Millie Bobby Brown has set her sights on the role of a lifetime. After starring in five seasons of Stranger Things and two Enola Holmes movies, she now wants to play the 2000’s icon Britney Spears.
In a recent interview on The Drew Barrymore Show, she shared that her dream role would be to star in a documentary about the pop diva.
“I think her story, first of all, resonates with me, just growing up in the public eye, watching her videos, watching interviews of her when she was younger.”
– Millie Bobby Brown, The Drew Barrymore Show
Documentaries are for the dead
However, the “…Baby One More Time” singer did not react well to this statement.
In an Instagram Post, Britney seemingly responded to Millie’s interview, saying, “I hear about people wanting to do movies about my life. Dude, I’m not dead!”
Millie has not reacted to this post on social media as of posting this article.
In recent years, there has been an influx of celebrity documentaries in memory of celebrities who are gone.
For example, Netflix released The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes, a documentary about actress, Marilyn Monroe, who passed in 1962.
However, there are also documentaries for artists that are still well and alive.
Singer-songwriter Beyoncé has two: an autobiographical documentary in 2013, Life is But a Dream; and another in 2019 titled, Homecoming.
In 2020, the film Miss Americana, told Taylor Swift’s story. This year, Selena Gomez will also release her own documentary, My Mind and Me.
Social media users were also quick to comment on Britney’s post. Many defended Millie, and several also took to Twitter to justify Britney’s response.
Nonetheless, Britney’s story is important to tell. Especially in the age of social media where there are so many teens who are aspiring to make it in the industry. It can be the right wake-up call to better protect young creatives.
Although, with Britney’s whole life already being discussed 24/7 — from tabloids to social media — it’s quite understandable if she opts out of making a film too.
From Britney Spears sporting a shaved head to Kanye West’s mental breakdowns on the web, the headlines regularly keep space for overworked musicians.
Doja Cat is just the most recent example of a musician going public with their burnout. Before now, she seemed invincible: her moves have been impossible to predict, bobbing and weaving from viral hit to viral hit, wearing bizarre outfits, and feeding goofy one-liners to her TikTok followers.
Her weirdness and her undeniable musical talent have proved hypnotic to fans. But even though she’s made a career out of toeing the line between conventional American beauty and weird sexy alien, with a recent Instagram live, some were concerned for her wellbeing.
A couple of weeks ago, with hundreds of fans watching, a gleeful Doja Cat shaved her head and eyebrows, joking that she “was never meant to have hair.” The Internet responded to this move with an eerie echo of the discourse surrounding Britney Spears shaving her head in 2007.
A mix of support and disgust poured onto Doja’s social media: some complimented her new look, and some called it ugly. Others suggested that we shouldn’t focus on her appearance and look into her mental state instead.
But there’s no need to speculate considering Doja has already addressed the state of her mental health in a series of now-deleted Tweets. “I’m just tired, and I don’t want to do anything,” she said. “I’m not happy. I’m done saying yes to motherfuckers cuz I can’t even have a week to just chill. I’m never not working. I’m fucking tired.”
Instead of pinning it on managers, a label, or the industry, she blamed the overworking on herself. “I just keep agreeing to shit I don’t wanna do in the future,” she said. “It’s my own dumb ass fault, and then I’m too tired to put any effort into this shit cuz I’m so run down from everything else.”
High expectations from labels mixed with overworked musicians is a recipe for burnout. But musicians rarely talk about it. They want to avoid damaging their brand or backlash: much of the public has no sympathy for the struggles of the rich and famous.
In some people’s eyes, the preconditions to fame are signing away free time and privacy in exchange for riches and popularity. But there are always exceptions.
Looking deeper into Doja Cat’s situation, she signed a joint contract with RCA Records and Kemosabe Records when she was only 17.
Regardless of how an artist came into the spotlight, fans might feel guilty for enjoying their work when they mention their unhappiness or feelings of stress.
So, what can we do about these concerns around our favorite overworked musicians? As fans, there are some ways that we can help support.
1. Don’t engage with rumors.
This is a simple request since it doesn’t require any action on your part. Some well-meaning fans will pick through interview footage, paparazzi shots, and social media posts, looking for clues about their favorite musician’s mental health.
Try to avoid doing this. Even public figures who’ve chosen the spotlight deserve to have their health remain private and not used as a subject for debate.
If they choose to go public about their mental health to raise awareness or to connect with fans, that’s a different story. But until then, stop coming to conclusions based on what little information has been revealed to the public.
You will never know the whole story; these rumors often hurt more than they help.
2. Boost positivity on social media
If your favorite artists post something concerning, try to offer positivity instead of trying to diagnose or interrogate them.
Not like this…
Unfortunately, fans cannot offer the kind of support that a close friend or family might be able to, but reminding the musician that their work is valued and appreciated can help combat feelings of burnout and remind them why they love making music in the first place.
3. Continue to support their music
This step applies more to independent artists or smaller, upcoming artists who might be balancing their music career between another job to pay the bills.
Streaming platforms garner the most listeners but pay peanuts to the artists, who might find it difficult to continue producing art under these conditions.
Try buying their songs on Bandcamp, buying their merch, or, best of all, buying tickets to see their live shows.
For fans interested in cryptocurrency, some musicians upload their songs as NFTs on websites like Zora and PHLOTE. These purchases can help support a smaller artist.
Money can’t buy happiness, but for these smaller artists, some financial support from fans can go a long way in lifting their music career to new heights, allowing these artists to focus on creating what they love.
4. Give music artists breathing room in digital and physical spaces
We’ve all seen it before: pop stars flanked by black-suited bodyguards, who have to fend back the pressing mobs of fans trying to touch their favorite musician.
The same thing happens online when die-hard fans overanalyze every action of their favorite overworked musicians, everything they say, every picture they post.
This hyper-visibility reminds musicians they’re always in the public eye and can never slip up unless they want to be Twitter’s punching bag of the week.
Giving celebrities, especially overworked artists, a little breathing room would be healthy for both parties. The stars can reclaim a bit of privacy, and the fans will remember that musicians are just people, not gods.
Imagine something embarrassing you’ve done. Whether you like it or not, I’m sure these moments resurface occasionally. Everyone has slip-ups and bad hair days, moments they regret, and things they wish they hadn’t said.
But for someone in the public eye, these mistakes are discussed by the entire country. Embarrassing moments become permanent, humiliating on an unimaginable scale, and often career-ruining.
Instead of using a musician’s slip-ups to rip them apart, try to exercise some empathy in this regard. If you disagree with them or their actions, it’s much easier to quietly stop supporting them.
Don’t add to the stressful day of an overworked musician, artist, or celebrity.
Have you ever heard a song and thought “Damn, (enter favorite artist here) would’ve killed that?” Maybe you’re not too far off.
Recently, Tyler, the Creator revealed to i-D that the song “See You Again” off of his fourth studio album, Scum Fuck Flower Boy, was originally written for ex One Direction member Zayn Malik.
Tyler took to Twitter roasting the former One Direction singer’s flakiness, tweeting, “I wrote ‘see you again’ for Zayn but that bitch flaked on studio time twice, so I kept the ref for myself, worked out actually.”
fun fact: i wrote 'see you again' for zayn but that bitch flaked on studio time twice, so i kept the ref for myself, worked out actually
Zayn missing out on the studio sessions made way for Colombian-American singer Kali Uchis to lay her vocals down for a dope feature.
Artists are known to turn down songs that were meant for them. Their decision to not do a hit a song might seem dumb to you, but what is trash to one artist might be Billboard treasure to another.
Hell, a thrown away song from a bigger artist might even pop off a smaller artist’s career.
We decided to do a little research, digging deeper to find out what’s really good with songs that were turned down by one artist and given to another.
You’ll never look at your favorite song the same way ever again.
TLC -“…Baby One More Time”
This is the song that jumpstarted Britney’s musical career but it turns out this song was actually meant for R&B trio TLC. RIP Lefteye.
Songwriters Max Martin and Rami Yacoub thought the song meshed with TLC’s swag at the time but boy were they wrong.
MTV caught up with group member T-Boz back in 2013. She explained why they passed up on the hit song,
“I was like, I like the song but do I think it’s a hit? Do I think it’s TLC? I’m not saying ‘hit me baby.’ No disrespect to Britney. It’s good for her. But was I going to say ‘hit me baby one more time’? Hell no!”
Britney lucked out. Holy fuck her cards were played right.
Pusha-T – “Ni**as in Paris”
Apparently, this world record-setting song was meant for GOOD Music president Pusha-T.
In an interview with AskMen Pusha said he received the beat from Kanye but according to his manager Steven Victor, he thought it had sounded like a video game.
Pusha’s exact words when he heard the beat, “It sounds like a video game. Get that sh*t out of here!”
Michael Jackson – “Rock Your Body”
The Neptunes wrote this song for Michael Jackson. After Jackson’s team turned it down, Justin Timberlake picked it up for his solo debut album Justified.
If you listen closely you can definitely see how this song was meant for the King of Pop. The high pitched vocals and the beatboxing at the end give it away.
Low-key would’ve been awesome to hear this on Invincible, but everything happens for a reason, I guess.
Cee-Lo Green – “Happy”
This one is for the music history books. When “Happy” came out everyone was elated when they heard it, but it turns out Cee Lo Green did it first.
According to Rolling Stone, in a radio interview with Howard Stern, Pharrell said, “[Cee Lo Green] wanted to do it…and he did do it.”
“He burns my version! But. . . how do I say this diplomatically? The powers that be, at the time, did not see it fit for him. Some folks on his team just felt that the priority should be on [Cee Lo’s] album at the time [2012’s Cee Lo’s Magic Moment], so they elected not to do that song.”
Damn… fuck the “powers that be.”
Fat Joe – “Candy Shop”
Lean Back for this one. Joey Crack co-produced 50’s hit track with Scott Storch but turned it down even after Storch called him 100 times.
According to XXL, Joe explained why he let 50 Cent have it,
“I’m pretty sure the world don’t know we actually produced “Candy Shop” together. I produced it with him (Storch), made the intro, put the sounds together. I figured at the time “Lean Back” was popping so Scott called me like 50 times, 100 times: ‘Yo, you sure you don’t want to use it? 50 Cent called me. 50 Cent want it…'”
“I never had a problem with this dude. I was like, ‘Go ahead.’ The next day, I get in there and hear Candy Shop… Sometimes you know beats ain’t for you.”
This one is a particularly odd give away as 50 and Joe had some beef back in the day. Remember “Piggy Bank”?
D12 – “In Da Club”
This track spent eight weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 singles. According to an MTV breakdown of 50’s album Get Rich or Die Tryin, D12 passed up on the track. I guess they didn’t feel the vibe?
Welp, they missed out on hella racks. Fourteen years later I still hear old-heads knocking this track in their caddies.
Celine Dion -“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”
When Diane Warren wrote this song she saw a female singing it. The woman she imagined singing it was Celine Dion, but Aerosmith gave the song a different dimension.
Check out what she said in an interview with Short List,
“When I wrote it I thought it would end up being like Celine Dion or somebody like that, you know, back in the day – I mean, who’s a great singer – but it’s so much cooler to hear someone like Steven Tyler – this gruff, macho rock star, this amazing tough guy – for him to say that lyric, it just brought a whole other dimension to it. I don’t think it would have been the same hit, or the same standard, if it wasn’t for someone like Steven Tyler doing that song.”
Britney Spears – “Milkshake”
Although it appeared on Kelis’ third studio album “Milkshake” is the song that put her on the map.
When this song came out everyone was buggin’. Do you remember being in class and getting in trouble for singing it? Teachers were tight AF.
Britney turned it down for reasons unknown.
Damn, Britney, is Kelis’ milkshake better than yours?
The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) are usually host to some of the wildest performances and appearances in music and pop culture.
Since their debut in 1984, the VMAs have seen controversy, celebrity fights, public meltdowns, and just plain ol’ inexplicably weird shit.
I mean, what else would you expect when you throw the world’s biggest stars in a room together and let the cameras roll?
This year’s VMAs will be hosted by Katy Perry, not the most inspiring choice I suppose, but there will surely be no shortage of headlines as the VMAs rarely fail to entertain.
But what are some of those particular occasions of entertainment? I present, the most hotboy moments in VMAs history.
Britney Spears “Slave 4 U” performance with python
Ah yes, B Spears. Remember her?
During the height of her powers, there was simply no bigger star in pop music than Britney Spears. Her transition from America’s sweetheart to sex symbol happened rather abruptly and was capped off by this 2001 performance of “Slave 4 U” with a Burmese Python.
Britney pranced around the stage in Amazonian garb with a damn python wrapped around her.
Perhaps the whole large snake thing was a tool to take attention away from Spears’ less than stellar dance moves, but regardless, the image of her draped in a python has become one of the enduring images in VMAs history.
Fiona Apple proclaims “this world is bullshit”
After winning the 1997 VMA for “Best New Artist” a 20-year-old Fiona Apple got on stage and let go in a semi-unhinged, semi-real as fuck diatribe about identity and celebrity.
Before thanking her mother, Apple stated that people shouldn’t worry about perception,
“This world is bullshit… You shouldn’t model your life on what we think is cool, and what we’re wearing and what we’re saying and everything. Go with yourself.”
This sort of anti-celebrity attitude would come to define Apple’s career over the years after her massive debut as a teenager in the pop world.
She has spurned attention and adulation over the years, but she always has kept it very real.
Kanye West announces presidential run
After accepting the 2015 Vanguard Award, ironically presented by Taylor Swift, Kanye West went on one of his rants, claiming that he might have smoked “a little something” and then announcing a 2020 Presidential run.
But don’t be fooled, it’s not about politics, it’s about the people,
“When I talk about the idea of being president, I’m not saying I have any political views. I don’t have views on politics, I just have a view on humanity, on people, on the truth. If there’s anything that I can do with my time and my day, to somehow make a difference while I’m alive, I’m going to try to do it.”
It remains to be seen whether Kanye will follow up on this claim. Not sure it’d be the best thing ever, but it’d surely be entertaining?
Spoiler alert: this will not be Kanye’s only appearance on this list.
MCA, or Nathaniel Hornblower, interrupts Michael Stipe
After R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe went to accept the 1994 VMA for “Best Music Video,” the late great Beastie Boy MCA went up in costume to proclaim the award “a farce.”
MCA advocated on behalf of Spike Jonze, director of the Beastie Boys’ video for “Sabotage” while playing a Swiss agitator,
“This is an outrage, because Spike is the director that has just — I’m from Switzerland, OK? Let me just tell everyone that.”
It all got rather weird as MCA was dragged off stage and Stipe was clearly unamused by the whole thing.
This is just one of those moments that make MCA a legend.
Michael Jackson invents award
The 2002 VMAs were hosted on Michael Jackson’s 44th birthday so it seemed appropriate to have somewhat of a celebration of the King of Pop.
Britney Spears introduced Jackson, declaring him “the artist of the millennium” and presented him with a cake and a little personalized trophy.
Jackson, in typical Jackson fashion, kind of just did his thing from there, graciously accepting the “Artist of the Millennium award,” which does not in fact exist.
“When I was a little boy growing up in Indiana if someone told me I’d be getting the Artist of the Millennium award, I’d never have believed it.”
Who was gonna tell him any differently?
Rage Against the Machine bassist climbs set
Oh rap metal, how we miss you.
At the 2000 VMAs Limp Bizkit and Rage Against the Machine were both up for “Best Rock Video,” which really says a lot about that particular time in music.
Regardless, when Limp Bizkit won, Rage bassist Tim Commerford climbed onto one of the set designs and began to cause quite the scene.
Fred Durst, unable to really process what was going on, declared Commerford “real rock and roll.”
While it may have been real rock, not everyone was pleased, and Rage lead singer Zach de la Rocha was apparently so incensed that the incident was one of the factors that led to Rage’s breakup.
Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera kiss
During the 2003 VMAs, Madonna was joined by Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera for a recreation of Madonna’s legendary “Like A Virgin” performance 19 years prior.
With B Spears and Aguilera looking to shed their Disney-curated images, who better than Madonna to spice things up?
It surely helped those artists further distance themselves from the Mickey Mouse Club, but easily the best part of the clip is Justin Timberlake trying to keep a straight face during the whole thing.
Did you expect anything else…?
I can’t tell if Kanye is an award show genius or literally the worst person to have at an award show possible.
Do we even have to explain what happened here? Eh, it’s worth going over. Taylor Swift won the 2009 VMA for “Best Female Video” and Kanye crashed the stage stating,
“Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all-time!”
This might just be the most infamous moment in recent pop culture. And while that may seem hyperbolic, it’s come to define the careers of two of the biggest stars of the generation.
The dust settled and everything seemed cool between these two after a couple apologies and albums later, with Swift introducing Kanye for the aforementioned Vanguard Award back in 2015.
But things then got heated again when Kanye rapped on his song “Famous” that “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that b*tch famous.”