May 19, 2016

So the 2016 Billboard Music Awards (BBMA) show is just around the corner, and we can’t wait. Ludacris and Ciara are slated to host this illustrious music award ceremony, with performances by Celine Dion (who will be receiving the Billboard Icon Award), Justin Bieber, Pink, Nick Jonas, Rihanna and more. The nominations are in, with The Weeknd receiving 19 nominations across 16 categories and Justin Bieber, closely behind with 12 nominations in 11 categories. It’s the battle of the Canadians this year, to see who goes home big, just as Taylor Swift did last year when she walked away with six awards for Top Artist, Billboard Chart Achievement Award, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist and Top Streaming Song (Video).

As with many music awards show, many things can happen; unexpected winners, wardrobe malfunction, or Kanye going up on stage to interrupt winners… these are the kind of things that make awards shows like this exciting. But this year, there is one particularly big winner; and that’s Britney Spears. The multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning pop icon will be receiving the BBMA Millennium Award, a prestigious prize that has only two other recipients before her – Beyoncé in 2011 and Whitney Houston in 2012 (her late daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, accepted the award). This award will honour Britbrit’s achievements and influence spanning over her 18-year career. She’s one of the most successful and celebrated entertainers in pop history, and you probably own a few of the 100 million records she’s sold worldwide.

She’s already won six other Billboard Music awards in the past – New Artist of the Year (1999), Female Artist of the Year (1999), Female Albums Artist of the Year (1999), Female Singles Artist of the Year (1999), Albums Artist of the Year (2000) and Hot Dance Sales Single of the Year (2004). She’s also received a special award for having the largest first week sales ever for a female artist in 2000, and has had six out of her eight albums debut at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. And that’s just the BBMA.

But most importantly, she won us over back in 1999, when she released the video for her first single, “…Baby One More Time”, which saw her in a Catholic high school girl get-up. Since then, she’s amassed countless awards and accolades including an American Music Award, MTV Video Vanguard Award, Grammy Awards. She’s also been busy with her two-year residency show in Las Vegas titled “Britney: Piece of Me”, which was voted “Best Show in Las Vegas” and “Best Bachelorette Show in Las Vegas”. And not forgetting the 15 fragrances she’s created over 10 years.

This mother of two has been the subject of public scrutiny ever since she was young. She was part of The Mickey Mouse Club along with Christina  Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling and Keri Russell, before the show got cancelled in 1995. She got married once in Vegas in 2004 but the marriage was annulled 55 hours later because she “lacked understanding of her actions”. More drama ensued as paparazzis started to follow her everywhere she went. And who can forget that night when she infamously shaved her head at a random hair salon in Los Angeles? She fully cemented herself as tabloid gold when she attacked a photographer’s car with an umbrella after numerous pleas for privacy. She checked herself into rehab and things got slightly better. In 2007, she released her fifth studio album, “Blackout” and performed the lead single “Gimme More” at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. Despite the lacklustre performance, the single received worldwide success and hit the top ten in almost every country it charted.

Years later, after a custody battle for her kids, being the judge on The X Factor alongside Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Demi Lovato, three more studio albums and a cover shoot for V magazine’s 100th issue, she’s back in the studio, working on her ninth album. Britney Spears will be opening this year’s BBMA with a medley of some of her greatest hits over her career. We’ve put together a little playlist of songs we think she might perform on 22 May.