A show of hands; did anyone really believe in 2007 that the legendary Britney Jean Spears would make it to her 35th birthday?
Now, before anyone calls for my head for demeaning their beloved “Godney” in such a heavily negative way, know this. I have been an unwavering, albeit occasionally disappointed, follower of the “Church of the Holy Spear-it” for nearly two decades now. I’ve been here for quite some time, have the CDs — domestic, imported, standard, deluxe, and “unofficial”– to prove my dedication and will continue to stand by her side, even if just in spirit (see what I did there?) until she’s no longer recognizable as the girl or the woman she had not yet become in 2001.
— Mario Lopez (@MarioLopezExtra) December 2, 2016
With all of that being said, I made that opening statement to ultimately express the following viewpoint. I am overjoyed; elated even, at the fact that she is here to celebrate her 35th year on this Earth. It is truly a monumental occasion to take note of, and one that, if I’m allowed a moment of repetition, I never expected her to reach at all.
Obviously, as those with a semblance of sense have probably realized by now, I am clearly referring to the period of her life that most of us, including Britney herself, wish we could forget, just as how most of us have purposefully removed the song “Pretty Girls” from our memories.
(Note: the song itself wasn’t that bad, but could’ve been better without the assist of a certain Australian who probably was the underhanded basis of Britney’s “Just Like Me,” as noted by Billboard.)
— World of Wonder (@WorldOfWonder) December 2, 2016
I am, of course, referring to 2007 and 2008, two years that will sadly maintain their infamy as the point in time that most of us expected to potentially hear the worst outcome about one of the greatest forces to ever take on the world of pop music.
I don’t think I need to remind anyone specifically just what was going on with Britney during that time in her life, and if I do, let CBS News handle that trouble instead. For the well-informed, however, one of the most oft-repeated, meme-like phrases for anyone experiencing personal troubles in this day and age pretty much says it all; “If Britney survived 2007, then I can get through today.”
What took place during that period ultimately led to an image that many will never be able to shake; one of a confused and scared Spears being dragged out of her home by medical workers in January 2008, just months after a shaky “comeback” performance at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards.
“Britney Spears was placed on lock down for a mental evaluation,” a People post regarding the incident reads, “after the pop star locked herself in a room with one of her children at her L.A. home and refused to hand him over to ex-husband Kevin Federline.”
Seeing the look on her face from those paparazzi shots, a combination of fear, sadness, rage, daze, and confusion, is something that really sticks with you, and truth be told, I still hold back tears whenever I begrudgingly recall it. Most of us truly believed that we were witnessing the near-crash point of one of the world’s most polarized celebrities. We knew what was coming, and we were pretty much helpless to stop it from happening.
But somehow, she survived. Somehow, she got better and, dare I say it, stronger. And today, she’s able to celebrate her 35th birthday with her two kids, Sean Preston and Jayden James, her dad, Jamie, that hottie from the “Slumber Party” video (if we’re really believing anything that TMZ says), and truthfully, all of us. And that alone is worthy of celebration!
Britney, I don’t know if these words will ever reach your eyes or ones belonging to those who are close to you, but I want to say this anyway: I love you, and I am so proud of you. Nine years ago, my heart shattered at the thought of you possibly not being around to see 26, much less 35 (which, by the way, I hit two months ago), but as you constantly show me and everyone else time and time again, your reign in entertainment and in life has yet to let up. You truly are a queen, and I am honored to be a member of your court.
Happy birthday, Britney Spears. Here’s to many, many more!
P.S. It’s time for a Glory tour. Make it happen!
[Featured Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]