I think the main thing that made BOMT and 16/17 year old Britney scandalous was the music and how EVERYONE liked it. Had she released a crappy song and did everything else, I doubt she would have gotten nearly as much attention. But the song BOMT was so captivating that it made people want to watch the music video, it made people care that a 16/ 17 year old girl was singing this song that they loved. After that, it was up to Britney hold their interest and she did a damn good job at ... still is.
If any artist was given BOMT and sounded as entertaining as Britney does on the song, I'm sure they would've had a hit record too and people would've tuned into them to see if the artist was just as entertaining. It could even happen today. For me, "Love Story" is what started the ball rolling for Taylor Swift into what she has become. Without "Love Story", I don't see Taylor Swift being given the opportunity to become HUGE.