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Britney Spears fans don't mess around.
On January 25, Justin Timberlake released a new single titled “Selfish” ahead of his upcoming album, Everything I Thought I Was. What he probably didn't expect was the response from Britney Spears fans, who joined forces to “dethrone” the singer from his number one spot on the iTunes charts by listening en masse to Spears's 2011 song of the same name.
By January 26, Spears's 13-year-old song “Selfish”—which was a bonus track from her Femme Fatale album—surpassed Timberlake's new release, taking that coveted top slot. According to People, Spears's song is still ahead on the US iTunes Top Songs chart as of January 27.
“Britney Spears fans sending ‘Selfish,’ a bonus track from 2011, to #1 is everything I live for,” one fan account boasted. “I love it so much.”
Justin Timberlake has received a lot of pushback from Britney Spears fans in recent years, especially since the release of the Framing Britney Spears documentary in 2021. The world began to reexamine their 2002 breakup and the damage his response had on Spears's career. It didn't help that his behavior toward Janet Jackson following their notorious Super Bowl Halftime Show performance in 2004 came into question as well.
Timberlake ended up apologizing to Spears and Jackson via Instagram in the wake of the social media backlash, though it's since been removed from his feed. “I've seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” he wrote in February 2021. “I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.”
“I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually,” he continued. “Because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.”
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake met on the set of Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club in 1992 and began dating in 1999, when they were both 18 years old. In 2023, Spears revealed she had had an abortion at one point during their three-year relationship. “I always expected us to have a family together one day,” Spears wrote in her memoir, The Woman in Me. “This would just be much earlier than I’d anticipated.” The pop star went on to say she “never” would have chosen to terminate her pregnancy, but Timberlake was “so sure that he didn’t want to be a father.”
“Justin definitely wasn’t happy about the pregnancy,” Spears continued. “He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were way too young. To this day, it’s one of the most agonizing things I have ever experienced in my life.”
Originally Appeared on Glamour