On October 21, 2008, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Steele declared a mistrial and dismissed the August 2007 driving without a license misdemeanor charges against Spears, who was represented by attorney J. Michael Flanagan. Spears claimed she had a valid Louisiana license and a California permit was not required.
On November 6, 2008, Spears won two awards at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008, "Album of The Year" for Blackout and "Act of 2008", and despite not being present, two acceptance videos were taped and shown at the show.
Yahoo! named Britney Spears the most searched person on the internet in 2008, this marked her seventh time in a row win, beating Barack Obama and Miley Cyrus.
Musical style and performance
"...Baby One More Time" (1999)
Britney Spears's first major hit single worldwide.
"Gimme More" (2007)
First single from Blackout.
"Piece of Me" (2007)
"Piece of Me" has '80s-influenced synths.
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Spears is a soubrette, a type of soprano vocal part. Rami Yacoub, who co-produced Spears's debut album with its songwriter and lyricist Max Martin, commented, "I know from Denniz Pop and Max's previous productions, when we do songs, there's kind of a nasal thing. With N' Sync and the Backstreet Boys, we had to push for that mid-nasal voice. When Britney did that, she got this kind of raspy, sexy voice". Following the release of her debut album, Chuck Taylor of Billboard observed, "Spears has become a consummate performer, with snappy dance moves, a clearly real-albeit young-and funkdified voice..."(You Drive Me) Crazy," her third single...demonstrates Spears's own development, proving that the 17-year-old is finding her own vocal personality after so many months of steadfast practice". Spears later commented, "With [...Baby One More Time], I didn't get to show my voice off. The songs were great, but they weren't very challenging".
Joan Anderman of The Boston Globe cited Madonna and Janet Jackson as two of Spears' biggest influences", commenting that Spears adopted Madonna's "Truth or Dare"-era moves" and Jackson's sexy-robot body language". Judy Mitoma, author of Envisioning dance on film and video (2002) observed "[t]he music videos of the late 1990s and early 2000s enlist[ed] the popular dance vocabularies at the time ... pounding feet into the floor and jabbing at the air with taunt arm movements, punctuating with bent knees and thrusting hips". Britney Spears, among her contemporaries, became a "playfully carnal, provocatively dressed vixen ... led by Madonna (and the first time she grabbed her crotch) [and] fueled by Janet Jackson, transformed from a soft-fleshed, innocent girl to a buffed and buxom woman". In the 2002 book Madonnastyle by Carol Clerk, Spears is quoted saying: "I have been a huge fan of Madonna since I was a little girl. I would really, really like to be a legend like Madonna ... Her choreography definitely opened the door for girls to go in there and do their own thing".
Kevin Johnson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that his review of Spear's concert performance of her Oops!... I Did It Again World Tour in July 2000, garnered mix reactions. He stated: "It was the review of Spears's concert that got most readers writing - to disagree and agree. A Spears fan wrote, "I don't like you or your stinking, horrible, abusive report! ... I, however, love Britney." Another fan wrote, "Britney Spears is a legend, a great performer. She is our idol and nothing you say about that concert will change that. It still hurts to think you didn't see how many people she touched that night. ... What I saw was hard work and determination, great dance moves, catchy lyrics, and positive songs". In contrast, Johnson also reported: "One reader said, "I was pleased the article was direct and told the simple truth: Britney can't sing. I attended the concert and had a great time, but unlike 95 percent of the crowd, I realized how ridiculous Britney Spears really is". In August 2000, Joan Anderman wrote in her review of the concert, "Spears sang without the help of prerecorded tracks - that's both the good news and the bad news - avoiding the perils by having her two backup vocalists sing in unison with her much of the time, a wise move for someone whose vocal and emotional range are limited, and whose singing isn't even particularly appealing".
The following year, at the beginning of Spears's Dream Within a Dream Tour, the Daily News reported: "Britney Spears is easy to criticize - those outfits, that coquette/ good-girl contradiction, those recycled pop hooks. But Tuesday night, surrounded by thousands of Britney devotees at the sold-out Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, she was easy to love as well...Because of all that dancing, thrashing and dodging fire on stage, Spears performed most of the show to a recorded track. It was hard to tell when she was really singing or just lip-syncing. But, in the context of a Britney Spears concert, does it really matter? Like a Vegas revue show, you don't go to hear the music, you go for the somewhat-ridiculous spectacle of it all". In December 2001, Sean Piccoli of South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported: "[Spears's] contributions to pop are not generally founded in music. Wednesday's spectacle was pop inspired not by songs, but by cheerleader tryouts and beauty pageants. The point was not whether Spears could sing - her voice is a very small bag of heavy-breathing tricks - or even dance. What mattered was how she presents...By that standard, the show was a success. Spears had the biggest runway a girl could ask for and made good use of it, ensuring that every person from the floor to the nosebleed seats could see her fling her hair, swivel her hips or, in one sequence that was almost eerie, dance with a video projection of herself".
In March 2007, Leonard Pitts, Jr. wrote that in the aftermath of Spears' personal struggles that have become widely publicized, Spears had been reduced to an abstract idea as opposed to being regarded as a real person. "The abstraction is not surprising: Whatever media touch, they