-- by Joe D'Angelo, with additional reporting by Alistair Connelly
Since first stepping into the limelight, 20-year-old Britney Spears has adopted an array of personas to match her comprehensive wardrobe of costumes. First, at age 11, she was the sweet and apple-cheeked Mouseketeer. Fast forward to her 1999 debut album, ... Baby One More Time, and she was the sexy-but-innocent student in parochial-school skirt and thigh-highs. She then morphed into curious adolescent, cabaret performer and sexually confident woman, among other guises, in the two years leading up to her latest album, Britney.
But while suppressing the milk-and-cookies everyteen image in favor of something a lot more adult-oriented with such songs as "I'm a Slave 4 U" and "Boys," obstacles remain in her transformation from naive pop tart to sultry sex symbol (after all, she is just talking about dancing in those songs). Britney's most personal LP yet dilutes the sexually suggestive tracks with more wholesome fare, such as the hot-date jitterbug "Anticipating" and fairy tale crush "Bombastic Love."
Britney's latest single, "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet A Woman," best describes her dichotomous state as someone who intends to prove she's a grown-up living in the spotlight while keeping tethered to a past rooted in rural Kentwood, Louisiana. The song doubles as a summation of her feature film debut, "Crossroads," which opens February 15. In it, Britney slips into her most well-suited role since she really was "that innocent" as Lucy, who, along with two friends, vacates her small town on a cross-country quest to find her estranged mother (played by Kim Cattrall of "Sex and the City") and enter a music contest in Los Angeles. Along the way, she finds love and experiences the first confused pangs of adulthood.
On-the-set kisses and a karaoke funfest Britney shares all ... NEXT