It was Britney Spears' birthday on December 2nd, but instead of getting gifts, the legendary pop star gifted her fans instead (call it Southern charm), dropping the previously unreleased track "Swimming In The Stars".
Recorded for her 2016 album Glory, the track is available to stream now and will also be part of a limited-edition vinyl available at Urban Outfitters this Friday, December 4 (so December 5 here in Australia). The new record will also include a handful of other new tunes that didn't make the OG release, including – wait for it – a track featuring none other than fellow 90s icons, The Backstreet Boys. My inner 12-year-old self may or may not have just peed herself a little.
Eagle-eyed fans spotted the collab when a pic of the vinyl surfaced online, showing its new album cover – a photo of Brit in chains in the desert, updated back in May – along with its track list, which included a song called "Matches", credited to Brit and The Backstreet Boys. Apparently, it was supposed to be released in January, but its release was pushed forward by the record label to coincide with her birthday.
To give you an idea of how big of a deal this is: there's been talk of a potential collab between the two parties pretty much ever since they both first hit it big back in the 90s. Which would make sense – two of the biggest acts at the time, coming together to make sweet, sweet, music. It was a no-brainer.
As for whether or not Brit and BSB will come together to perform the track IRL, we hate to say it, but probably not – at least not any time soon, that is. During a court case last month to again ask to have her dad Jamie Spears removed from her conservatorship, Brit said through her lawyer: "She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career." The court ended up ruling to keep Jamie in the role – at least until February 2021.
If you're not familiar with the #freebritney movement, it's essentially fans who reckon Brit is being held captive by Jamie. The conservatorship order, one he's had since 2008 after the singer suffered mental health problems, gives him total control of her life; from her finances to her two kids. In court last month, Brit's mum called the relationship between her daughter and her ex-husband "toxic."
So yeah, unfortunately the chance of seeing Brit and BSB together on-stage performing "Matches" is looking slim to none, RN. Which is fine, as we've got enough other new Brit stuff to keep us entertained.
Listen to "Swimming In The Stars" here:
Written by Sangeeta Kocharekar, an American-born, Sydney-based writer at MTV. Photos from her pre-COVID-19 days as a travel writer are here.