Today we celebrate the fifth birthday of Britney’s iconic seventh studio album, ‘Femme Fatale.’
When Britney’s first single off this album, ‘Hold It Against Me,’ was released, critics heavily praised Britney’s musical direction and the use of dub-step. Critics called the move risky and bold, and an experimental move in music is what makes Britney the undisputed Queen of Pop.
Max Martin and Dr.Luke were the executive producers of Femme Fatale and along with Britney’s help, they were responsible for the final track list.
Did you know the cover art for the criminal single was in fact fan made? It was made by Tito Dean G Gomez and it was uploaded on Flickr in September 2011.
Femme Fatale became the first Britney album to have 3 top 10 singles in the Billboard Hot 100.
It is rumoured that Britney was involved in the writing process for, ‘Till The World Ends,’ however felt that her contribution was not substantial enough to warrant a credit.
William Orbit was confirmed to be working on the ‘Femme Fatale’ album, however when the track list came out – he was nowhere to be seen. William Orbit followed on to work with Britney on her eighth album, ‘Britney Jean.’
When Britney announced the tour for the album, she officially announced that Enrique Iglesias would be her supporting act. However a few hours after the announcement, Enrique’s team pulled back on the decision and stated that he was a big enough act to sell out arena’s on his own. They stated that the discussion was more of a fly by discussion. A few days later, Nicki Minaj was announced as the replacement, which ended up being the better choice for the show, by far!
The ‘Criminal’ single decision was voted in by fans, beating ‘Inside Out’ and ‘(Drop Dead) Beautiful.’ The video was filmed in the UK, mainly in East London, which created a big controversy. During the time of filming, the governmental bodies were trying to cut down on gun and knife violence and felt that the video was glamorising the problem instead. It was all a matter of bad timing.
Britney began work on the album during the second leg of her, ‘The Circus: Starring Britney Spears,’ tour whilst also working on her second greatest hits album, ‘The Singles Collection.’
In June 2010, during an interview with Rap-Up, Danja commented that he was working with Britney in the pre-production of ‘Femme Fatale.’ Darkchild also reported working with Britney and said during a Ustream session in August 2010 that, ‘Britney fans are gonna be so happy in a few weeks.’ Adam Leber later stated, ‘No new music news right now… Wish people wouldn’t mislead you guys with BS info. Not Cool! Ps- They guys that ARE working on Brit’s next album ARE NT talking about it…’’
Britney announced the album name and artwork on Twitter on 2 February 2011, which followed on to make one of the top 10 longest running Twitter trends of all time and the first music related trend to make the top 10. Britney commented on Twitter stating, ‘Can’t believe Femme Fatale has been trending for 6 days. You are my motivation every single day. I love y’all.’
Femme Fatale was released on March 25, 2011, primarily in a standard soft pack/wallet packaging and a deluxe version which included 4 more tracks and additional booklet pages. A premium fan edition was also released which included a 32 page hard cover photo book, the deluxe cd version and a 7 inch, ‘Hold It Against Me,’ picture Vinyl.
In June 2011, RCA/Jive record group announced a split, which lead to Britney joining the RCA brand from August.
The lead single, ‘Hold It Against Me,’ became Britney’s fourth number 1 single on the Billboard Top 100, and also made Britney the second artist ever to have multiple singles debut at number 1. Interesting fact: Bonnie McKee, the songwriter for, ‘Hold It Against Me,’ stated that the song was inspired by Katy Perry. Whilst she was writing the track she was also working with Katy Perry and they made a joke about her hot body and the lyrics were born from there.
The album promotion was highly active with many television appearances and a highly successful world tour.
Despite winning a series of awards, one award show known to be biased against Britney, The Grammy’s, failed to offer a nomination which outraged many critics. John Mitchell of MTV criticised the award show and stated, ’Till The World Ends,’ should have won a nomination for best dance recording.’ Robbie Daw of Idolator also stated that the album should have been nominated, commenting, ‘She had a number 1 album, that yielded a trio of hits. So what gives?’ Ed Christman of Billboard noted that ‘Femme Fatale was overlooked by the Grammy voters. If you have a look at the panel of voters for the Grammy’s you would understand why the show has become so irrelevant to the music industry over the years.
Femme Fatale debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Top 100, the sixth Britney album to hit the top spot. This leaves Britney in a tie for third most number one albums by a female artist, joining Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey to share the spot.
Although Britney has written many songs in her career, including a full album to follow, some critics commented on the lack of song writing input for this album. Singer-songwriter Ryan Tedder defended Britney stating that, ‘[Frank] Sinatra didn’t write a song, Garth Brooks barely wrote anything George Strait has had I thing 51 No.1’s and he has yet to write a song. Rasca Flatts are one of the biggest country acts in the world and all of their hits are written by other people.’ Britney also responded to the comments, ‘I don’t really have anything to prove at this point. I just do it for the fun and see what happens.’
Let’s celebrate by watching the only video from this album that is yet to be VEVO certified…
…and also by watching the MTV special, ‘I Am The Femme Fatale,’ and the album ‘Q&A’s’
Happy Birthday Femme Fatale! Let’s get our dance on! Stream the album on SPOTIFY now!