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CNN.com 08/02/2002



Britney on music, 'Boys' and Austin's powers

August 2, 2002 Posted: 12:24 PM EDT (1624 GMT)

Spears: "Lately I've been interested in a lot of hip hop music."  

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(CNN) -- In June, Britney Spears cut short a Texas concert because of a power failure. This past week, she cut short a Mexico City show, the tour's last stop, because of too much electricity -- a lightning storm in the area.

Life just seems to go one way or the other for Spears these days.

In the past year, she broke up with 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake, was sued for allegedly stealing two songs, and has been challenged in the charts by a batch of young female singer-songwriters.

But she also opened a New York restaurant, toured, had a video game made about her, starred in a successful movie and was named the most powerful celebrity in the world by Forbes magazine.

The dramatic swings of pop superstardom make Spears' stage hip-shaking look downright geriatric -- well, almost. In her latest video, the Neptunes-remixed "Boys," her shimmy proves too much for even Austin Powers.

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CNN "Music Room" host Sasha Rionda caught up with the 20-year-old singer during her tour, and they chatted about Spears' eventful year.

Rionda: What is different with the "Dream within a Dream" tour? It seems to be much more daring than your previous tours.

Spears: This is my third tour, and I had a lot more involvement with this tour. I got to choose the dancers, you know, choose everything, so it was like a bigger deal for me because it was, like, my baby and my project.

Rionda: Now that you're no longer a teenager, are you trying to target your material more for adults?

Spears: You know, it's not something that you try to do, [say] "I'm going to sing to this person or that person." I just sing what I'm feeling at the time and hope my fans will like that and appreciate that.

Rionda: How is your music changing?

Spears struts her stuff on stage in Charlotte, North Carolina, in July.  

Spears: Lately, I've been really interested in a lot of hip-hop music. I've been really influenced by that. I think I['ve] incorporated a lot of that into my music lately.

You know what? It changes every day. Who knows? Six weeks from now, I'll probably be singing rock music. It's just whatever I feel at the moment.

Rionda: Actually, your new song "Boys" has a rap edge to it, doesn't it? Tell us about that song.

Spears: I really love the version that we did on the album, but ... the Neptunes are amazing, and I knew that they could come in and do something really different with it -- have a dance break in it here or there -- and they did. They took the song and they completely redid it, and it's very cool. Thankfully, they liked it so much, they were able to put it into the Austin Powers movie. So I'm really excited about that.

Rionda: How was it shooting the video with Mike Myers?

Spears: It was very cool. I loved it. He is the sweetest guy. It was really hard for me, because the whole time I'm supposed to be in character and be really cool. No, it didn't work! The set was really refreshing, because everyone was laughing and he was very cool to work with.

Rionda: Of all your music videos, which did you have the most fun filming?

Spears: Probably my first one, "Baby One More Time." Because it was my first video, the energy (was there). Everyone was really nervous because it was my first time.

Spears performs her song "Overprotected" for fans.  

Rionda: Do you have a lot of input in the making of your videos?

Spears: Yeah, that's the most fun part about doing a video. It's like, "Oh, I want to do this." For example, with the "Overprotected" video, that was all my idea, my own creation. It was really fun to watch it back. Yeah, you have to [have input]. That's what makes it special.

Rionda: I heard you had a little "oops" moment in the making of the video for "Oops! ... I Did it Again."

Spears: Yes we did. I was lying on the floor -- it's the scene where I'm lying down and the camera is supposed to be an overhead shot of me. All of a sudden, the camera just falls on my head in the middle of the whole video. It was really kind of bad. It was a very "Oops, I did it again" video.

Rionda: What did you do?

Spears: I had to go get stitches.

Rionda: But I heard you went back to finish the shoot.

Spears: Yeah, I did.

Rionda: You trouper!

Is the song "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" autobiographical?

Spears: You know what, I think that song was really written for the movie "Crossroads," but I can relate to it to a certain extent.

Rionda: Dido wrote the song. As you move to the next stage of your career, would you like to collaborate with others?

Spears: Yeah. I love being able to have other artists come in and have their input on things. It's more fun that way. On the next album, I'm already thinking about other people I'd like to work with.

Rionda: Can you tell us who?

Spears: No, I'm not going to tell you. It would ruin my surprise.

Rionda: Secrets! There seem to be a lot of young female artists emerging at the moment. Are there any that you like or admire?

Spears: I really love Shakira. I think she is amazing. I like how she's very rocker-oriented. She can move, she can dance and she's beautiful. I like her.

Rionda: What are you listening to at the moment?

Spears: I'm listening to Lauryn Hill's new album. I think it's amazing. It's kind of sad, but it's good. It's a feel-good album.

What else? I love Jay-Z. Shakira's new album is great, and my bodyguard has all these new rap songs that he's always playing on the bus. So I'm always listening to Nelly and stuff. It's a variety of stuff.

Rionda: How does it feel to be named Forbes' most powerful celebrity?

Spears: It's very flattering to be called that. They told me that about a week ago and I was like, "What, me? Okay, this is cool!" I was very happy.

Rionda: What is your plan for staying at No. 1 on the list, then?

Spears: I don't have a plan. I just do what I love to do and hope people appreciate that and see what happens.

Rionda: You are known to be an admirer of Madonna, and she's a champion at reinventing herself. What is the secret to lasting in the music industry?

Spears: I think that there's no real secret. You just have to love what you do and be motivated to do it. I just think there are a lot of people that after a while think, "Okay, I want to do something else." I just love what I do, and I think your drive says a lot. I think it boils down to talent, but I think your drive to be a good person and to stick to what you do (is important).


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