A little over a week ago (May 22), the Legendary Miss Britney Spears performed a hits medley — a sampling of her remixed, reimagined and still iconic Las Vegas residency, Piece Of Me — while being honored with the Millennium Award at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.
I’m still physically, emotionally and Spearitually drained from the experience, and very much coping with the fact that both “Touch Of My Hand” and “Breathe On Me” — two In The Zone deep cuts — were performed at a major awards show in 2016. She killed it, and I’m so very #ProudOfBritney.
But before she makes us oooh this summer and kicks off the next chapter of her career, I must confess: I’ve been holding on to something really cool and vintage from the archives for the OG fans — and I think I’m ready now to let it go. (To love, you gotta let go.)
I have very few concrete details about this performance, aside from its original file name: “Asian Conference Presentation Singapore.” It’s assumed to be from 1998, around when Britney was presenting material for her forthcoming debut album in front of record execs.
There are three songs included in the presentation — a pre-hits medley, if you will: “…Baby One More Time,” “Sometimes” and, most incredibly of all, “You Got It All,” a Jets cover recorded with producer Eric Foster White in August of 1997, only to be delegated to bonus track status on certain editions of Oops!…I Did It Again.
A quick YouTube search will show you that footage from this showcase has existed in 30-second preview form for years already but, as far as I can tell, no one has ever released the showcase in its entirety…until now. (Oops.)
It’s genuinely mesmerizing to watch this footage nearly two decades later, not only because she’s just a child on the brink of superstardom (she must be age 16 or 17 at most), but because of those very much live vocals. The belting! That lower register! Those old school Spearitual riffs! She sounds so good — it’s been a while since we heard her really sangin’ like this.
I know this already exists out there on the Britney Black Market among some of her shadier fans trying to charge people for rarities.
But the world keeps moving, and we keep moving with it, and it would be a damn shame if the Britney Army (and the rest of the world) didn’t get to see our baybeh in her Mariah Carey-esque strap dress earnestly belting it out to what appears to be an empty room just before becoming the Living Legend she is today.
So enjoy this nearly 20 year old #TBTney, Britney Army. And thank you to the Original Doll who sent this my way.