After working with music producers in Stockholm, Sweden, Spears returned to the US and released her debut album …Baby One More Time in January, 1999. It debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and remained in the Hot 100 for 32 weeks.
While she sparked fan mania, the music video (released in October, 1998) for the title track was ravaged by critics.
The then-16-year-old sparked outrage over her seemingly promiscuous schoolgirl outfit, but she argued that others her age were wearing far sexier outfits.
“There are so many other teenagers out there that dress more provocatively than I do and no one says anything about them,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2001.
Fun fact: All of the clothing Spears wore in the video was purchased at US Kmart stores, with each item costing less than $23.