Britney Spears Is ‘Not a Train Wreck or a Mess’ Producer Claude Kelly Says

Music icon Claude Kelly recently commented about his experience of what it was like to work with Britney Spears, recalling an artist who was extremely professional.

Kelly worked with Spears on her 2008 “Circus” album, which was released after Spears’ father took control of her career and personal life. Kelly said that Spears was the consummate professional in the studio and was nothing like what the media was portraying, especially at the time.

Britney Spears performs on Good Morning America in 2008 in New York City
Britney Spears performs on Good Morning America in 2008 in New York City |Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Britney Spears was ‘very professional,’ Claude Kelly says

Kelly shared how he ended up connecting with Spears on the Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef podcast. “The record label,” he remarked. “I mean, a lot of these things in those cases are the record label. They have an idea of who they want to work with and they’ll call one of us and say, do you have stuff or do you want to come in the studio? So they sent it to her and she loved it. And the next thing you know, you’re recording her.” 

Kelly observed someone who was extremely professional and focused in the studio.

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“She’s very professional,” he remarked. “There’s the media side of what they say about her. And then there’s the studio. I’m sure that’s how she is. And she’s dancing and stuff too. And preparing for tour. She’s just, she almost works like a dancer. So it’s like where do I gotta be. What’s my cue. I know the whole, I have it memorized. And she works like that. She’s not a train wreck or a mess. Like people want her to be in the studio. And actually, most of the best people are not like that in the studio. It’s a pretty professional clean, get-it-done environment. Plus studio time is expensive. So no one wants to be there for no reason. So right. Get in and get out.”

Claude Kelly reveals how they arrived at the name ‘Circus’ for the album

Kelly shared how the album ended up being called “Circus” as he pondered the documentary Framing Britney Spears.

“It was about her life,” he said. “Her life with her life is still and was a circus. So that’s what I mean when I was taking songs, make not making cool words, but taking things that they can apply to their life and making that also catch you in the fun so that everyone else can sing along and have a party.”

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“But there’s also a deeper meaning to it,” he added. “So that song that I was a newbie and I was just trying to impress them, but also, of course, get a song on the album. So my tactic has always been write the truth and make that catching. And that’s still our formula to this day is write the truth and make that catchy. So I wasn’t sure it would work, but it looked to me like all eyes on her in the center of the ring was like a circus.”

“Here we are today and isn’t the same truth that we are dealing with?” he asked. “We were just talking about that documentary, it’s still, she’s still in a circus. We don’t have the details and I don’t want to, but I know it’s crazy. So again, songs that tell the truth, but we are still dancing to today.”