What does it take to be a controversial pop star with a career that will last more than a couple years?
Let's be honest: You can't just put out a few albums, go on a few tours, and hope that you'll be a major success. It takes some Halloween costume-worthy music videos, multiple extravagant tours, a huge scandal and/or meltdown that (somehow) leads to a comeback where you bounce back better than ever. And you're totally ahead of the game if you started out as some sort of child star. If you haven't caught on by now, we're talking about good ol' Britney Spears.
There have been few pop artists over the years who have shown the potential to fill Britney's glass slippers but haven't had exactly what it takes. But after comparing and considering a modern pop-tart who idolizes Ms. Spears, we're wondering if Charli XCX is hurtling down the same path as the "Oops...I Did It Again" singer?
Britney is actually one of Charli's biggest influences. In a recent interview, Charli said she was obsessed with the Spice Girls and Britney while growing up. She said, "I think that's what made me want to get into the music industry when I was younger." In 2013, Britney asked Charli to write some songs for Britney's upcoming album that year. After submitting one song, Charli said she was so nervous that she didn't even want to go to the session, in case Britney didn't like what she came up with. Charli has given off some Britney Spears-inspired vibes throughout her career as well: wearing a schoolgirl skirt/blouse combo circa Britney's "Baby One More Time" video, her sex appeal and killer dance moves in her recent music videos, and her over-the-top performances and larger than life hints of her private life. But how long until Charli marries a low-life and shaves her head?
Granted, Charli wasn't a child star. She wasn't childhood BFFs with Justin Timberlake or Xtina. She didn't make a fluffy, innocent image for herself by being on the revival of The Mickey Mouse Club (plus, she was only about 2 years old back then). But she did start debuting her self-recorded music on Myspace and was approached to perform at illegal warehouse raves and parties, where she locked down the name Charli XCX (which was her MSN Messenger screen name when she was younger).
After the release of her debut-album True Romance, Charli was often seen in videos and performances in a plaid tartan skirt and a button up blouse (sounds a little familiar, right?). Charli worked with artists such as Coldplay, Santigold, Icona Pop, Ty Dolla $ign, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, and Britney Spears, so she definitely has credibility in the music world. Charli can also play the girl next door and the sexual temptress who breaks all the rules - just like Britney.
Will the Britney playbook take the lead in Charli's career? So far, Charli seems to choose her love life wisely, or at least keep it out of the limelight. She hasn't married a (cough) *loser* (cough)... yet. She has a few years until she possibly loses her mind and shaves her head. But if that does happen, we can only hope to find Charli with a Vegas residency in 10 years, performing with a bangin' bod as if nothing ever happened.
Charli is already well on her way of taking over the pop world in the years to come and could possibly have what it takes to be a better Britney 2.0.