I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman
|"I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman"|
|Single by Britney Spears|
|from the album Britney|
|B-side||"I Run Away"|
|Released||February 18, 2002|
|Recorded||May — June 20, 2001; Maratone Studios (Stockholm), Battery Studios (New York City)|
|Britney Spears singles chronology|
"I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" is a song recorded by American singer Britney Spears for her third studio album, Britney (2001). It was written and produced by Max Martin and Rami, with additional writing from Dido. The song was released on February 18, 2002, by Jive Records. In the United States and Canada, the song was released as the second single from her third studio album Britney; internationally, it served as the third. "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" is a song which speaks about the angst and heartache of puberty. Spears considered the song inspirational and one of her favorite songs to perform.
"I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" received positive reviews from music critics. The song was considered to be Spears' standout statement on Britney, while comparing the song to the powerful ballads written by Diane Warren. However, it won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song. While the song did not perform well in the United States, "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" reached the top ten in Australia, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and United Kingdom. An accompanying music video for the song was filmed at Antelope Canyon, Arizona and directed by Wayne Isham, being released along with Crossroads (2002), Spears' first movie as a protagonist. Spears performed "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" as part of her Dream Within a Dream Tour, and on several TV shows.
In early 2001, Spears and her team developed a script for a movie where the singer could be the main role. "I talked to [Rhimes] and told her what I wanted the movie to be about and she elaborated on it," Spears said. "It was my little project. When you do a movie, I think you have to be really passionate about it. I was having a lot of offers, but this is something my heart was into." After finishing the script, the movie, which was later titled Crossroads, had the working titles of What Are Friends For and Not a Girl. "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman", written by Dido, Max Martin and Rami, was originally intended to be included on the movie's soundtrack, but after JIVE Records decided not to release a soundtrack, Spears later decided to use it on her third studio album, Britney (2001).
A sample from the song.
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The song was produced and mixed by Max Martin and Rami Yacoub. Max Martin began working on the song at Maratone Studios in Stockholm, Sweden in mid-2001 and Spears recorded in June of the same year at Battery Studios in New York City, New York. The June 20, 2001 recording session aired on MTV Diary on September 1, 2001. Background vocals were provided by Martin and Jeanette Oison. Spears considered the song as one of her favorites, while praising Dido for her input into its songwriting, saying "it was truly an honor for you to be part of my album. Thanks for your input." "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" is a pop power ballad, founded on a strong piano melody, that lasts for three minutes and 49 seconds. The song is composed in the key of E♭ major and is set in time signature of common time, with a moderately slow tempo of 76 beats per minute. The song's lyrics talk about the angst and heartache that teenage girls suffer with puberty, where Spears claims, "I used to think I had the answers to everything." "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" has a basic sequence of E♭–A♭2–Fm7–B♭ as its chord progression.
"I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" received positive reviews from music critics. Yale Daily News writer Catherine Halaby called it a "well-executed ballad", while observing that "it comes across as a hybrid of advice to her young female fans on how to deal with puberty, and an explanation of her girly but not childlike attitude." Jim Farber of the Daily News while reviewing the Dream Within a Dream Tour, called the song "sugar pop dittie", along with Spears' previous ballad single "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know". Nikki Tranker of PopMatters considered the song "Britney's standout statement on [Britney], [...] a power ballad that allows [the singer] to showcase her expert vocals while still adhering to the rules of safe pop." Tranker compared the song to powerful ballads written by Diane Warren. Katie Perone of the Loyola Greyhound said the song "clearly defines the theme of the record: Britney's growing up, and wants to do her own thing." Despite the positive response from critics, the song won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song in 2003.
"I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" achieved moderate commercial success. The song did not make much impact in the United States, peaking at number two on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100, but failing to reach the Billboard Hot 100. However, the song did manage to peak at number 21 on Billboard Pop Songs, and debuted in its peak position of number two in the United Kingdom. In Australia, the song peaked at number seven, and was certified Gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association for selling over 30,000 physical units of the single. It also peaked inside the top ten in Austria, Germany, Ireland, and Sweden.
The accompanying music video for the track was directed by Wayne Isham, who wanted it to show Spears "out in nature". The video was filmed completely on location, with none of the scenes shot on green screens. The video primarily consists of Spears, whilst wearing cowboy boots, performing the song whilst standing on the edge of a cliff, and inside a cave: despite her "trepidation" and heavy winds which "almost dropped [her] over", she performed the scene without a safety cable. Isham praised Spears' attitude to the filming of the scene, claiming that she "had not a blink of fear" during the shoot, Spears is sitting on top of a cliff, surrounded by cliffs. Isham also considered the music video one of his favorites, commenting that he had "nothing but positive things to say about my experience with her and what she's doing right now" and that Spears "stepped into it with positive energy. She ended up stepping out and kicking ass, There are 3 versions of the video, Version 1 and 2 has clips from the movie "Crossroads" and Version 3 is the original version." The music video won the award for "International Music Video of the Year Short-Form" on the 2003 Japan Gold Disc Awards.
"I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" was performed on Spears's Dream Within a Dream Tour. After the performance of "Boys", Spears sat down next to a piano player and talked to the audience before moving into a performance of the song. Spears also performed the song in several television appearances, including on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, the Late Show with David Letterman, the American Music Awards of 2002, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Saturday Night Live. "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" was also performed on the show Wetten, dass..? in Germany, and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. A MTV special titled "Total Britney Live" included an exclusive performance of the song, along with performances of "I'm a Slave 4 U" and "Stronger".
Credits and personnel
- Britney Spears – lead vocals
- Dido Armstrong – songwriting
- Max Martin – songwriting, producer, mixing, background vocals
- Rami Yacoub – songwriting, producer, mixing
- Jeanette Olsson – background vocals
- Esbjörn Öhrwall – guitar, piano
- Tom Coyne – audio mastering
|United Kingdom (BPI)||170,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|Germany||February 18, 2002||CD single||Sony|
|Japan||February 22, 2002|
|United Kingdom||April 1, 2002||RCA|
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