Stories from Backstage – Remembering the ol’ Britney Spears

by Bruce A. Smith

Key Arena, 2004

 Several years ago I witnessed “Blonde Pride Night” at the Key as 10,000 of Seattle’s finest young cuties celebrated their Blondeness, and paid homage to their Golden Goddess, Britney Spears.  But, I didn’t know that until the show was over.

 When the house lights came on, I was stunned to see an ocean of blonde hair wafting through the Key.  Watching these golden shags float out the doorways, I understood finally all that I had just seen:  the deafening ovation Britney received when she took the stage, her tears during her opening remarks, and the candles and Bic lighters.  That opening salvo had hurt my ears and pounded my chest to the point of pain and I had wished the kids would’ve stop.  Now, I understood the ferocity.

 Britney looked truly touched by Seattle’s greeting.  I had examined her closely, expecting hype, but her conversation with the audience came from the heart.  The exact meaning of her words escaped me, but Britney’s fans seemed to know exactly what she meant when she proclaimed, “I’m not in the same space I was six months ago.”  They stood and cheered, and lit their Bics.

 Surprisingly, tears of pride came to my eyes when next Britney extolled her fans to be role models for “all the young people coming up.” 

Must have been the poppa in me.  I smiled realizing that Britney, at 22, feels old.  However, the context of her last admonition was lost to me, “Never take one day for granted.”

 But I didn’t need to understand.  The fact that she was talking about something more than sex, drugs, and rock and roll was significant.  Her commentary from the stage revealed an important aspect about Britney and her success: she goes beyond looking sexyby teaching a kind of righteous sexiness.  For lack of a better term I’m calling it Blonde Power.

 Britney is sexy, of course, but that’s not the half of it.  She knows she’s sexy and uses both her body’s traffic-stopping powers and her awareness of it to create a higher level of confidence, another level of power within her, one where Britney sings without concern over the ability of her pipes, never one moment wishing she had the vocal power of Martina McBride, Sarah Brightman or Nora Jones. That whole package is Britney, and she extols her fans to create the same for themselves.  She seems to be saying, “Go girls – Be Blonde.  Be Sexy.  Be Powerful, in whatever you do.” 

 Seeing her impact, I was touched.

 Now, years later, it’s clear to see that Britney’s life has floundered on the harsh rocks of adulthood.  Sex and flash aren’t enough to sustain a marriage, raise kids or confront the demons within.

 But once upon a time, the girl showed me some guts and a tender heart, so I wish her well.  Go Brit!  Sing your song of growing up!

 I bet a lot of your fans could use that message, now, too.

 ©  2008, 2012  Bruce A. Smith

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