Happy birthday “…Baby One More Time”!
Oct. 23 marks the release of Britney Spears’ debut single 20 years ago. The smash hit kicked off her career with a bang, setting the stage for Spears to become one of this generation’s biggest pop icons.
The song itself went number 1 in 18 different countries, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks. It’s considered to be one of the best-selling singles of all time, thanks in part to its memorable music video. It even earned Spears her first set of Grammy nominations for “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance” and “Best New Artist”.
It also launched Swedish songwriter Max Martin into the stratosphere, who promptly became one of the most sought-after producers in all of pop music once “…Baby One More Time” catapulted to the top of the charts.
In honour of the track’s milestone anniversary, we’ve rounded up our favourite covers of the Spears classic:
Lea Michele / Rachel Berry
Pop purists will appreciate this shot-for-shot recreation from the second season of “Glee” – and the superstar’s cameo. Lea Michele lives every Spears fan’s fantasy: getting to star in their very own version of the iconic music video. She doesn’t sound too shabby either.
Aside from being one of the biggest artists on the planet, Ed Sheeran is known for his excellent covers. His acoustic rendition of “…Baby One More Time” is no exception. Sheeran shows off some impressive vocal runs and a strong falsetto throughout his performance, turning the pop hit into something super soulful. Bonus points for rocking a Toronto Blue Jays tee.
Fun Fact: Sheeran recently co-wrote Anne Marie’s hit “2002”, which features both a lyrical and visual nod to “…Baby One More Time”.
If you’re looking for modern spin on the 1998 single, look no further than this Tove Styrke cover. Although the Swedish songstress’ version features pounding bass, prominent percussion and funky electronic elements, there’s a distinct haunting quality to her vocals that truly transforms the original. Get to know more about Styrke here.
Scottish rock band Travis were one of the first to cover Spears’ first big hit. Little did they know that their version would become so popular, they would end up recording the track as a B-Side for their 1999 single, “Turn”.
This cover highlights the versatility of “…Baby One More Time”. Who knew a seemingly straightforward pop song could morph into cabaret classic with a couple of tweaks? YouTube sensations Postmodern Jukebox have reworked countless chart-toppers from various genres, and their take on Spears’ first single will transport you to another time and space.
Turns out Gomez is cut from the same Mouseketeer cloth as Ms. Spears. They each got their big break with Disney, and both women having been churning out pop hits for years. This live cover shows off the strength of Gomez’s lower register, and it’s clear she’s having fun with it – channelling Spears’ signature sass.
Bowling For Soup
Bowling For Soup are more well known for their cover of the song “1985” – the band’s big hit from 2004. But the pop-rockers also recorded their own rendition of “…Baby One More Time” for the soundtrack of Disney’s “Freaky Friday” remake. The gritty version definitely gives the song a different vibe.