The year was 1999. The pop princess had recently taken the world by storm with her hit single “… Baby One More Time” and her first album by the same name. The then-17-year-old starlet had the world at her fingertips and people simply couldn’t get enough.
Spears has appeared as the cover girl for Rolling Stone on several more occasions, but it was this one in particular that paved the way for other female artists to do the same. Just this week, Miley Cyrus appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone. The “Midnight Sky” singer opted to go topless for the shot, covering her upper half with her hands and showing off her tattoos. Cyrus’ story headline reads, “Miley’s Rock & Roll Heart.”
Here’s how the two covers compare:
Spears’ Cover Was Simultaneously Innocently Seductive & Helped Define Her Career
Spears’ iconic cover featured her laying on a pink silk fabric as she held a white, corded phone to her ear. She held the purple Teletubby (Tinky Winky) in her other arm and gazed at the camera. She showed off her famous midriff, as she wore an open top exposing her black bra and paired the ensemble with tiny black polka dot sleep shorts. The story’s headline said it all, “Britney Spears: Inside the heart, mind, and bedroom of a teen dream.”
At the time, one couldn’t so easily imagine that this very cover would help shape Spears’ career. She was simultaneously the girl next door and the hottest woman in the club. Her toned tummy became a trademark for just about everything she did, including her music videos and her live performances.
Spears embraced her womanhood, following in the footsteps of other mainstream artists like Madonna. On the inside pages of the magazine, Spears discussed one of the biggest decisions of her career: the direction for the “…Baby One More Time” music video.
“I had this idea where we’re in school and bored out of our minds, and we have Catholic uniforms on. And I said, ‘Why don’t we have knee-highs and tie the shirts up to give it a little attitude?’ — so it wouldn’t be boring and cheesy,” Spears told the outlet. Little did she know that this idea would help spring her into super-stardom.
Miley Cyrus’ Cover Is Provocative & Showcases Her Overall Vibe
While this isn’t Cyrus’ first cover for the magazine, her featured shot is one that won’t soon be forgotten. Rolling Stone manages to capture the very essence of each musical artist featured on its cover — and Cyrus’ latest go is no different.
Shot from the waist up, Cyrus opted to go topless for the shoot, not unlike her featured shot back in 2013. This time, Cyrus drenched her wrists in bracelets and her fingers in rings as she covered herself up. Several of her tattoos can be seen in the shot. Cyrus’ red lips produced a snarl as her short hairstyle gave off Joan Jett vibes. In other snaps for the shoot, Cyrus appeared nude from the waist up.
For her interview, Cyrus was extremely candid, discussing everything from her sexuality to her past drug use. She was asked what she wanted her legacy to be.
“I want to lay down a new stone for a path for the next generation of artists, philanthropists, the way that Debbie Harry has done for me. I’d like to be known as someone that created something that didn’t quite exist, or that I delivered something that no one knew that they needed or wanted, but when they had it felt that they couldn’t live without it. That’s what I would want as an artist,” she said.
Perhaps in 20 years, Cyrus’ Rolling Stone cover will have paved the way for artists of a new generation.