Britney Marie Anderson (née Davis) (born October 25, 1984) known by her stage name Britney Marie, is an American recording artist, songwriter, and actress. Davis was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. Her conservative parents forbade her to listen to mainstream pop music. As a teen, she pursued a career in gospel music under the name her birth name and released her debut self-titled studio album. She also recorded a second solo album which never received release. In 2007, she signed with Capitol Records and has been with them ever since.
Davis has ventured into celebrity endorsement and released her signature fragrance Britney. She has also made her film debut, voicing Smurfette in The Smurfs (2011). She is currently working her own 3D biopic-concert film Britney "Marie" Davis: Wide Awake (2013), which concentrates on her life as a touring artist as well as her new role as a mother.
Davis was born Britney Marie Davis in Santa Barbara, California to Keith, a West Coast scenester in the 1960s, and Mary Davis (née Pengelley), an evangelist who grew up in Southern California, attended Berkeley, and had a "tempestuous" first marriage in Zimbabwe. Davis has Portuguese, German, Irish, and English ancestry. She is the second child of two pastors. She has an older sister named Angela Davis. As a child, Davis attended Christian schools and camps. Her parents were pastors, and she was incorporated into their ministry, singing in the church between the ages of nine and seventeen.
She grew up listening to gospel music, and in an interview she said, "Growing up I wasn’t really allowed to listen to a whole lot of what my mom would call, secular music," She learned how to dance in a recreation building in Santa Barbara. She was taught by seasoned dancers and began with swing, Lindy Hop, and jitterbug. She took her GED after her first year at Dos Pueblos High School and decided to leave school in the pursuit of a career in music. Davis initially started singing "because [she] was at that point in [her] childhood where [she] was copycatting [her] sister and everything she [would do]." Her sister practiced with cassette tapes, while Davis took the tapes herself when her sister was not around. She rehearsed the songs and performed them in front of her parents, who suggested she take vocal coaching. She grabbed the opportunity and began taking lessons at the age of nine and continued until she was sixteen.
1999–2006: Career beginnings and Britney Davis
When Davis was 15, her singing in church attracted the attention of rock veterans from Nashville, Tennessee, who brought her there to polish her writing skills. In Nashville, Davis started recording demos and was taught by country music veterans how to craft songs and play guitar. Davis signed to the Christian music label Red Hill, under which she recorded her first album at the age of 15. Performing as Britney Davis, she released a self-titled gospel rock album in 2001. She supported this album with The Strangely Normal Tour, accompanied by Phil Joel, LaRue, Luna Halo, Earthsuit and V*Enna. The album was unsuccessful as the label ceased operations at the end of 2001.
At the age of 17, Davis left her home for Los Angeles, where she worked with Glen Ballard on an album for Island Records. Growing up listening to mostly gospel music, Davis had few references when she began recording songs. Asked by the producer with whom she would like to collaborate, Davis had no idea. That night, she went with her mother to a hotel. Inside, she turned on VH1 and saw producer Glen Ballard talking about Alanis Morissette; Ballard produced Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, which had a "huge influence" on Davis. She expressed interest in working with Ballard to her initial collaborator, who arranged a meeting for her with Ballard in Los Angeles. Davis presented one of her songs to Ballard. Ballard then helped Davis develop her songwriting over the next few years. The album was initially planned to be released during the Fall of 2004 along with a promotional DVD, according to a promotional video on the Java Records website.
The album was due for release in 2005, but Billboard reported it also went nowhere. Davis was dropped by The Island Def Jam Music Group. Some of Davis and Ballard's collaborations included "Box", "Diamonds" and "Long Shot", were posted on her official MySpace page. "Simple", one of the songs she recorded with Ballard, was released on the soundtrack to the 2005 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Davis signed to Columbia Records in 2004. However, the label was not amenable with her vision and did not put her in the "driver's seat". Instead, one of Columbia's ideas was to pair Davis with the record production team The Matrix, who was working on an album, to serve as its female vocalist. Although the album was later shelved, she caught the attention of the music press. Her burgeoning music career led to her being named "The Next Big Thing" in October 2004 by Blender magazine. With no album project ongoing, Davis began recording her own, titled Fingerprints. Eighty percent completed, however, Columbia decided not to finish it and dropped her from the label.
In 2004, Davis and Kaya Jones provided backing vocals on Mick Jagger's song "Old Habits Die Hard", which won the 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. While waiting to find another label, she worked in an independent A&R company called Taxi Music. In 2006, Davis was featured in the tail-end of the video to P.O.D.'s single "Goodbye for Now". She made a cameo appearance in Carbon Leaf's video, "Learn to Fly".
2007–09: Commercial breakthrough with Wild Boys
While in the process of being dropped by Columbia in 2006, the company's publicity executive Angelica Cob-Baehler enthusiastically recommended Davis to Virgin Records chairman Jason Flom. At the time Flom was leading a complete revival in fortunes at the label and looking to crown recent achievements by breaking a global pop act. Despite mixed reactions from fellow Virgin executives, Flom became convinced that Davis could be that breakthrough star and, at the start of 2007, extended discussions with Columbia resulted in Davis signing to the newly created Capitol Music Group, a merger between Virgin and Capitol. As part of the deal, the label secured the masters to the unfinished album, recorded while at Columbia, that would go on to form a significant part of her official mainstream debut album, Wild Boys.
The Columbia recordings were seen by Flom as being "very strong but lacking an undeniable smash or two that would work both at U.S. pop radio and internationally" and so one of the executive's first actions after completing the signing was to set up a collaboration between Davis and the writer-producer Dr. Luke. The results were the songs "Boys" and "W.I.L.D". Establishing her image was one of the immediate concerns of her management. A campaign was started in November 2007 with the release of the video to "Wild Boys", aimed at introducing her to the music market. A digital EP led by "Wild Boys" was later released to create online buzz and press story. This was a successful move that resulted in bringing Davis to the attention of Madonna, who mentioned her on KISS FM and KRQ's JohnJay & Rich morning show in Arizona. On March 10, 2008, she appeared as herself on the ABC Family television series, Wildfire, on the episode "Life's Too Short".
In the next step of promoting the album, Davis undertook a two-month tour of radio stations. The album's official lead single, "Boys", was released on May 6, 2008. Davis' A&R, Chris Anokute, told HitQuarters the song and its controversial theme had met with strong resistance at the label: "People said, 'This is never going to get played on the radio. How do we sell this? How’s this going to be played in the bible belt?'" Anokute said that they needed the support of one of the label's radio promoters to convince people to believe in the record; otherwise, Davis would have likely been dropped again. Capitol's SVP of Promotions, Dennis Reese, saw the vision and helped push the single on national radio. The first station to pick it up and take a chance was The River in Nashville, which was ironically located in the Bible Belt. After playing it for three days they were inundated with enthusiastic calls. With the song climbing atop the charts, Davis embarked on the annual Warped Tour music festival, which her management used to "establish her as a credible performer and make sure she wasn't seen as just a one-hit wonder." The single was a commercial success, peaking at number one for seven weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.
It has since become a major worldwide hit, topping charts in 30 countries, including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. On June 12, 2008, Davis appeared as herself on the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless, posing for the cover to the June 2008 issue of the fictional magazine Restless Style. Davis also performed backing vocals on the song, "Another Night in the Hills" from Gavin Rossdale's 2008 solo album Wanderlust. Wild Boys was released on June 17, 2008, to mixed critical reviews. The album has reached number nine on the Billboard 200, and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Davis released her second single, "W.I.L.D", which became her second top three single in dozens of countries around the world, including the United States where it reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as topping the charts in Germany, Canada, and Denmark. After Davis wrapped up her appearance at the Warped Tour, she went on tours in Europe. She later launched her first headlining tour, the Hello Katy Tour, in January 2009. "Wild Boys" earned Davis a nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Davis was nominated in five categories at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, including Best New Artist and Best Female Video, but lost to Britney Spears.
She won Best New Act at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards, which she co-hosted, and Best International Female Artist at the 2009 BRIT Awards. On February 9, 2009, both "Boys" and "Wild Boys" were certified three-time platinum by Recording Industry Association of America for individual digital sales of over three million. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Davis in its 2010 version as the "Best Start on the US Digital Chart by a Female Artist," for having her first two singles sell over two million digital copies. The Matrix's self-titled debut album, which features Davis, was later released via the team's label, Let's Hear It, during Davis' solo tour. When the release date was scheduled, "Wild Boys" had been charting well. Matrix member Lauren Christy spoke to Davis about the decision, but she wanted to hold the release until the fourth single of Wild Boys had been dispatched. Despite their communication, The Matrix was released on January 27, 2009, via iTunes Store.
In January 2009, Davis embarked on her first headlining world tour, the Britney Marie Tour, visiting North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Beginning on January 23, 2009, and ending on November 28, 2009, the tour consisted of 89 concerts. During that time, Davis also opened select concerts for the band No Doubt, on their Summer Tour 2009. On May 16, 2009, Davis performed at the opening ceremony of the annual Life Ball in Vienna, Austria. During the summer of 2009 Davis filmed a cameo appearance for Get Him to the Greek; her scene, in which she kisses Russell Brand was cut, and does not appear in the final film. Discussing the issue with MTV, Davis hypothesized there may have been some fear that seeing the two make out would have taken viewers out of the experience.
In 2009, Davis was featured on two singles: in August, a remix of Colorado-based band 3OH!3's song "Starstrukk" (the idea for the collaboration having come after Davis' tour that featured 3OH!3 as the supporting act, the song being released by iTunes on September 8, 2009); and, thereafter, in December, on "If We Ever Meet Again", the fourth single from Timbaland's album Shock Value II. In October 2009, MTV Unplugged revealed that Davis was one of the artists to perform for them, and that she would be releasing a live album of the performance, including two new tracks, "Piece by Piece" and Fountains of Wayne cover "Hackensack". The album, released on November 17, included both a CD and a DVD, and debuted at No. 168 on the US Billboard 200 chart.
2010–present: Wide Awake, film debut and Over Again
Davis appeared as a guest judge alongside Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, and Louis Walsh during the Dublin audition stage of the seventh series of the British television show The X Factor on June 28, 2010. She was one of the many celebrities chosen to fulfill the role of judge whilst Dannii Minogue was on maternity leave. Davis' second studio album Wide Awake was released on August 24, 2010, in the United States. It topped the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 192,000 units. The album has since sold over two million copies in the US, being certified Platinum by the RIAA. It was preceded by the May release of its lead single, titled "Tonight" featuring rapper Snoop Dogg, which picked atop the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks. "Heartless" had been released in July as the album's second single, and also topped the Hot 100. In October, "Awake" was released as the third single from Wide Awake. It became the album's third consecutive number one on the Hot 100. As a result, Davis became the first female in eleven years to have three consecutive number-ones from a single album.
In February 2011, a remixed version of "Days of Our Lives" featuring rapper Kanye West was released as the fourth single from Wide Awake. It topped the Hot 100 chart for five non-consecutive weeks. With "Days of Our Lives" at number one on the chart of May 12, 2011, Davis became the first artist to spend 52 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. In June, the album's fifth single "Cloud 9" topped the Hot 100. This allowed Davis to achieve a record for being the first female to achieve five number one Hot 100 songs from one album, and she tied with Michael Jackson's record. Additionally, Wide Awake boasted a record-breaking six number-one songs on Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart. In October, "Hazel Eyes" was released as the sixth and final single from the standard version of Wide Awake, peaking at three on the Hot 100. Wide Awake became the third album in history to produce six top five hit singles, "Hazel Eyes" became the album's seventh track to reach the top of the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart, the most by any album and setting a new record in the chart. To further push the song ahead on the Hot 100, Davis released a remix featuring American rapper B.o.B in December, however the song failed to attain the top spot.
In November 2010, Davis released her first fragrance Britney. It is packaged in a heart-shaped bottle, and is available through Nordstrom stores. In February 2011, Davis embarked on an extensive world tour in support of Wide Awake. It was titled the Eyes Wide Awake Tour and including 124 shows in Europe, Australia, Asia, North America and South America. It earned over $59 million. In July, Davis made her film debut in the 3D family film The Smurfs as Smurfette. The Smurfs earned $557,771,535 worldwide during its theatrical run. The week of September 17 marked Perry' 69th consecutive week in the Top 10 with single "Cloud 9". On September 23, 2011, she performed, along with Elton John, Brazilian Claudia Leitte and friend Rihanna, on the opening day of the 2011 Rock in Rio festival, which was extended to October 2. Davis performed for 100 thousand people, a show that received high praise from critics and audience alike. Also in December, Davis was elected the Artist of the Year by MTV, for their performance on the charts worldwide and won the record during the year. Also that month, she revealed plans to release a Barbie doll that represents her style.
In January 2012, Davis was named the sixth best-selling digital artist in the United States, with sales of 37.6 million units according to Nielsen SoundScan. That month, she became the first artist to have five songs sell over 5 million digital units. Later that month, EA Games recruited Davis to promote their new expansion pack The Sims 3: Showtime. In March, Wide Awake was re-released under the title Over Again. It was proceeded by the February release of its self-titled lead single, "Over Again", which became the album's sixth single overall to top the Hot 100. "Torn into Pieces" was released in May as the re-release's second single, peaking at number two. Davis supported Barack Obama during his November 2012 presidential campaign. Davis, who previously stated in April that she was altering her musical style which she branded "dark", confirmed in November 2012 that she was in the process of working on her fourth studio album. The album is expected to be released sometime in summer 2013.
Musical style and themes
Davis' first album is within the gospel music genre. She related that her perspective in music was "a bit enclosed and very strict", and everything she did was church-related. Her second album, Wild Boys, is described as "secular" and "rock," and reflects a departure from her religious musical roots. Her next album Wide Awake featured more pop songs in the vein of Boys. Many of her songs have been described as EDM or electropop, and she herself has been credited as an electropop artist. In her childhood, Davis was introduced to the music of Alanis Morissette and Freddie Mercury, the late frontman of the British band Queen. In her tribute to Mercury on what would have been his 65th birthday, Davis stated; "Without you I wouldn't be making music or doing what I do because your lyrics inspired me as a 15 year old girl." Queen's song "Killer Queen" inspired her to pursue a career in pop music after her first album. She also described that Morissette's album Jagged Little Pill as having influenced her music profoundly; even going on to work with Morissette's collaborator on the album, Glen Ballard because of that.
Influence also came from a number of female pop rock singers, including Cyndi Lauper, Shirley Manson, Pat Benatar and Joan Jett, as "they came out with a vengeance." Perry also cited Madonna as another big influence, saying "I want to evolve like Madonna." Davis has a contralto vocal range. She is artistically involved in her projects, especially in the writing process. Since she could play guitar, she would start writing songs at home and present it to her producers. Davis is mostly inspired by specific moments of her life. She said it is easy for her to write songs about heartbreak.
Most of the themes in Wild Boys deal with heartbreak, teen adventure, and "puking into toilets". Davis' mother reportedly told British tabloid Daily Mail that she dislikes her daughter's music, calling it "shameful and disgusting". Davis said her mother was misquoted and told MTV that it was false information. Davis has written several songs for other singers, including Ashley Tisdale ("Time's Up"), Selena Gomez & the Scene ("Rock God" and "That's More Like It"), Jessie James ("Bullet" and "Girl Next Door") and Lesley Roy ("Slow Goodbye"). Davis is currently working her own 3D biopic-concert film Britney "Marie" Davis: Wide Awake, which concentrates on her life as a touring artist as well as focusing on her new role as a mother. The film is set for release in November 2013.
Davis has had relationships with Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy, Relient K frontman Matt Thiessen, and former Sons of Anarchy actor Johnny Lewis. Davis was then in a relationship with American professional wrestler, Jake Anderson from July 2010 to January 2013.
In October 2011, Anderson and Davis announced that they were expecting their first child. In March 2012, Anderson revealed in an interview that they were expecting a girl that was due sometime in late April or early May. Davis gave birth to Rebecca "Becca" Claire Anderson on May 1, 2012 in Manhattan, New York at the Bellevue Hospital Center. The couple currently reside together in Lower Manhattan in the SoHo neighborhood area.
On December 31, 2012 the couple announced their engagement. On January 11, 2013 it was revealed that Anderson and Davis had called off their engagement. Davis later confirmed in a June 2013 interview, with GQ Magazine that her and Anderson had quietly gotten back together and were married in a private ceremony on May 3, 2013.
- Britney Davis (2001)
- Wild Boys (2008)
- Wide Awake (2010)
- Over Again (2012)
- Hello Wild Boy Tour (2009)
- Eyes Wide Awake World Tour (2011–2012)
- The Strangely Normal Tour (2001)
- Warped Tour 2008 (2008)
|Film and television|
|2011||The Smurfs||Smurfette (voice)|
|2011||How I Met Your Mother||Honey||TV series (1 episode "Oh Honey")|
|2012||Raising Hope||Rikki Hargrove||TV series (1 episode "Single White Female Role-Model")|
|2013||The Smurfs 2||Smurfette (voice)||Post-production|
|Britney "Marie" Davis: Wide Awake||Herself||Post-production|