At 17, Britney Spears enjoys being a girl. She loves colors that pop and shopping till you drop, romance novels and idyllic days at the beach. Untamed and untarnished as they come, the bright beautiful teen from Kentwood, Louisiana (pop:1200), is poised to liven up the pop world with the irresistible collection of songs on her Jive Records self-titled debut release.
Produced by Eric Foster White (Whitney Houston, Hi-Five) and Max Martin (Robyn, Backstreet Boys, Ace of Base), the album showcases Britney's unbridled effervescence and musical curiosity. From the sweet melody of "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart," to the driving funk of "Baby One More Time," to the funky reggae beats of "Soda Pop," to her soulful take on the Jets hit "You've Got It All," Britney's lively, assured vocal style is intoxicating. "I want to an artist that everyone can relate to, that's young, happy and fun," she says.
Despite a refreshingly adolescent attitude, Britney's life has hardly been traditional. "I've done the prom thing, but it's only once a year," she notes about her unconventional teenage lifestyle. "I need to sing and I love to travel."
Performing since early childhood in local dance reviews and church choirs, she auditioned for the Disney Channel's "Mickey Mouse Club" series at age eight in Atlanta. Too young for her series, but too talented to dismiss, a producer on the show helped Britney secure an agent in New York City, where she spent the next three summers studying at the renowned Off-Broadway Dance Center and at the Professional Performing Arts School. She also began appearing in national commercials and Off-Broadway shows including the 1991 comedy, "Ruthless," based on the 1956 thriller "The Bad Seed." "At 10 I was playing this really bad child who seems real sweet but she's evil too. It was so much fun," she recalls.
Finally old enough at age 11, Britney earned a coveted place in "Mickey Mouse Club." After two years performing on the popular children's TV show filmed in Orlando, Britney returned to Kentwood for one completely normal year of high school at age 14. "It was fun for awhile but I started getting itchy to get out again and see the world," she says.
A devoted fan of pop music- her favorites include Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston- Britney once again went to New York to pursue her dream. "I had always wanted to be a singer," she says. "It's what I always wanted to do since I was little." Now a seasoned performer at age 15, an audition for an all girl vocal group led to her developing a solo career as a pop singer as well as continuing her high school studies with tutors. "I need a lot of help in geometry and Spanish!" she admits.
Recording with Martin in Sweden this past spring and in New Jersey with
Foster White, Britney's ready to make her own special mark on the world.
"I love performing more than anything and having people hear my music. I know
I've had to give some stuff up to do this, but I don't miss high school. When
I was home two years ago, every weekend we'd go out and do the same thing. It's
wonderful as long as you love what you're doing, but I'd rather be doing this!"