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Britney Spears recalls auditioning to ‘rooms full of men’ looking her ‘up and down’ aged 15

Britney Spears was just 15 when she first started auditioning at record labels

Ellie Muir
Thursday 19 October 2023 09:55 BST
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Jimmy Kimmel asks Christina Aguilera about Britney Spears's memoir

Britney Spears has reflected on being looked “up and down” by music executives when she was brought into audition rooms that were “full of men” ahead of signing her first record deal.

The singer, 41, made the revelation in her forthcoming memoir, The Woman in Me, which will be released on 24 October. In an excerpt obtained by People, Spears writes about attending auditions with record labels when she was 15.

Spears reflects on being introduced to an entertainment lawyer named Larry Rudolph, who became her longtime manager from 1998 until 2021.

“My mom had been in touch with a lawyer she’d met on my audition circuit, a man named Larry Rudolph, who she would call sometimes for business advice,” Spears recalled.

“He suggested I record a demo. He had a song that Toni Braxton had recorded for her second album that had ended up on the cutting room floor. This would become the demo that I would use to get in the door at record labels.”

But when Spears started getting auditions, she remembers being brought into rooms full of music executives who would be looking her “up and down”.

“Larry took me around [New York City], and I went into rooms full of executives and sang Whitney Houston’s ‘I Have Nothing,’” she writes. “Gazing out at the rooms full of men in suits looking me up and down in my small dress and high heels, I sang loud.”

Spears signed to Jive Records in 1997, aged 15, and released her debut studio album ….Baby One More Time in 1999.

Spears rehearsing for the Billboard Music Awards in 1999 (Getty Images)

“I worked for hours straight. My work ethic was strong. If you knew me then, you wouldn’t hear from me for days,” Spears said of making the best-selling record. “I would stay in the studio as long as I could. If anyone wanted to leave, I’d say, ‘I wasn’t perfect.’”

“When all the songs were done, someone said, ‘What else can you do? Do you want to dance now?’ I said, ‘Hell yeah, I do!”’

Elsewhere in the memoir, Spears writes about her decision to get an abortion after she became pregnant while dating musician Justin Timberlake, whom she dated from 1998 to 2002 after meeting on the set of the All-New Mickey MouseClub in 1992.

“It was a surprise, but for me, it wasn’t a tragedy. I loved Justin so much. I always expected us to have a family together one day. This would just be much earlier than I’d anticipated” she wrote about the pregnancy.

“But Justin definitely wasn’t happy about the pregnancy. He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were way too young.”

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake photographed in 2002 (Getty Images)

Spears appeared to imply that she decided to get an abortion because that was what Timberlake, then the frontman of boyband NSYNC, wanted her to do.

“I’m sure people will hate me for this, but I agreed not to have the baby. I don’t know if that was the right decision,” she wrote in the excerpt. “If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it. And yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father.”

“To this day, it’s one of the most agonising things I have ever experienced in my life,” Spears said.

The Independent has contacted representatives for Timberlake and Spears for comment.

The Woman in Me will be released on 24 October.

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