Britney: Inside the Dream, although it does cover the rise of Britney Spears to stardom and her main musical achievements well, is as much a psychological study as it is a biography. To give a brief rundown of the young singer’s achievements to date, she is twenty-nine years old (born December 2, 1981) and she has released seven albums, five of which hit number one on the charts. Seven of her singles have also been number-one hits, and her seven world tours (one per album) have all been huge successes. She has been as famous (or infamous) for her very public private life as she is for her performances, with one failed marriage to Kevin Federline involving a child and a custody battle, several failed relationships, dueling attack records with Justin Timberlake, drug abuse and drug rehab, and a hot Sapphic on-stage kiss with Madonna. Britney Spears has revived the archetype of the pop queen in all its glory.
The mental underpinnings of a pop superstar
Steve Dennis has done a great deal of research for this bio of Britney Spears and it shows. A lot of interviews from her managers and supporting musicians as well as relatives, friends, and others who know her, and consultation with a therapist about the psychological underpinnings of much of Spears’ activity. There’s a lot to tell, of course, as Britney Spears has packed a lot of trauma and success both into less than thirty years of life, with no slow-down in sight yet. The self-destructive elements, as well as the headstrong combativeness, evident in a lot of her music show up in her life as well. From her early childhood (like many successful performers, she was involved in dance and music classes from a very young age, in this case age three), her early forays into Broadway and TV, her debut album Baby One More Time released in 1999 and rising quickly to the number one spot on the charts, and on from there into tremendous success and the accompanying personal problems. An intense psychological study of a superstar.