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Britney Spears' 'Baby One More Time' at 25: Here's Five Facts You Didn't Know (Plus Some Major Throwbacks)

Can you believe this classic is 25?!

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Jive Records

Let's rewind all the way back to the end of 1998, when we met a sixteen-year-old by the name of Britney Jean Spears. If you are somebody who grew up watching The Mickey Mouse Club in the 1990s, in particular from 1993 to 1996, it's quite possible you were already familiar with the name Britney Spears by the time 1998 rolled around. If, however, you weren't an avid watcher of the show, you were about to be introduced to a young phenom for the very first time. As a mid-1990s baby myself, I don't remember the actual premiere of "Baby One More Time," but I do remember Britney at the beginning of the 2000s and knowing the song and its respective music video quite well. That's because the single would go on to become one of the most prolific of the late 1990s, and has even been considered to be one of the greatest debut singles by an artist in history.

Tomorrow this classic officially turns 25 with it officially being released on September 29th, 1998. To celebrate, here's five facts you didn't know about the single, plus some rare gems that you might have forgotten over the years.

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The History of "Baby One More Time"

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Jive Records

After being signed to Jive Records in the earlier part of 1998, Spears recorded "Baby One More Time" in May of that year, as part of her the recordings for her debut album of the same title. "Baby One More Time" was released as the first single from the album on September 29th, 1998, becoming an instant triple-platinum hit, and eventually one of the best-selling singles of all time with over ten million copies sold to date. Now onto the facts.

Five facts about "Baby One More Time"

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Jive Records
  • Fact One. Perhaps the most infamous fact about "Baby One More Time" is that it was reportedly turned down by both TLC and The Backstreet Boys before being offered to Britney Spears. In a 2013 interview with MTV, T-Boz said, "I was like, I like the song but do I think it's a hit? Do I think it's TLC? I'm not saying 'hit me baby.' No disrespect to Britney. It's good for her. But was I going to say 'hit me baby one more time'? Hell no!" Fair enough. To our knowledge, The Backstreet Boys have never commented as to why they turned the song down, but not everything is for everybody.
  • Fact Two. Britney apparently listened to the track "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell as inspiration to get the growl she wanted for the track the night before she recorded it.
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Jive Records
  • Fact Three. At the time of this writing, "Baby One More Time" is the fifth best-selling single by a female artist in the United States. Those other four singles? "Believe by Cher," "I Will Always Love You by Cher," "Someone Like You" by Adele, and "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion.
  • Fact Four: "Baby One More Time" was infamously performed by Chad Michael Murray in the 2003 film Freaky Friday starring Lindsey Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis. You can watch Murray's incredible singing here.
  • Fact Five: The music video for the single was shot at Venice High School, which was also the same high school used for the shooting of Grease aka Rydell High. The video would go on to appear via MTV on November 26th 1998.

What the critics were saying

Now it's time for the gems. As part of the promotional campaign for both the song and her then upcoming album on a number of award shows throughout the end of 1998 into 1999.

Here's Spears performing the song on Top of the Pops Germany in 1999.

Next up is a performance the 1999 World Music Awards.

Then we had the standard daytime talk show performance on The Donny & Marie Show.

And lastly, Spears giving the VMAs a taste of what was to come in the next couple of years (the snake performance for example), with a performance on the 1999 Video Music Awards.

Happy 25th to a classic jam that will forever be in the hearts of us 1990s and 2000s kids.

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