Stronger than yesterday: See Britney Spears' most iconic career moments as she turns 40

Asia's Tech News Daily

Britney Spears is a certified pop icon.

For two decades, the Mississippi-born singer, who got her start on “The All-New Mickey Mouse Club House,” built and maintained a remarkable career in the entertainment industry: nine studio albums, five No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a wildly successful Las Vegas residency.

Now, the pop star has been freed from a nearly 14-year-long conservatorship. “I think I’m gonna cry the rest of the day !!!! Best day ever,” Spears wrote on Instagram after a California judge gave the ruling Nov. 12.

But even with the star regaining control of her life and finances, a return to the stage seems unlikely. In July, Spears’ longtime manager, Larry Rudolph, reportedly announced his resignation in a letter to her then-conservators, citing the her intent to “officially retire” from music. Spears has not publicly commented on her future plans since the ruling.

Stronger than yesterday: See Britney Spears' most iconic career moments as she turns 40

But if Spears does decide to make a musical comeback, her loyal fans surely will be there. As the icon turns 40 on Dec. 2, we look back at her most iconic career moments, from “Baby One More Time” to “Piece of Me.”

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Stronger than yesterday: See Britney Spears' most iconic career moments as she turns 40

‘…Baby One More Time’ debuts to fanfare

The single “…Baby One More Time” and its schoolgirl-themed video catapulted the then-17-year-old into instant stardom in 1999. The knee-high boots, black skirt, a white button-down shirt tied to show your midsection, a gray cardigan and, of course, braided pigtails adorned with pink pom-poms became a much-copied look that Halloween and for years to come.

Spears’ debut album of the same name, released on Jan. 12, 1999, sold more than 14 million copies and its title track spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The album also brought hits like “Crazy,” “Sometimes” and “I Will Be There.” “…Baby One More Time” remains her biggest hit ever, spending 32 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming the epitome of pop music.

Star-studded Super Bowl halftime show melds genres

Two years later, on Jan. 28, 2001, Spears took to one of the biggest stages alongside major star power to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show, joining NSYNC (which included her then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake), Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige and Nelly.

Stronger than yesterday: See Britney Spears' most iconic career moments as she turns 40

The show started with a back-and-forth between the boy band and the rock band. NSYNC coordinated their signature dance moves to “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me” while Aerosmith slung their electric guitars to “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” and “Jaded.”

Spears hit the scene for “Walk This Way” in a jersey-style midriff top and matching low-cut flare-leg pants while she sang verses from Aerosmith’s 1975 song, though she didn’t get to sing any of her own hits.

Who played in the game? Who won? Who cares! This halftime show was one for the books.

VMAs moments: ‘Slave 4 U’ snake performance, Madonna kiss

Months later, Britney made a sssstatement at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards with her daring performance of “I’m a Slave 4 U,” where she danced and sang with a white python draped around her neck.

Stronger than yesterday: See Britney Spears' most iconic career moments as she turns 40

Her performance of “Slave 4 U,” from Spears’ self-titled third album, was the third time she performed at the VMAs, previously hitting the stage in 1999 and 2000.

The snake was memorable, but her performance at the 2003 VMAs really turned up the heat.

Spears famously locked lips with Madonna before the “Vogue” singer turned to kiss Aguilera during the trio’s performance of “Like a Virgin” and “Hollywood.” The set ended with Missy Elliot powering her way to the stage to rap some verses from her song “Work it.”

Stronger than yesterday: See Britney Spears' most iconic career moments as she turns 40

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The King and Queen of Pop: Spears duets with Michael Jackson

The King (and then-newly-minted Queen) of Pop joined on stage for an unforgettable performance of Michael Jackson’s 1987 song “The Way You Make Me Feel” at Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Special in New York’s Madison Square Garden in 2001.

In an interview after the show, Spears called the experience “very cool.”

“It wasn’t until afterward that I realized what happened, that I just performed with Michael Jackson,” she said. “It was very cool. It’s something i’ll be able to tell my kids.”

Stronger than yesterday: See Britney Spears' most iconic career moments as she turns 40

The pop stars were apparently fans of each other. After Jackson’s death in 2009, Spears mourned his loss in a statement to MTV: “He has been an inspiration throughout my entire life and I’m devastated he’s gone!”

Spears makes silver screen debut with ‘Crossroads’

Spears snagged herself a movie deal in the 2002 film “Crossroads.” She starred as Lucy alongside childhood best friends, Kit (Zoe Saldana) and Mimi (Taryn Manning), and her love interest Ben (Anson Mount), as the foursome treks across the country.

When the car breaks down (as expected), the girls have the idea to perform at a karaoke bar to earn tips to fix the car. When Mimi gets stage fright, Lucy steps in and steals the show with her cover of Joan Jett hit “I Love Rock N’ Roll,” featured on her third studio album.

It was a low-budget film, an estimated $12 million according to IMDb, and didn’t land with critics, but with Spears on the screen, it still managed to gross $61.1 million worldwide.

She put out three more albums after that: 2011’s “Femme Fatale,” 2013’s “Britney Jean” and 2016’s “Glory.”

In 2012, she served as a judge on Fox’s “The X Factor.”

Las Vegas residency ‘Piece of Me’ excites fans

But Spears biggest comeback of all was her Las Vegas residency. In December 2013, Spears launched a well-received two-year residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The show, “Britney: Piece of Me,” was so popular, her contract was extended for another two years.

Stronger than yesterday: See Britney Spears' most iconic career moments as she turns 40

The residency’s four-year run grossed nearly $138 million in ticket sales, Billboard reported in 2018.

Spears was set take on a new Vegas residency “Britney: Domination” in 2019 but never did, announcing on Jan. 4, 2019, she was canceling the residency due to her father’s poor health at the time. She has been on a work hiatus since then.

Contributing: Maria Puente

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