Let’s Talk Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan in 2021

Also in July, Paris told Entertainment Tonight that she was “so incredibly proud” of her longtime friend Britney “for being so strong, using her voice, standing up for herself. Just taking control of her life. I just love her so much and I am just extremely proud.”

So were countless other people after Britney testified in court that month to the alleged indignities she had suffered while under the thumb of her co-conservator father, Jamie Spears, another key moment in as many months in what had become a years-long, slow burn of a fight to be released from the arrangement that had been in place since 2008. 

The articles wondering “is this the year…?” never went out of fashion, but with Britney performing to sold-out crowds in Las Vegas starting in 2013, vacationing in Hawaii with her kids and doing other seemingly normal-for-a-pop-star stuff, many just assumed (or at least hoped) that the conservatorship was serving her well.

But it wasn’t until this year that the #FreeBritney movement gained too much steam to ignore, first thanks to the February special Framing Britney Spears, about her rise to fame, the preposterously cringe-worthy way her career and mental health struggles were reported on back in the ’00s, and the avid fans who’d taken up her cause as their own.

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