On Oct. 25, 2013, former "X Factor" U.S. judge Britney Spears revealed the cover artwork for her eighth studio album, "Britney Jean." And many people on the Internet have noticed the similarities between the cover of "Britney Jean" and the cover of Miley Cyrus' "Bangerz" album. Media outlets such as the Huffington Post, the Daily Mirror, Cambio and the Hollywood Gossip have also commented on the similarities.
"Bangerz" was released in the U.S. and Canada on Oct. 8, 2013 and debuted at No. 1 in several countries. "Britney Jean" is scheduled for release in the U.S. and Canada on Dec. 3, 2013.
Cyrus is topless on an alternative cover of "Bangerz," while Spears appears to be topless on the "Britney Jean" album. Both album covers also have dark backgrounds and tacky neon lettering. The official "Bangerz" album cover features Cyrus wearing a black blazer and touching her face like Spears does on "Britney Jean," but she released alternative covers to the album, including the one showing her topless.
Not coincidentally, Spears and Cyrus are both managed by Larry Rudolph. Both singers are also signed to RCA Records and are former Disney Channel stars. (Cyrus was on "Hannah Montana." Spears was on "The Mickey Mouse Club.") Spears and Cyrus have also courted controversy with their sexually provocative antics on stage and in their music videos.
Meanwhile, Spears (who is 31 and originally from Louisiana) has been praising Cyrus (who is 20 and originally from Tennessee). In an October 2013 interview with Capital FM in England, Spears commented on Cyrus: "My mom and her mom know each other ... She's a girl's girl and she gets the whole Southern thing. I'm a huge fan of hers. I think she's brilliant right now."
Spears is a featured artist on Cyrus' song "SMS (Bangerz)," which is on the "Bangerz" album. In Cyrus' MTV documentary "Miley: The Movement," Cyrus commented: ""I always say I only want one bitch on my record, and that's Britney, bitch."
In a hand-written open letter posted on her official Internet outlets, Spears made this statement about her "Britney Jean" album:
"I haven't sat down to write you guys in SUCH a long time. Long overdue! We're all so used to getting our thoughts out in 140 characters, but sometimes its nice to take time to sit down and write something a little longer and more personal. I am putting the finishing touches on my new album, "Britney Jean" over the next few days and I am so excited for you to hear it. I poured my heart and soul into this album and it's been an incredible journey. I've learned a lot about myself, and as I am finishing, I am reminded of the incredible foundation that has supported me for the last 15 years. Thank you all for continuing to follow me on this journey and for allowing me to do what I love to do. I can’t believe this is my eighth studio album and I know I keep telling you that it is my most personal record yet, but its true and I’m really proud of that.
"I have been through a lot in the past few years and it has really inspired me to dig deeper and write songs that I think everyone can relate to. Working with people like Sia, William Orbit, and of course Will.i.am has been an amazing experience. They have listened to all of my ideas and helped me bring them to life. There are a lot of really fun, upbeat dance songs, but it was important to me that I show my strength, and my attitude, and my vulnerability. Of course, I also have some surprises for you guys ;)
"I want to show you the different sides of Britney Spears. I am a performer. I am a Mom. I am funny. I am your friend! I am Britney Jean.
"Hope you love my labor of love!"
"Work Bitch" is the first single from "Britney Jean." The album's second single is "Perfume," which is scheduled for release in the U.S. and Canada on Nov. 5, 2013.
As previously reported, the music video for "Work Bitch" premiered and got very polarizing reactions from viewers. While many of her fans say that they love the video, other people have expressed disgust over the video.
The video, which has an S&M theme, features a scantily clad Spears as a dominatrix who at times is shown whipping other scantily clad women. In one scene in the video, Spears is in an S&M swinger club, where she is also shown whipping someone.
"Work Bitch" was released on Sept. 17, 2013, the same day that she officially announced on "Good Morning America" that she is headlining a two-year concert residency titled "Britney: Piece of Me" at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Tickets for the residency (which has initially announced 50 shows, beginning on Dec. 27, 2013) have been selling at a brisk pace.
"Work Bitch" has become a Top 20 hit in several countries. In the U.S., "Work Bitch" debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but the song plummeted to No. 41 in its second week.
As previously reported, Spears revealed a few details about her eighth studio album, which she recorded with Will.i.am and other producers. On July 3, 2013, she tweeted: "Really excited 2 give u a taste of my new album... can't wait 2 share what I've been working on. Going to be my most personal album ever :)."
"Britney Jean" is reportedly the last album that she owes on her Sony Music contract. There will no doubt be a bidding war among major labels to sign Spears after her Sony Music contract ends. We'll have to see if she renews her contract with Sony or if she signs with a competing record company. Spears' previous album of new material was 2011's "Femme Fatale."
Spears' song "Ooh La La" from "The Smurfs 2" soundtrack bombed when it was released in July 2013. The song peaked at No. 54 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the song failed to crack the Top 40 in most other countries. Spears had much more success as a featured artist on the Will.i.am song "Scream & Shout," which was a Top 10 hit in many countries in 2012.
Spears lasted just one season on "The X Factor" U.S in 2012, when the show lost millions of viewers after she joined the judging panel. (According to the Nielsen Company, "The X Factor" U.S. had an average of 12 million U.S. viewers per episode in 2011. In 2012, after Spears joined the show, that number dropped to 8 million U.S viewers per episode.)
She left "The X Factor" after getting a lot of criticism from viewers, who often called her a "dull" or "robotic" judge. In 2012, she was No. 6 on Forbes magazine's list of the World's Most Powerful Celebrities. In 2013, Spears didn't even rank on the list.
Spears' salary for the Las Vegas residency is $15 million a year, according to TMZ. She was also reportedly paid $15 million to be a judge on "The X Factor" U.S.