18 years ago today, Britney Spears released the music video for the remixed version of “Overprotected (Darkchild Remix” and further cemented her place in the music industry. Written and produced by pop powerhouses Max Martin and Rami, the up-tempo song is about a girl who is tired of being overprotected and just wants to be herself. The song, which quickly became a fan favorite became a prolific foreshadowing anthem of the princess of pop’s lack of control in her own career, which was seemingly being controlled by everyone but her, and eventually was showcased in her fans’ #FreeBritney Movement which was made to end her seemingly unfair conservatorship.
The song received two music videos. The first music video, which was directed by Billie Woodruff, features Britney singing and dancing inside an abandoned factory. The second music video for “The Darkchild Remix”) was directed by Chris Applebaum, and portrays Spears dancing and having fun with her friends. While both videos are fun takes on the song, each video seems to showcase the song’s theme about control in two different ways:
- The first music video seems to be a much more tamed version of Britney, aka the Britney that her team was still trying to sell: PG, youthful, good girl Britney.
- The second music video seems to showcase the real Britney: a fun loving young woman who is discovering herself and coming to terms with her sexuality and what she wants on her terms.
Britney has performed “Overprotected” a number of times on her tours including at the Dream Within a Dream Tour in 2001, where she danced in a cage of laser lights and on The Onyx Hotel Tour in 2004 where she nailed some of her greatest choreography ever in a black leather catsuit. The latter being in my opinion, the best live performance of the song on one of Britney’s best tours.
In 2003, the song also received a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Which “Overprotected” music video is your favorite?