Happy Birthday, Britney Spears!

There’s probably not a big enough cake in the world to properly celebrate the birthday of international pop sensation Britney Spears. The singer and icon turns 29 years old today, and it’s more or less impossible to understate her impact on the pop culture world over the past decade or so. Ever since her debut single “…Baby One More Time” dropped in 1999, she has been a headliner, releasing some of the biggest albums of all time and dropping single after chart-topping single.

In addition to her music career, Spears has also dabbled in film (most notably, she starred in the underrated 2002 road movie “Crossroads”) and television (her ill-advised 2005 reality show “Britney & Kevin: Chaotic,” which followed the lives of Spears and then-husband Kevin Federline). But perhaps most importantly, Spears has helped redefine the new age of celebrity. She was perhaps the last big pop singer introduced just before the information age allowed for constant access to even the biggest stars (or the first one introduced just after that watershed began, depending on when you think the Internet made us all crazy). Over the past 10 years, she has had to manage her fame in real time, constantly adjusting and evolving her image in the public eye. Sometimes it has gone extremely well (her exceptionally well-received tour for Circus last year), but there have been plenty of hiccups along the way (that whole head-shaving incident from a few years back).

But when you consider everything she has gone through, Spears can feel pretty good about her 29 years. She is an extremely accomplished artist who has a number of records and accomplishments to her name, and her latest album might be the best one she has ever put out (and she has more new music on the way in the coming year). Circus was an incredible accomplishment, a fully-realized album the blended a surprisingly deep amount of European dance styles and Spears’ signature surgical pop for a blend that was powerful, catchy and refreshing. To properly celebrate Spears’ birthday, crank up “Radar” and throw your hands up.

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