The untold truth of Britney Spears

The woman, the myth, the legend, Britney Spears is one of those few pop stars who have seemingly transcended their human status, and have become something akin to a demigoddess. She took the world by storm back in 1998 when her debut hit single "…Baby One More Time" dropped on MTV. Her full-length album by the same name hit shelves a few months later, courtesy of Jive Records, and thus a star was born. There was no turning back after that!

Following that, Spears was constantly in the spotlight — hardly the girl from small-town Louisiana that she was before. After her explosive debut, she released multiple albums, embarked on numerous international tours, and even starred in a handful of movies — our girl was permanently busy.

But there's a lot more to know about the woman who revitalized teen pop in the 1990s and early 2000s, and matured into her own as the years went by. What's she like in her intimate moments, when she's not on stage and the cameras have stopped rolling? What does she like to do for fun? Does she have any hopes and plans for the future? Here's the untold truth of Britney Spears.

She screamed when she first heard herself on the radio

Do you remember where you were when you heard "…Baby One More Time" for the very first time? Were you plunked down in front of the television watching MTV, or were you listening to your local Top 40 radio station? Well, Spears remembers exactly where she was when it first hit the airwaves. "I was at home and I had just gotten off the airplane," she recalled in a 1999 interview with Variety. "It was so weird because we'd just got in the car, I'd just shut the door, and it came on." Can you imagine how insane that must have felt?

Spears was so completely blown away that she could barely contain herself. "It was so overwhelming, I just started screaming," she continued. "It was really cool, though." That's a totally understandable reaction, girl. After that, the song was playing literally everywhere, as often as stations could play it without playing only it. And the rest, as they say, was history.

Where did she get her very first start?

Although Spears was catapulted to superstardom upon the release of her debut single, this was not her first rodeo in the entertainment biz. In fact, she was a star on the popular program The All New Mickey Mouse Club from 1993 to 1995, alongside other famous alumni like Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, and Justin Timberlake, according to Variety. You can catch Spears and Timberlake singing together on the program, thanks to the wonders of YouTube. That show must have had a little bit of magic to launch so many prolific and successful star careers!

Fans of the show had hoped for a reunion of these former Mouseketeers, now that they were all grown up and killing it on their own. But the closest thing they got was a somewhat lackluster "reunion" on The Ellen Show, which showed Gosling and Spears together in a photo with Ellen DeGeneres — and that was it. Both stars were also interviewed on the show, but not together. How is that a reunion, exactly?

Becoming a mom calmed her

Spending years and years as an ultra-famous celeb can be exhausting, as everywhere you go and everything you do, you're being watched. Certainly Spears has had to contend with the pressures of fame, which she discussed in an interview with Yediot Ahronot (via Marie Claire), saying she was often anxious and overwhelmed. But fortunately for Spears, having her two sons was really good for her, and helped her calmed down. "Becoming a mother and being with my boys [Jayden and Sean Preston] has made me so much more accepting of myself. I'm their mom, whatever," she confessed in the interview. "That has been a really big thing for me over these last few years." We're glad to hear it, boo!

As for her prognosis, things look good, thanks to her wee ones. "Today I'm at a better place in my life," she shared in that same interview with Yediot Ahronot. "My kids shaped my personality and filled me. They made me not worry about what was happening to me." Motherhood, then, appears to have been a balm to the pop star's soul.

"Being famous doesn't make you any different"

You would think that Spears, being the ultra-famous, ultra-gorgeous pop star that she is, would have no trouble at all getting a date. She's Britney Spears, for goodness' sake! But as it turns out, even she has had a date go sideways. "I've been single for ages and had a date with a guy I liked. I was getting anxious, worrying he wouldn't like me," she revealed in an interview with Marie Claire. "We went to the movies, but I could tell right away it wasn't working. It was sort of awkward." Ugh, that doesn't sound very pleasant at all. 

So what was it that steered this date into a disaster? "He just wasn't that into me. I liked him. He knew that. But he definitely didn't feel the same," she continued. "It happens to everybody. Being famous doesn't make you any different." How someone couldn't be into Spears is beyond us, but apparently it does happen. Maybe there's hope for the rest of us after all?

She thinks girls should have an ego

Given that Spears has over 20 million followers on Instagram, there are obviously a lot of people who are listening to what she has to say. That's why it was totally refreshing to hear her broadcast a message of female empowerment in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "I feel like it's really, you know, powerful and sexy for girls to have the image of empowerment and to have a little bit of the ego," she explained. "It's okay, you know, toot your own horn, I think that's, kind of, really important these days." In a time when your social media following can misconstrue your words and turn against you at any time, we give that not-so-cookie-cutter advice a solid amen.

That's not the only time Spears has summoned girl power, as a musical with her songs will be opening on Broadway in 2020, according to The New York Times. The show won't be about her life, but rather about a book club (comprised of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel and Cinderella) who are given a copy of The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, which changes their lives. That sounds amazing!

Men were creepy from the very start

If there's one thing that Spears is probably 100 percent done with, it has to be dealing with inappropriate attention from men. Given that she's been famous for over two decades now, you know that stuff has to get exhausting. 

It started early, too, according to Variety magazine. In the 1999 interview, she discussed how she was performing at a show in Philadelphia when she was 17, and there were a ton of older men waiting outside for her. "It was like, 'Oh my goodness, these guys are, like, old,'" she recalled. "I was like, 'Oh my goodness, this is not good.' It was kind of freaky." Um, yikes!

That's not all either — it gets worse. "One guy came to my house when I was home. Thank goodness I wasn't home by myself," she continued. "It was so weird because he parked like half a block away from my house and was snooping up on me. And he asked my mom, 'Can I meet her?'" Of course her mom said no, and the man left, after driving two hours to see her. She understandably freaked out!

She did a wild photo shoot with her ex

Spears' romantic relationship with her ex-husband Kevin Federline may be long dead, but thanks to the god of posterity, the images from a wild photo shoot they did in 2005 will be with us forever. In one photograph, Spears is lounging in a beach chair while Fenderline, dressed as a butler, offers her a drink. And in the other, Spears is dressed as a sexy French maid, draped in the lap of an undershirt-clad Fenderline, accessorized by booze and a cigarette. 

So what was the impetus for staging such a shoot? "I knew we were coming out with our reality show, and I wanted to capture [something about all this] in art form," she revealed in an interview with Interview magazine. "Through photography I wanted me and Kevin to do some kind of character pieces, with a fun essence that didn't really take things too seriously." They certainly don't!

The pair worked with photographer Michelle Kole to achieve their artistic vision. "Instead of trying to deny what the public says or what they think our personas are, we –" Federline finished, "Make fun of it!" 10-4!

"My family called me wondering if I'm dead"

Spears is no stranger to being the subject of tabloid rumors. So dogged by the paparazzi was she that they captured her very public meltdown in 2007, in which she shaved her head and appeared to have some serious mental health issues. For years, coverage was as relentless as it was constant, and frankly it can be hard to look at, even in retrospect.  

But of all of the wild rumors out there, one especially stood out to Spears when she was asked about it. "The craziest rumor ever I've read about myself is probably that I died," she confessed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "Yeah, it was on the radio that I died." Um, what? Of course, her loved ones were worried about her. "Well, my family called me, and they're wondering if I'm dead," she continued. Fortunately, as we all know Spears was not dead, which she confirmed with her family members. Thank goodness! 

This is what she learned from Madonna

Spears had a very public girlmance with Madonna back in the day, including a now-legendary smooch they shared at the 2003 VMA's. Allegedly the friendship went sour in 2006, according to Today, when Spears publicly shared that she no longer studies Kabbalah, something Madonna had gotten her into. 

But in 2011, Spears only had kind words to say about the pop icon, and shared what she feels Madonna has taught her. "I guess she's really taught me to stay true to myself," she shared in an interview with Harper's Bazaar. "That seems like a simple thing to say, but she taught me through action, not just by saying it." That's a pretty important lesson.

Madonna certainly understands what it is to be a megastar, so it makes sense that Spears would have that as her takeaway. "There are so many people around you that have opinions, but you just have to listen to your instincts," she continued. Girl, those are some wise words.

"There were many decisions that were made for me and that I didn't make myself"

Spears has come a long way from the schoolgirl that she was in the "…Baby One More Time" days, and even from the woman she was a decade after that. To that end, she opened up about her career in a 2017 interview, and reflected on some of the more difficult times. "I think I had to give myself more breaks through my career and take responsibility for my mental health," she confessed in an interview with Yediot Ahronot (via Marie Claire). "There were many decisions that were made for me and that I didn't make myself." That's not surprising to learn, especially how young she was when it all started.

One of the biggest decisions she regrets was performing "I'm a Slave 4 U" onstage at the VMA's with a very large, yellow Burmese Python wrapped around her. "That was pretty scary. Stupid even," she continued. "I wouldn't do that again." So even though people still talk about it years later, it's not something she remembers all that fondly.

She's a spiritual person

Spears isn't just a one-dimensional person without deep-seated beliefs and convictions, despite the fact that the tabloids have painted her as such in the past. Rather, one thing she's emotionally invested in is her spirituality. "I believe in an afterlife, of course. I'm a very spiritual person," she revealed in an interview with Flaunt magazine. "I believe in heaven. I believe we're all here for a reason." Cultivate that inner life, girl! Everyone needs to hold onto something.

Spears also believes that everyone has their role in life, and should have a positive impact on the world. "I think we're here just as people to pass it on and pass our information on to others, to inspire as much as we can. Inspire every day," she continued. "And just to be good people, you know? And give back and help others." She's certainly done her part inspiring people!

She says she's actually pretty boring

You'd think that Spears would have a super exciting life when she's not performing, given that she's so rich and famous. In fact, she's worth a staggering $215 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Bring on the yacht excursions, shopping sprees in the best boutiques, and the trips around the world, right?

Wrong, actually. Turns out the way Spears describes herself is kind of surprising. "I'm actually a very boring person," she admitted in an interview with Flaunt magazine. "I don't go out. I don't really do anything. I should be Mother Mary, seriously." Sounds like she's a bit of a recluse, honestly. Things may have been different in the past for the pop star, but it sounds like she's totally comfortable where she is now. "I think my life has done a complete 360," she continued. "Things are just different now. It's a different time. It's a different era." But clearly, it's still her era!

How does she want to be remembered?

There are plenty of memorable moments in Spears' long and successful career that stand out: that smooch with Madonna, her sweet schoolgirl persona, her insane and varied music video looks, and yes, declaring, "It's Britney, b*tch." 

But when asked, the singer said she wanted to be remembered for something quite surprising. "I would like to be remembered as someone who makes you laugh," she shared in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "I just think laughter is the most like, joyful thing you can do in life, you know? And I think it's really, like, I love being around people who are funny." Who saw that one coming?

As to whether or not she's funny herself, Spears was pretty honest about it. "I'm really not, but I wish I was!" she continued. That's okay girl, you are memorable for so many other amazing reasons! No one's going to be able to forget you.

Taking another mental health break

In January of 2019, Spears was the unfortunate recipient of some bad news: her father was facing serious health problems to the point that he almost lost his life, according to a post on her Instagram page. "A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died," she wrote in the caption. "We're all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him." According to The New York Times, her father's colon spontaneously ruptured. Yikes, that sounds horrible!

Spears made the decision to put her Las Vegas residency on hold to be with her family, which had to be a hard decision for her. Additionally, she checked into mental health facility in late March of 2019, according to TMZ, to deal with everything that's going on. "We all need to take time for a little 'me time.' :) ," she wrote in another Instagram post. We're sending good thoughts out there for you, boo!