If there are two artists who have flipped the child star trope on its head to become musical icons and lasting contributors to our culture, it's Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus. So leave it to Miley to take the celebrity involvement in the #FreeBritney movement to the next level, turning her impossibly catchy, lasting hit "Party In The USA" into a free Britney anthem. Where other celebrities have posted gushy supportive captions to their social media, the ever subversive and re-inventing Miley went a step further.
At a July 4th show celebrating the opening of Resorts World’s Ayu Nights in Las Vegas, Cyrus changed the lyrics to her infamous tune from the original, "That's when the taxi man turned on the radio/and a Jay-Z song was on," to "That's when the taxi man turned to me and said, 'Free Britney!'" She followed it up at the end saying, "We love Jay-Z, but we gotta free this bitch." The crowd naturally went wild, and chants back and forth with the pop star of "Free Britney!" can be heard raucously carrying out through the video.
As Mic's Kara Weisenstein has been reporting, Britney Spears is in the throes of a complex and emotional legal battle to end her father's 13-year conservatorship that has prevented her from autonomy over her career and even her own body. Spears' emotional and public testimony on June 23rd sent the #FreeBritney movement into a new level of support. One gruesome detail was that Spears has an IUD without her consent, preventing her from having any more children. When Spears' pleas for freedom through dated paperwork were denied by a judge in early July, the incredibly sad situation has many considering how we as a society, a stellar legal team, and maybe even the government can help Spears can get her life back.
It's now being reported that Spears plans to retire, and no one supports that more than us and her loyal fans. She's been through hell, and it's her right to not give us any more undeserved bops when she can't even have creative control over her artistic decisions, or the freedom to live her life. If retirement would give Spears any kind of peace after all of this, it's absolutely the least she deserves.
What was made incredibly clear from Miley's Independence Day performance is that people are here for the Free Britney movement. The chants of the now infamous hashtag were even louder than fans singing along to one of Miley's most iconic tunes. For a day celebrating freedom, Miley picked the perfect occasion to shed light on Spears's lack of it. Only time will tell if the celebrity and fan outcry has done anything to influence a judge one day. But one thing that we do know is that Miley is a true stan. Her July 4th performance wasn't the first time she inserted Free Britney into "Party in the USA;" Variety reported the star has done the same in 2019 at concert in Memphis, and I would wager she will keep doing so until Britney is truly free. Hopefully we all will.