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Britney Spears is a pop superstar, a woman who rose to fame as a child star before stepping into the spotlight as the sultry singer of songs like “Oops!…I Did It Again” and “…Baby One More Time.” Spears quickly became one of the bestselling young artists of all time, but as she matured, she began to deal with increased scrutiny from the media.

Spears was hounded by tabloid reporters and paparazzi, eventually leading to a highly-publicized breakdown in 2007. In recent days, the release of a brand-new documentary has fans looking at Spears in a new light, re-examining the terms of the conservatorship that she is in, and looking to a TV series that features some interesting parallels to Spears’ life. 

Why is Britney Spears in the headlines?

Britney Spears smiling while looking to the left wearing a turquoise top.
Britney Spears | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Spears has long had a tense relationship with the press and paparazzi. After being pursued relentlessly for years by photographers, the singer pushed to her limits, had a mental health crisis, shaving her head and attacking a photographer’s car.

As a result, Spears was placed in conservatorship in 2008, a legal arrangement that primarily allows Spears’ father to dictate details of her care, medication, and how she spends her time. In recent years, the terms of Spears’ conservatorship have come under scrutiny, with many fans debating that her father is more interested in his daughter’s money than ensuring that she lives a happy, fulfilled life.

In February 2021, the discussion really gained traction among the masses when a brand-new documentary debuted on Hulu. The documentary revealed that many of Spears’ closest friends and confidantes believe that Spears is not happy with her father in control of her assets, and wants to be free to live her life. 

Miley Cyrus starred in a ‘Black Mirror’ episode that mirrors Britney Spears’ life

Spears has a life that, in many ways, is stranger than fiction — however, at least one TV series has featured a similar plot.

In early 2019, a brand-new season of the twisted series Black Mirror debuted. Miley Cyrus guest-starred as Ashley O, a pop star who is secretly being controlled by her team. Ashley O’s manager gives her pills to try to balance her moods and control her more easily, and ultimately, it all ends in tragedy. 

When the season debuted, many fans couldn’t help but notice the similarities to the story of Spears and the #FreeBritney movement. As it turns out, Cyrus could possibly have based many of the aspects of her Ashley O character on Spears, since she is a huge fan of the iconic singer. 

What did Miley Cyrus say about Britney Spears?


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In a June 2020 interview with Variety, Cyrus admitted that she had Spears in the back of her mind when she was acting as Ashley O, stating that she had many posters of the pop star on her walls when she was growing up. In light of Spears’ recent controversy, Cyrus has continued to speak words of support about her music industry peer.

Cyrus said: “I had the most weird hodgepodge of Britney Spears, ’NSync, Metallica and Hilary [Duff.] I had Joan Jett and Pat Benatar. You should’ve seen my face when Britney covered “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll” in “Crossroads.” I melted down. That scene was the father, the son and the Holy Spirit all in one room. I actually lost my mind. That was worlds colliding beyond what I could have ever dreamed of.”

During a recent Super Bowl pregame live performance, Cyrus changed up the words to her hit anthem “Party in the U.S.A.,” and letting her audience know that “we love Britney!”

Considering the timing of Cyrus’s shoutout, it seems likely that it was specifically designed to let fans everywhere know that she is firmly in Spears’ camp, no matter what the future holds.