Breaking News

#ThrowbackThursday “…Baby One More Time” Britney Spears 20 Years Later

By Craig Clizbe 

Multi-platinum Pop superstar, Britney Spears has been back in the news again as her fans continue to buzz about last week’s announcement of her latest Las Vegas Residency. Britney Domination will take place at Park Theater at the new Park MGM resort beginning in February 2019.

Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM Resorts International, said, “Britney Spears has been a fan favorite in the pop music world and a leader in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years. We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with her team throughout the years so bringing the Queen of Pop to Park MGM, and adding her to our resident artist lineup, is exciting for me personally as well as for our company. We look forward to her grand opening in February when her fans will rock Park Theater.”

“I am so happy to be returning to my second home – Las Vegas!” said Britney. “I’m working on a brand-new show and I’m so excited for my fans to see it! It’s going to be so much fun being back on stage and I can’t wait to perform at Park Theater.”

2019 Performance Dates

February 13 – 14; 16 – 17; 20; 22 – 23; 27
March 1 – 2
May 8; 10 – 11; 15; 17 – 18; 22; 24 – 26
July 24; 26 – 27; 31
August 2 – 3; 7; 9 – 10; 14; 16 – 17

This announcement came days before Britney and her label, RCA Records celebrated the 20th anniversary of her debut single, “…Baby One More Time,” which was originally released by RCA’s former sister label, Jive Records on October 23, 1998. Britney took to social media to reflect on the the impact the song had on her life and career.

It is with that in mind that we thought it would be fun to take a second look at the story behind “…Baby One More Time” in this TBT column after it was briefly covered by Sean Smith in honor of Britney’s first residency, Piece Of Me in October of 2013. 

The story behind Britney Spears’ debut begins in June of 1997 when she was in talks with former Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC manager, Lou Pearlman to become a part of his girl group, Innosense. History shows us that Innosense’s development would suffer from several lineup changes and they eventually disbanded in 2003 despite being co-managed by Justin Timberlake’s mother, Lynne Harless, and partially developed by *NSYNC’s Lance Bass. The first of those lineup changes came when a friends to the Spears family-friend, lawyer turned manager, Larry Rudolph decided to shop a demo of Britney singing solo to labels. From that point on Britney was on the track of becoming a solo artist.

After being rejected by 3 labels, Britney eventually caught the attention of Jive Records’ Senior VP of A&R, Jeff Fenster. Jeff would team Britney with songwriter/producer, Eric Foster White who helped develop her voice and presence in demos that were later be presented to Jive Records’ founder, Clive Calder. Calder then green lit an order for a full debut album, part of a multi album deal. At the time in 1997, Jive Records was all over the Pop charts thanks to the American breakthrough of their blockbuster boy band, the Backstreet Boys. Therefore Jive naturally thought it would be the right move to team Britney up with BSB’s production team over at Cheiron Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. That studio which was founded by Denniz PoP and Tom Talomaa in 1992 would play a huge role in developing several pop icons from all around the world. Some of these artists included Ace Of Base, Robyn, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, LFO, 5ive, Celine Dion, and Westlife just to name a few. A lot of this success of this studio came from someone that Denniz was mentoring named Max Martin.

In a 1998 interview with Billboard’s Chuck Taylor Britney talked about working with Max on what would become the bulk of her debut album.

“I had been in studio for about six months listening and recording material, but I hadn’t really heard a hit yet. When I started working with Max Martin in Sweden, he played the demo for ‘Baby One More Time’ for me, and I knew from the start it one was of those songs you want to hear again and again. It just felt really right. I went into the studio and did my own thing with it, trying to give it a little more attitude than the demo. In 10 days, I never even saw Sweden. We were so busy.”


One of those songs was a song co-written by Max and a newcomer to Cheiron Studios at the time, Rami YacoubIt was a track that was originally rejected by both the Backstreet Boys and TLC, that track was what would eventually become “…Baby One More Time.”

Related Media 

Britney Spears And Max Martin Interview

April 1998

In Steve Knopper’s 2009 book Appetite for self-destruction: the spectacular crash of the record industry in the digital age, Jive A&R executive, Steven Lunt commented on the label first discovering what they had in Britney’s take on Martin’s song, recorded in March of 1998.  “We at Jive said, ‘This is a … smash.” They moved forward with deciding to launch Britney to the public with this song despite some people at the label expressing concern that the lyrics “hit me baby one more time” was referring to domestic violence. This decision was made after a compromise, when the lyrics “Hit me” were removed from the song and the album’s title, which explains why the title is specifically written with a “…” included.


Steven Lunt was right, “…Baby One More Time” was not only a smash, it transformed Britney into a Pop culture icon as it became one of the best selling singles of all time with 10 million copies. That success along with Nigel Dick’s now iconic music video, which featured Britney in a sexy catholic school girl outfit helped launch her blockbuster debut album of the same name. The song and its video made Britney a staple on MTV by regularly appearing on their flagship countdown show, TRL. (Total Request Live) In fact when TRL was canceled in 2008, “…Baby One More Time” was #1 On the show’s final countdown on Total Finale Live. This reception helped make the “…Baby One More Time” the best-selling single of 1999, and as a result, the …Baby One More Time became one of the best-selling albums of all time with 27 million copies sold worldwide. (Released January 12, 1999) These numbers would help solidify Jive Records’ as the driving force in Pop music for the late 90s and early 2000s and 2010s until it was absorbed into RCA Records in 2011. Britney’s white-hot spotlight thanks to “…Baby One More Time’s” would also lend a hand in helping launch the American career of *NSYNC  when she joined them in a performance at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. The creative force behind behind the song became a force to be reckoned with as well. Max Martin has written 22 #1 hit singles for various artists and genres. He has become the songwriter with the third-most number-one singles on the chart, behind only Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26). Rami has also gone on to produce and write hits for artists like Celine Dion, P!nk, *NSYNC, Madonna, Demi Lovato, One Direction and many others. So as Britney gears up for her new Britney Domination Las Vegas residency, take a look at where it all started this month 20 years ago with her debut hit “…Baby One More Time.”

Related Media

Britney Spears And *NSYNC

“…Baby One More Time”/”Tearin’ Up My Heart” Medley

From 1999 MTV Video Music Awards



Britney Spears Celebrates 20 Years Of “…Baby One More Time

Sony Music Entertainment