Britney Spears said she was “having the best day ever” on Sunday. The pop star’s elation came when her 2016 album “Glory” surged into the #1 spot on the iTunes charts.
“I have no idea what happened,” Spears said in a video, but what had happened was a fan-driven movement seeking #JusticeForGlory – so it’s actually hard not to believe the changing out of its four-year-old artwork on Friday wasn’t done in direction connection.
The artwork itself, though, is thought to be even less of a coincidence.
2016’s “Glory” might be best known for its hit “Make Me” (featuring hip hop star G-Eazy). Its now-previous artwork – a non-descript close-up – is in rather stark contrast with the revamp. But now, the revamp is all-but-confirmed to be the original.
This “new” depiction shows a glistening Spears arching her near-naked body on the floor of a near-empty desert – except for the absolutely giant chain surrounding her.
Isolation? Entrapment? Captivity? Supporters of the #FreeBritney movement held a majority view that these are the themes of Spears’ not-so-subtle-symbolism.
A powerful parallel was drawn between this “fresh” album cover and the (actual) original video for “Make Me.” Ultimately replaced with a more standardized Spears clip, the fully-produced, already-promoted video showed the 38-year-old conservatee dancing in the confines of a poolside cage.
It was shot by famed photographer David LaChapelle – the same man behind the lens of Friday’s desert shots. Check out the leaked clip here:
But exactly one year ago – on April, 29 2019 – “Glory” photog and “Make Me” director LaChapelle shared the simple, shocking instruction Spears gave him on the video’s set: that he “film her in the cage.”
Given that – in a previous shoot, all she asked was to “die in the video” – he wishes he would’ve seen the signs.
It's interesting that the original MM video concept took place in a cage & the original album artwork depicts Britney being held down by chains. No one gives her enough credit. She's the mastermind behind all of it. She's found a way to communicate w/o speaking ⛓️🚨#FreeBritney
— 🌹 #FreeBritney (@justloveme_x) May 9, 2020
“At the time I didn’t understand why would you want to be filmed in a cage? …I could tell something was off.”
Briefly chronicling their lengthy relationship, LaChapelle revealed that “Britney never showed up” for a mid-2000s shoot because “she was getting married in Vegas.”
“I have known Britney since she was 17. I shot her first cover, Rolling Stone, it was shot in Louisana at her family home, filled with pageant trophies. I could tell even back then something wasn’t right.”
“Looking back now it seems to me these were cries for help, that she wanted to communicate through her videos.”