We Need To Talk about Brit­ney…

As Brit­ney Spears took to the stage again last week to per­form her new hit Make Me…, the de­bate about her health kicked up again

Look (UK) - - COVER STORY -

Bey­oncé might have been the more lauded per­former (and the long­est – there was a whole 15 min­utes of Mrs Knowlescarter), Ri­hanna might have taken to the stage a whop­ping four times, but it was Brit­ney Spears who re­ally got ev­ery­one talk­ing at last week’s MTV VMAS as the de­bate raged on about whether the singer – who’s bat­tled men­tal health prob­lems for years – should be tak­ing part.

No sooner had Brit­ney fin­ished her per­for­mance of Make Me… than fans took to Twit­ter to slam her rou­tine, with most high­light­ing the fact that she ap­peared to be mim­ing. ‘Why does Brit­ney even bother wear­ing a mi­cro­phone? She’s not fool­ing any­one,’ said one user. ‘Brit­ney Spears VMA per­for­mance was ac­tu­ally ter­ri­ble. Does she ever sing live?’ said an­other.

It’s the kind of back­lash that’s dogged the 34-yearold singer for years. Just re­cently, she was even crit­i­cised for not sing­ing when she filmed Car­pool Karaoke with James Cor­den – but isn’t it time we, y’know, let it go? And maybe, just maybe, gave Brit­ters a lit­tle bit of credit? Brit­ney was a reg­u­lar at the awards show un­til her 2007 break­down. Last Sun­day’s per­for­mance was her first in nine years and no small feat. Dur­ing that pe­riod, Brit­ney has un­doubt­edly pulled her­self back from the brink: she’s bat­tled anx­i­ety, panic at­tacks, de­pres­sion and trips to re­hab, and has slowly but surely re­built her life. Her last foray onto the main stage was her 2007 ‘come­back’ set which was slammed as one of the worst in VMAS his­tory. But watch the two side by side and it’s clear that she’s come a long way, both men­tally and pro­fes­sion­ally, and that is un­doubt­edly wor­thy of praise. What’s more, it was re­ported that part of the rea­son Brit­ney ap­peared to be a lit­tle ner­vous dur­ing her per­for­mance was that she was billed not long af­ter Bey­oncé. And given that Queen Bey per­formed a short­ened ver­sion of her hit al­bum Le­mon­ade – com­plete with back­ing dancers, OTT hair and flaw­less vo­cals – it’s hardly sur­pris­ing. But there’s no doubt that Brit­ney’s per­for­mance was a suc­cess for her mu­si­cally, with her al­bum Glory quickly hit­ting No 2 in the UK’S mid­week chart. Brit­ney’s never go­ing to be Bey­oncé, she’s never go­ing to be Ri­hanna – but maybe it’s OK to just be good enough…

Brit­neyõs come back Stronger for 2016

Bey­oncž slays at last weekõs cer­e­mony Bey, 2016

Fif­teen years later, weõre still not over that python Brit, 2001

Britõs come­back was dubbed Ôca­reer-end­ingõ Brit, 2007

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