Britney Spears continues to do what she does best: Bring people together.
Earlier this year, the pop-star sensation managed to inspire both sides of the political spectrum to agree on one thing: #FreeBritney. And now, she’s clearly won the hearts of TIME readers as well, snagging the top spot in its TIME100 reader poll for which readers cast votes for who should make its infamous list of most influential people. Nearly 1.8 million votes were cast overall, of which Spears took 4 per cent, TIME reports.
While Britney’s has been America’s sweetheart since “…Baby One More Time” in 1999, her most recent surge in fan support comes in light of the #FreeBritney movement coming to a head when Britney personally delivered a passionate — and public — statement to a Los Angeles Court Judge this summer, detailing how “abusive” and restrictive her now 13-year-old conservatorship really is.
Britney Spears was included in TIME’s most influential people of 2021! 🤍
— “Despite all the darkness, she embodies… https://t.co/NcVExJcXf8
“This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good,” Spears said. “I deserve to have a life. I’ve worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two to three-year break.”
“I feel ganged up on, I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone,” she continued. “I’m tired of feeling alone.”
Spears also admitted that per the conservatorship, she is required to use an intrauterine device (IUD) to prevent pregnancy. She also said she was prohibited from marrying and/or procreating with boyfriend Sam Asghari as part of the questionable arrangement, though the couple has since gotten engaged.
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Many people are understandably disturbed by the star’s allegations, and everyone from die-hard Britney fans to reproductive health advocates to disability activists have publicly condemned the prohibitive conservatorship. So really, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Spears’ public battle earned her the top spot in the TIME100 reader poll.
Britney took to Twitter to address the situation, claiming she’s “just taking a little break from social media to celebrate my engagement” and will “be back soon.” Britney’s lawyer allegedly confirmed to Page Six that it was her choice to take a break from the platform.
Don’t worry folks … just taking a little break from social media to celebrate my engagement 💍😉 !!!! I’ll be back soon 💋🌹✨