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Britneyomics

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2nd Oct 2008




Tuesday, 8 January 2008

The recent travails of pop icon Britney Spears continue to highlight the rapidly morphing nature of global celebrity. Her status as a performer and entertainer has fully entered the realm of pop-reality, where her private life is as documented and "important" as her public product - music and entertainment.

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Infotainment? Newsworthy? Bad performance? or Annoyance?
This convergence of reality and pop star seems to have reached a zenith -- there is no longer a difference between a pop product and a pop private life, as Brit Brit has so successfully proved. And the proof is in the sales: Brit's recent album Blackout may not have reached number 1 on the Billboard charts at launch, but hits from the album are showing staying power, including Gimme More, and more especially Piece of Me. Both prove that her form of entertainment still rakes in the bucks.

It's especially interesting to compare Britney's 24/7 product placement with the rise of US reality TV's Flava of the month, New York (nee Tiffany Pollard). Her hit reality show on VH1 makes for compulsive viewing as the world watches her morph from a reality TV persona and "normal person" into a full-fledged Product Star.

This merger of the two genres seems to be driven in part by the US tabs, but more largely by the never blinking eye of the internet.

She rose to fame as a contestent on a previous reality show, but landed her own gig after a strong internet reaction to her performance. Together, the two women are proving that the line between reality and pop is gone, and the cameras are forever taping everything from bad performances to a trip to the grocery store.

Such reality.