Mention her name to the average teenybopper, and you'll be rewarded with one of two extreme reactions: an upturned nose and a scornful grimace, or a squeal of delight. There are those who mock her music, her dress sense, and her stage act, and an equal number of fans who ape her every move. And despite the mixed judgments, there is one fact the critics can't disprove, and the admirers can't stop highlighting: her first album went multi-platinum, her second looks set to do the same, and her presence attracts a mob following wherever she goes...
Her name, of course, is Britney Spears, America's reigning "princess of pop" and the author of one of the most hummable tunes of 1999, the hit single "...Baby One More Time". The success of that first single catapulted a teenager from Kentwood, Lousiana, into an overnight sensation, and turned her world around. And it is precisely this whirlwind change that Britney's' autobiography, "Britney Spears' Heart To Heart", attempts to document.
In "Britney Spears' Heart To Heart", the reader is provided with snippets of Britney's childhood in Louisiana, where she grew up with her Mom, Dad, brother and younger sister. In a small town like Kentwood, where everyone knew each other, Britney's talent became obvious at an early age, and her mother (who co-authored this autobiography) took it upon herself to help her daughter develop her talent. From early talent competitions to New York auditions and a place on the Mickey Mouse Club (where Britney met both Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake of N-Sync fame), to her early deal with Jive Records and the subsequent release of "..Baby One More Time", the book traces the ups and downs, the highs and lows of the Spears family as they struggled to give Britney the opportunity she needed to get to where she is today.
At another level, "Britney Spears' Heart To Heart" works as a touching testament to a family's love for each other, and their determination to keep going despite the odds. Since the book is co-authored by Lynne Spears, Britney's mother, you'll find some interesting insights on growing up in America, and on the mother-daughter equation, together with some of Lynne's home-grown truths on how to deal with a teenage daughter. There's also a look at the less-palatable aspects of fame - namely, the security risks posed to a young girl touring strange cities, the mobs of fans, the less-than-truthful press reports, and of course the time spent away from home and family.
With dozens of photographs and anecdotes, "Britney Spears' Heart To Heart" offers a fairly comprehensive picture of the rags-to-riches story of one of today's most bankable pop stars. Regardless of whether you're a Britney Spears fan, or simply looking for some soul food, this book has something for you!This article was first published on 25 Oct 2000.