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Britney Spears’ top 10 singles ranked in order of greatness

The Princess of Pop turns 38 today (2 December).

By Sam Rigby

Seven years since she last performed on these shores, the legendary Ms. Britney Spears is about to descend on the UK as her ‘Piece of Me’ show arrives in Brighton this Saturday (2 August) for one of the most eagerly-anticipated Pride performances in history.

In the 20 years since mega-debut ‘…Baby One More Time’ changed the course of musical history, Britney has shifted over 100 million records, released 40 singles and provided more memorable pop culture moments than all other noughties pop girls combined (facts are facts, UK).

As we prepare to dust off our grey cardi and pink pom poms ahead of Brit’s Brighton Pride performance, we’ve ranked what we believe to be the pop princess’s 10 greatest singles in order of greatness. Let the controversy commence…

10. Circus (2008)

The title track from Britney’s sixth studio album, ‘Circus’ may not have enjoyed the same commercial success as its predecessor ‘Womanizer’, but it has all the attitude you’d expect from a Britney classic.

The accompanying music video features Britney as ringleader, surrounded by circus animals and dancing in a ring of fire. What’s not to love?

9. I’m a Slave 4 U (2001)

Britney may have told us she was “not that innocent” on ‘Oops!…I Did It Again’ but it was only when she released Slave in 2001 that we realised she really meant it.

This Neptunes-produced tune was a big leap for Britney and one that certainly paid off, winning her a more grown-up fanbase.

8. Born To Make You Happy (1999) 

‘Born To Make You Happy’ isn’t one of Britney’s best remembered hits, though it actually hit Number One in the UK in early 2000 when it was released as the fourth single from …Baby One More Time.

If you’ve not listened to it for a while, you’ll have forgotten how much of a TUNE it is.

7. …Baby One More Time (1998)

It almost seems criminal (reference klaxon) that ‘…Baby’ is only at number seven on our countdown, but that’s the way the votes went here at Attitude HQ.

20 years later, it remains one of the most iconic – and biggest-selling – debut singles of all time.

6. Gimme More (2007)

Britney was making BANGERZ long before Miley and her foam finger came along, and despite a famously lacklustre performance at the 2007 VMAs, Gimme More went on to become a massive hit.

The now-iconic intro (It’s Britney, bitch!) has a legacy all of its own, and the song was a triumphant musical comeback for Britney at a time when her troubled private life was rarely out of the headlines.

5. Till The World Ends (2011)

Woah oh oh oh oh oh ohhh, woah oh oh oh oh oh ohhh, woah oh oh oh oh oh ohhh, woah oh oh oh oh oh ohhh, woah oh oh oh oh oh ohhh, woah oh oh oh oh oh ohhh, woah oh oh oh oh oh ohhh.

We love it.

4. Toxic (2004)

Six years into her career, Britney produced a tune every bit as undeniable as her debut single ‘…Baby One More Time’. 

Toxic became her fourth UK chart-topper when it was released in January 2004, and it still sounds totally thrilling today, 8,724 plays later. [youtube height=”315″ width=”560″][/youtube]  

3. Stronger (2000)

If you’re ever feeling a little out of spirits, we recommend you dig out your Oops! album out and stick on track two. After listening to Stronger, you’ll never need to buy a self-help book again.

2. Everytime (2004)

When people think of Britney’s discography, they too often forget her ballads; and there have been some fantastic ones. ‘I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman’ in particular deserves a special mention.

However, none of them come close to 2004’s Everytime. Widely seen as Britney’s response to her breakup with Justin Timberlake (sob), this haunting ballad was co-written and composed by Spears herself – to this day she insists it’s her favourite self-penned track of her career.

The dark, controversy-filled video directed by David LaChapelle only served to heighten the song’s legacy: The original treatment saw Spears being hounded by the press before taking her own life after overdosing on prescription medication and drowning in the bath, but was quickly edited to involve an accidental a bang to the head after a public outcry.

Few knew how much ‘Everytime’ would foreshadow the trauma that Spears would endure just a few short years later, and over a decade on it remains a difficult watch.

1. Piece of Me (2007) 

“You wanna piece of me?” Britney taunts on her 2007 F.U. to the paparazzi, ruthless tearing into an industry which had helped spark a very public breakdown, before feasting on what remained.

As a song, ‘Piece of Me’ bangs. As a moment in pop culture history, it remains one the most iconic three minutes of the last 20 years.

The second single from her acclaimed Blackout album and the title of the Vegas residency about the tour the UK and Europe, ‘Piece of Me’ sums up a legacy unlike any other. It also embodies everything we love about Brit as a pop star: attitude, tuneage and state-of-the-art pop production. Here’s to more to come…