Alert the Britney Army! A newly unearthed throwback video of Britney Spears singing live at a 1998 talent showcase in Singapore proves that the pop star always had impressive vocal chops.
In the 12-minute clip, originally titled “Asian Conference Presentation Singapore” and obtained by MuuMuse.com, a teenage Spears belts her heart out as she presents material from her forthcoming debut album for record execs.
Clad in a black spaghetti-strap mini dress and rocking wispy bangs, the future icon opens her set with her now-legendary first single, “…Baby One More Time.” While her dance moves had yet to be polished, Spears wows with her spirited riffs and lower register sans Auto-Tune.
Next, the soon-to-be superstar slays with a soulful rendition of her mid-tempo ballad “Sometimes.” And last, a then-brunette Spears finishes off with a powerful cover of the Jets’ 1985 hit “You Got It All,” which was later released on the B-side of her sophomore LP, 2000’s Oops!…I Did It Again.
In the year following this performance, Spears, now 34, gained worldwide fame partially for her distinctive voice, but also for her sexy image, eye-catching music videos and polarizing stage presence. Early on in her career, she was incessantly accused of lip-syncing.
In 2014, Spears’ manager Adam Leber defended the Grammy winner’s use of prerecorded backing tracks during her concerts. “To put on the show that she puts on, it’s virtually impossible to sing the entire time and do what she does,” he told Medium.com at the time. “She’s singing on every song, basically, when she has the ability to sing. There’s no way you can dance for 90 minutes straight and sing the entire time.”
Watch Spears give it her all in the video above.
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