thumb Barbara Ellen of The Observer has reported: "Spears is famously one of the 'oldest' teenagers pop has ever produced, almost middle aged in terms of focus and determination. Many 19-year-olds haven't even started working by that age, whereas Britney, a former Mouseketeer, was that most unusual and volatile of American phenomena - a child with a full-time career. While other little girls were putting posters on their walls, Britney was wanting to be the poster on the wall. Whereas other children develop at their own pace, Britney was developing at a pace set by the ferociously competitive American entertainment industry". In 2011, Adam Markovitz of Entertainment Weekly commented on the cultural significance of Spears's voice and music. "We don't ask a whole lot from Britney Spears as an entertainer...we'll still send her straight up the charts simply because she's Britney. She's an American institution, as deeply sacred and messed up as pro wrestling or the filibuster. Musically, though, Spears will always have to measure up to her own gold standards of pop euphony: the operatic slither of 2004's 'Toxic' and the candied funk of 2000's 'Oops!...I Did It Again.' Spears is no technical singer, that's for sure. But backed by Martin and Dr. Luke's wall of pound, her vocals melt into a mix of babytalk coo and coital panting that is, in its own overprocessed way, just as iconic and propulsive as Michael Jackson's yips or Eminem's snarls." 'Britney Spears' was Yahoo!'s most popular search term between 2005 and 2008, and has been in a total of seven different years. Spears was named as Most Searched Person in the Guinness World Records book edition 2007 and 2009. She was later named as the most searched person of the decade 2000 - 2009. Spears is the most followed person on Google's social network, Google+. Reaching 100,000 in under two months of the sites launch, quadrupling the amount within 10 days. By November she had over 760,000 followers, and by the end of December 2011, Spears became the first person to reach over 1 million followers.
Spears has been cited as a musical inspiration by contemporary artists. Gwyneth Paltrow's character on 2010 drama film Country Strong was inspired on the singer's public meltdown. According to film director Shana Fest, "that's where this movie came from. I mean, I was seeing what was happening in the media to Britney Spears. I think it's tragic how we treat people who give us so much, and we love to see them knocked down to build them back up again, to knock them down again." Nicki Minaj has cited Spears as a major influence on her career, and commented, "the fact that she came back out with just so much fire inspires me, and it inspires young women and people all over the world. It just inspires you. A lot of my fans feel like they are the underdog and feel like they are the people who aren't ever accepted for themselves, or who are laughed at or poked fun at forever. It just goes to show that once you keep at whatever it is you're doing, people may not like you, people may not love you, but they will have to respect you at the end of the day. And that respect is all that matters." Lana Del Rey revealed that she is compelled by Spears in an interview with MTV, saying, "I'm not really interested in a ton of female musicians but there is something about Britney that compelled me - the way she sings and just the way she looks." Del Rey also said that the "Toxic" music video is a main inspiration of her work. During the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, Lady Gaga said that Spears "taught us all how to be fearless, and the industry wouldn't be the same without her." Miley Cyrus credits Spears as her biggest inspiration, and has referenced the singer in her hit song "Party in the U.S.A." (2009). Spears's personal breakdown was also cited as an inspiration for Barry Manilow's album "15 Minutes".
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