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20 years later
WE SUPPORT BRITNEY FROM THE BEGINING
|Brand: Sunset Fantasy
Released: Jan 2018
Tag line: "Summer in a bottle"
|TOUR: POM World Tour
Tickets: Get Tickets here
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Everyone knows what to expect from a music concert. The lights go down, the audience erupts into a chorus of applause and the idolised superstar arrives on stage, bursting with energy, ready to entertain the throng of their adoring fans for one night only.
It’s pretty spectacular.
But, ever wondered what happens once the curtains close and the lights go up? Are there diva tantrums? Catty fights between dancers? Tour riders demanding vitamin water to bathe pet dogs? Yes Mariah, we might be looking at you for that one, girl.
If all these things have come to mind, you’re in the right place as Metro.co.uk will give you an all-access, backstage look into what it really takes to make the tours of your favourite popstars come to life, as well as reminiscing on those unique moments that made headline news.
Touring is not only an experience for the performer and the fans – the backing dancers, singers, stylists and others are also very much a part of the process and, perhaps more importantly, the backbone of these mammoth shows.
So grab your backstage pass as we get the inside scoop from Britney Spears dancer, Jae Fusz, because – in this case – What Happens On Tour (Doesn’t) Stay On Tour…
“All of my dreams came true that audition day and it definitely kick-started the dance career that I have now”
Jae Fusz has been a member of Britney’s dance troupe since 2013 when he joined the singer’s Femme Fatale Tour.
It was a dream that had finally been realised two years after Jae first auditioned to become one of Britney’s cherished dancers.
Suffering every performer’s worst nightmare, Jae ‘messed up’ the routine to Hold It Against Me – the horror – but the gods were on his side as, five rounds later, he finally made it through.
‘They offered me and two others the job on the spot,’ Jae recalls.
‘I remember being speechless and numb. All of my dreams came true that day and it definitely was the kick start to the dance career that I have now.
‘That tour was directed by Jamie King who is a legend in the industry so getting to work under him and Britney was the experience of a lifetime.’
A few years later, Jae had the opportunity to work with Britney again on the Piece Of Me residency in Las Vegas but this time, his competition was with around 500 other dancers who had to be cut down to just eight men.
Anyone else sweating for him?
While Jae did sail through, he was touring with Kesha at the time so couldn’t commit to the residency.
It wasn’t until he’d finished the Kesha tour and a Britney dancer got hurt two weeks later that he was able to finally bag a spot in the troupe.
‘It was meant to be,’ Jae says with relief.
“Britney is one the nicest, most normal, down to earth artists I’ve ever worked for”
Britney, 37, is without a doubt one of the most celebrated popstars of the past two decades.
Whether it’s about her talent or personal life, everyone has an opinion on the beloved icon.
But what you won’t hear about are diva tantrums backstage as Jae says Britney is as far from an entitled popstar as you could meet.
‘Britney is one the nicest, most normal, down to earth artists I’ve ever worked for,’ he reveals.
What a compliment.
He continued: ‘She’s super goofy and loves to laugh which, during long eight hour rehearsals, was when we would spend the most time with her and really connect.
‘Preparing for a new show you usually rehearse six days a week, eight hour days for three months so that’s where the bonding really happens.’
According to Jay, a typical show day consists of free time in the morning and afternoon, which he uses to hit the gym and unwind. The dancers usually get a ‘lobby call’ at around 3pm when they are picked up at the hotel and whisked off to the venue for sound check and a quick rehearsal.
The team then eat dinner and prepare for the big show before hitting that stage at 9pm.
Once the show’s done, it’s often straight onto the tour bus if they have a performance in another city the next night, or they might fly out the following morning.
All in a day’s work.
“Britney wouldn’t go out with us really – she’s a mum and has her kids a lot”
When they were lucky enough to be in one city for more than a day, the team enjoyed nights out together, bonding as a ‘family’.
As for Britney, Jae says: ‘[She] wouldn’t go out with us really, she’s a mum and has her kids a lot. But occasionally she would take us to a nice dinner which was always fun times.
‘The dancers wouldn’t really go out the night before a show because it was very physically demanding.’
It’s a common misconception that dancers are always rivalling each other but Jae couldn’t speak more highly of his fellow choreographers.
‘The dancers on these tours became and are some of my best friends,’ he admits.
‘When you travel the world with people you develop this special bond that lasts beyond the job. You work together, party together, go out to eat together, and end up on other jobs as well with each other. You really become this kind of tour family.’
“I fractured my foot – that was hard because I wasn’t sure if they were going to replace me”
But what happens when a crisis strikes?
Unfortunately, it did for Jae who recalls: ‘When Piece Of Me first opened, I fractured my foot and was out for three months from dancing.
‘That was hard because I wasn’t sure if they were going to replace me. But they didn’t and I had to do a lot of physical therapy to get my foot back as quick as possible. It was hard not being able to dance.’
Eventually, the show must go on, as they say.
“We’ve definitely seen some crazy things”
Let it be known, Britney has one of the most loyal group of fans in the world.
And apparently, the love fans have for her extends to her backing dancers too.
Recalling the fandemonium on the Britney tours, Jae admits: ‘We’ve definitely seen some crazy things.
‘Fans have ran up on stage before which can be pretty scary because you don’t know what people are capable of. Her fans love to dress up in her iconic looks which is always fun.
‘Me personally I’ve seen a fan get the exact same flag tattoo that I have.’
Now that’s dedication.
So there you have it, a look inside the life of a superstar touring artist and her crew.
But before we leave, there’s one touring tradition that happens in the final moments before hitting the stage.
‘Britney always did a prayer circle,’ Jae reveals.
‘At the end we put our hands in and, whatever the chant is of the night, we always add “bitches” after. So we might chant “it’s the weekend bitches”.’
What better way to mic drop?
Go beyond the stage with What Happens On Tour every Wednesday.
*please note have not watched Leaving Neverland but what this article brings up definitely most fans will want to read this. - mbi team *
Article FROM DECIDER
Wade Robson will forever be known as the man who exposed Michael Jackson’s alleged child molestation in Leaving Neverland, but before 2019 he was most widely known, certainly among boy band fans, as the sixth member of *NSYNC. Oh, and also the rumored man who led to Britney Spears’ alleged cheating and subsequent split from Justin Timberlake, long before the internet actually celebrated those coordinating denim outfits.
In Part 2 of Leaving Neverland, around the 34 minute mark, there’s footage of Robson in a dance rehearsal space going over the steps to *NSYNC’s “No Strings Attached” for their upcoming world tour in 2000, as well as footage of him teaching Britney Spears the dance moves to “I’m A Slave 4 You”. But that’s just about the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Robson’s involvement in the pop explosion at the turn of the century.
Robson’s Wikipedia says he choreographed the iconic Britney/*NSYNC performance at the 1999 MTV VMAs, and I’d also be willing to bet he put the remix of their songs together, especially considering if you listen hard enough it sounds like those are his “Now whatcha want”s under “…Baby One More Time” and that there might be a sample of Michael Jackson’s “Jam” underneath “Tearin’ Up My Heart”.
From there, (and again, he was about 17 at this point) Robson became a thread in the fabric so intertwined with the biggest pop stars of that time (and today, really). He went on to serve as the choreographer and show coordinator for the No Strings Attached tour, with the footage shown in Leaving Neverland from *NSYNC’s Making the Tour special, where Robson is featured throughout. He’s firmly running the dance rehearsals in prep for the tour, teaching and going over the steps with the guys, all the way to rehearsals for the tour in empty arenas where he’s barking out orders on the mic, pointing out what needs adjusting and perfecting the stage show, while scolding the group when they’re missing dance steps. He’s right there next to them on stage, running through the choreography right along with them. If you want to know how full circle that special really gets, stick around through the end credits, as Timberlake takes viewers behind the scenes while the guys were filming a pre-taped bit for the tour that included a monkey, where he notes, “It ain’t Bubbles, but he’s cool,” referring to Jackson’s former pet. Yikes.
Robson went on to choreograph and direct the group’s massive 2001 PopOdyssey stadium tour, also co-writing “Pop”, “Gone” (irony aside, freakin’ “GONE”), “See Right Through You”, and “Celebrity” off their 2001 Celebrity album. He even filled in for Joey Fatone in the “Pop” music video. He was that much the sixth man for this group, jumping off the bench when they needed a talented new player in the moment.
As far as his involvement with Britney Spears, Robson not only directed her 2001 Pepsi Super Bowl commercial (and if you look closely is also a dancer), but choreographed her 1999-2000 tour, as well as the “I’m A Slave 4 You” music video, and co-wrote (along with Timberlake) on “What It’s Like To Be Me”, a deep cut from her 2001 album Britney. He also went on to direct her 2001 Dream Within a Dream tour.
When he reflects on this part of his career in Leaving Neverland, Robson says, “Michael had some sort of obsession with Britney and he would call me and he’d wanna know what it was like working with her, what she was like. ‘Isn’t she sexy? Isn’t she beautiful?’ Wondering if I can set up a way for them to meet. And in those conversations as well, Michael was really interested in my sexual life with girls.” Robson goes on to say it was “Just really weird, considering Michael and I’s whole sexual history,” and then the documentary moves on.
One of pop culture’s worst kept secrets is that it was Robson with whom Spears cheated on Timberlake, as Robson’s professional relationship with both seemed to fizzle after their breakup in early 2002. Maybe it was simply a misdirection for which he took the blame to protect his friends, who knows. But it’s a scandal and subject that really hasn’t been brought up so blatantly for over 15 years. So now that Leaving Neverland comes so close to it…should Robson have just addressed it?
Discussing Britney Spears and sex in the same sentence left the door wide open for him. He could’ve taken the opportunity to clear things up (or confirm?) for those that remain obsessed with the pop stars’ former relationship. Perhaps any involvement with Spears would put into context his relationship with Jackson — it’s not that they have nothing to do with each other or she never would’ve come up in this documentary. There’s even the possibility that discussing that moment, one that did change pop culture forever, would’ve earned Robson some sympathy.
On the other hand, it makes sense why he wouldn’t discuss it (or maybe even if it was cut out of the doc). Sure, addressing one major life-defining moment at a time is enough pressure on one person, not that he needed to add another to his honest answers. And it’s likely that discussing a Spears hookup could take away from the seriousness of what he was there to explain in the first place. There’s also that matter that Robson was likely unsure of what the response to Leaving Neverland would be — why bother adding one more thing for people to be upset about?
It’s easy to classify Robson’s possible involvement in the Timberlake/Spears relationship as “none of our business” except that at least two out of the three parties made it their business long before Taylor Swift turned writing about being wronged into an art form (love you, “Cry Me A River”). For those that have been fans of Robson’s for nearly two decades, a man who shaped so much of the singing and dancing of that era, it felt like a platform to set a lot of records straight once and for all. However, it’s also necessary in this moment to understand why so many feel him discussing his background is only his way of being opportunistic, at attempting to get back into the spotlight or get more work, so bringing up another popular scandal could — and likely would — backfire. If we believe him about Michael, would we still believe him about Britney?
Britney Spears has an upcoming movie cameo that was so secret that even one of the stars didn’t know about it.
“Corporate Animals” director Patrick Brice and stars Demi Moore, Karan Soni and Jessica Williams dropped by the L.A. Times Studio at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday to discuss the horror comedy, which will premiere Tuesday. And it turns out the interview was just as revelatory for one of the cast members.
During the discussion, Williams was pleasantly surprised to learn that Spears has a cameo in the film.
Brice explained how one of the characters in “Corporate Animals” is obsessed with Spears and reaches a point where he thinks he is hearing her speak to him through the walls.
“Through a series of connections we were able to get 10 minutes of her time to record this, which was so awesome,” said Brice, who added that he hadn’t planned to reveal the news until later.
Watch a clip from the interview with Williams’ reaction to the news below.
Check out what Britney’s team did to celebrate the 20th anniversary of BOMT!
The website is such a throwback and is awesome also so cute! You can see photos, videos and more.
Its only for fun but You can even chat with Brit (a bot).
Here is the link