Fifteen years ago, 17-year old Britney asked us to hit her baby one more time. We fell in love with the schoolgirl-in-pink-pigtails image, and we’ve been watching her ever since. She sold millions of records worldwide, paved the way for Britney-wannabes, and became an icon in her own right.
You might argue that Britney has limited talent. She can’t sing, you might say. Well, no arguments about that. After all, she’s no Whitney. Plus, she is notorious for lipsynching in her concerts.
I say this like this is a fact, but come on. How can you maintain that exact ‘studio singing voice’ when you’re up there dancing? Okay, Michael Jackson did it, but it takes only a few Youtube videos to prove that Britney cracks when she sings live.
However, you can’t deny that the girl can dance her butt off. She may not be a singer, but she’s a performance artist – or a dance artist, if you’d like to call her that. In her prime, everyone wanted to see Britney dance. She outshone all of them. To quote Ashton Kutcher, the music industry would be boring without Britney.
Christina tried to dance. And so did Jennifer Lopez. Also Beyonce. But among her contemporaries, there was no one who was as graceful as Britney. She was able to combine feminine and masculine dance moves, and she danced in heels!
There was a time when the press called Britney Madonna’s heir apparent. But there were a few problems with this.
As a performer, Madonna doesn’t dance like Britney. Janet does. Also, Madonna is political. She uses controversial topics such as sex and religion to provoke and shock people. Britney, on the other hand, sings about love and uses her sexy image to sell her brand.
So when Lady Gaga came into the picture, the whole Madonna-passing-the-throne-to-Britney became old. But as opposed to Madonna’s reaction to Britney, Lady Gaga needs to work harder to impress the Queen of Pop. In an interview, Madonna described Lady Gaga (or her song / video) as ‘reductive.’
According to the dictionary, ‘reductive’ means ‘causing diminution’ and is syonymous to ‘subtractive.’ Could Madonna be referring to Lady Gaga’s copying her? Does she see a part of herself in Gaga? Is this her way of saying she doesn’t approve?
Like Madonna, Gaga relies mostly on shock value for fame. There’s no doubt that she’s talented, but we didn’t really notice her music until we saw her with those outrageous outfits. She’s also outspoken about her political views. She’s of Italian ancestry, and she’s misunderstood by many people.
But surely, Lady Gaga is just trying to carve a niche for herself. For sure, she doesn’t want to become ‘the next so-and-so’ although it may be flattering for her.
If you visit forums or scroll the comment section of a Lady Gaga or Britney Spears video on Youtube, you’ll see comparisons thrown by fans of these artists. When Little Monsters say Flopney, the Britney Army say ArtFlop. The comparisons and the bantering never stop.
Britney may be far ahead than Lady Gaga, but as we know, longevity defines queenhood. Madonna was compared with Cyndi Lauper back in the day, but Madonna is queen because she’s still here. N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys were once pitted against each other, but where are they now?
That said, if these girls want to take Madonna’s throne, they have a lot of work to do. Aside from staying relevant for 30 years, they need to beat Beyonce.