an EP of material similar to this, songs that explores Britney’s Southernness, would be more than welcome.
Something about this performance is reminiscent of the days when Britney would assert her independence and fight back – like leaking her own music, or a quickie marriage – it’s a side of her we hadn’t seen in years, and it’s quietly tucked out of sight again.
If Britney thought holding a live microphone felt illegal, perhaps it’s because she typically doesn’t exercise her power to speak freely (not that she couldn’t, but she doesn’t). Whatever was going on in that time of her life, Brit’s rebellious nature needed to be addressed, and she did so in front of a packed house. Britney wasn’t pacing through one choreographed performance to the next that night, she rationally expressed her frame-of-mind – she was pissed, so she talked the talk then walked the walk. It’s one of the most revealing moments of the princess of pop we’ve had in some time. Fame tears her down, then builds her back up, and years later it gives us something to talk about.