But in addition to that pop dream team, Spears also hooked up with a wide array of collaborators (Travis Barker, will.i.am, Sabi), songwriters (Claude Kelly, Bonnie McKee, Ester Dean) and producers (Bloodshy, Benny Blanco, Rodney Jerkins), who helped create the sonically bombastic pop record that dropped on Tuesday (March 29).
MTV News caught up with songwriter Kelly and newbie pop singer Sabi, and got the inside scoop on the making of Femme Fatale.
"Here's what people don't realize and here's what I've noticed: She's very, very much in control of what she records, how she sounds, how she portrays herself on the record," Kelly, who wrote "Gasoline," said of Britney's process. "There's no grand master puppeteering — that's kind of a myth. She knows what she's going to cut. She's not going to sing anything she doesn't want to and she has this amazing ability when she gets behind the mic. It's like eye of the tiger."
Kelly went on to say that when Spears hits the studio to record an album, she knows what fans want to hear from her.
"Her rhythm is spot-on. You tell her, 'This part needs to be sexy,' and she's like, 'I got it already,' " he explained. "It's that rare ability that only really true artists have to get into character and to sell a theme and that's what she's good at. ... I think because she's been out for so long, people forget the evolution of her career. When you're in the studio with her, you quickly get reminded about how versatile she is and how clever she is. She's a show-woman."
Although Sabi, who appears on the track "(Drop Dead) Beautiful," didn't hit the studio with Brit, she felt the star's presence when she was dropping her verse.
"She recorded it already and then I went in. ... I rapped on it and I'm a singer. I rap when I feel the mood is right, so it all worked out. When I'm inspired to rap, I rap, but I'm a singer," she explained. "Me and [producer] Benny Blanco, we were just sitting there throwing ideas back and forth."
Two other collabos made the album's final cut, but Sabi's the only other femme fatale on the record.
"To be the only female on Britney's album, just in general, this whole thing is just bananas. I feel very lucky to be this person in this position right now," she said. "It is crazy. She does not do features that often and I think maybe it hasn't sunken in yet. It's a wonderful opportunity and maybe when it starts circulating, it'll sink in what's really going on. But right now, I don't know where I'm at but it feels good. When this song hits radio, it's going to be surreal."
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