Britney Spears’ “Everytime” Lyrics Meaning

Getting right down to the nitty-gritty, the reason Britney’s “Everytime” has remained pertinent in the minds of fans throughout the years isn’t necessarily due to its popularity. For as great as this classic proved to be, Britney has definitely had greater hits. 

Rather it’s due to the fact that not only is it a song that people feel, but also the prevailing theory is that it is aimed at another pop star, Justin Timberlake, whom Spears had broken up with shortly before this song came out.

But whether a listener subscribes to this theory or not, it is pretty clear that the singer is addressing an ex. And throughout the first two-thirds of the song, it reads more or less like your standard case of a person, i.e. the singer, suffering in the absence of their significant other. Or stated plainly, the vocalist misses her sweetheart.

But then once the bridge comes along something interesting is realized. For it is during this passage that the singer basically admits that it was she who caused her relationship with the addressee to dissolve.

That being said, even now over 15 years later Spears herself has never forthrightly stated that this song is about Timberlake. However, her co-writer, Annet Artani, has. And the way she explains the situation is that Justin was “exposing some stuff” about Britney which “probably she didn’t want out there”. This includes perhaps the lyrical content of a couple of tracks he dropped in the wake of their breakup. 


So if Britney is indeed singing to Timberlake then yes, it can be said to a large degree that she is accepting blame for the unfavorable end of their relationship. But all factors considered, it’s safe to assume that in addition to begging his forgiveness and letting him know that she does in fact miss him, she also wants him to accept her apology and move on with his life.

Britney Had an Abortion!

In October 2023, Britney disclosed a deeply personal aspect of her past. During her much-publicized relationship with fellow artist Justin Timberlake, which spanned from 1998 to 2002, Spears experienced an unplanned pregnancy.

This revelation came to light in her evocatively titled memoir, “The Woman in Me”. Within the pages of this deeply introspective work, Spears delves into the emotions, circumstances, and ultimately, the decision she made to undergo an abortion while in a relationship with Timberlake. The memoir promises readers an intimate look into Spears’ journey of self-discovery and personal growth amidst the challenges she faced in her younger years.

Britney Spears’ loyal fanbase has always sought deeper meanings in her music, and a recent revelation has brought renewed attention and interpretation to one of her poignant ballads, “Everytime”. With Spears openly discussing her decision to have an abortion during her relationship with Justin Timberlake, many fans and analysts are viewing the song and its corresponding music video, released in 2004, through a new lens.

The evocative visuals of the “Everytime” music video paint a compelling narrative: Spears meanders through a hospital, amidst contrasting scenes of the joy of birth and the sorrow of death. A particularly striking moment towards the video’s conclusion focuses on a close-up of a newborn baby. Given Spears’ recent revelation, some commentators and fans are theorizing that this symbolizes the child she felt compelled to let go.

While it’s essential to approach such interpretations with sensitivity, it’s clear that the song and video have taken on new layers of depth and emotion in the eyes of many.

Music Video

The highly-cinematic music video to this track had David LaChapelle as its director. In its original version, it features Britney fictionally taking her own life. That was not received well by many viewers, who basically perceived such actions from someone as influential as Britney as being an advocacy of suicide. So the video was reedited, with that particular concept being removed.

Said video features Stephen Dorff portraying Britney’s romantic interest. This is an actor whom some readers may be familiar with via his portrayal of the antagonist, Deacon Frost, on the classic vampire film “Blade” (1998). And Dorff also contributed to the music video’s narrative.

The Relationship between Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake

Britney and Justin were undoubtedly one of the most talked-about celebrity couples of the early 2000s. Their relationship captured the attention of fans and media outlets around the world, both during its duration and in the years that followed. Here’s a closer look at their relationship:

Background and Beginning

Both Spears and Timberlake were a part of the “Mickey Mouse Club” as children in the early 1990s, so they had known each other since their early teenage years. They began dating in the late 1990s.

Pop Culture Icons

At the height of their relationship, both artists were at the pinnacle of their music careers. Spears had hits like “…Baby One More Time” and “Oops!… I Did It Again,” while Timberlake was a lead member of the boy band ‘N Sync.

Public Appearances

The couple wasn’t shy about making public appearances. They graced various award shows and events, often coordinating outfits. One of the most iconic moments was when they attended the 2001 American Music Awards wearing matching denim outfits.


The couple split in 2002, and the breakup was widely covered by the media. Following the split, there was significant speculation and rumors regarding the reasons behind it, fueled in part by their respective musical releases. Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” and its accompanying music video, which featured a Britney look-alike, were widely seen as alluding to their relationship.


Over the years, both artists have touched upon their relationship in various interviews. While they’ve had their ups and downs, Timberlake expressed his support for Spears during her conservatorship battle in 2021.

Musical Impact

It’s undeniable that their relationship influenced their musical outputs during and after their time together. Besides “Cry Me a River”, Spears’ ballad “Everytime” is often speculated to be about Timberlake, though she has stated it’s about general feelings of heartbreak.

Britney Spears

Facts about “Everytime”

Britney wrote this song alongside Annette Stamatelatos (aka Annet Artani). It is interesting to note that at the time of penning this song with Britney, Artani worked for Britney as her backup singer.

The friendship between those two ladies, which resulted in this song, blossomed as they were simultaneously dealing with heartbreak. And in Britney’s case, it was in terms of her relationship with Timberlake, whom she dated from 1999 to 2002. And as aforementioned, Artani has asserted that this track is indeed about Timberlake. More specifically it was a response to his 2002 hit, “Cry Me a River“, as well as the fact that Spears’ camp felt as if Justin was unfairly divulging personal aspects of their relationship. 

It is worth noting that Britney penned this song in Germany. According to her, it holds the distinction of being the first song she ever wrote.          

This Britney classic came out on 10 May 2004. It was the third single from Britney’s fourth album, which is entitled “In the Zone”. However, it was amongst the first songs from the project that were actually finished. And originally, its working title was “Everytime I Try”.

“Everytime” went on to be what many critics deemed the best song from the album, and its chart showing supports that claim. For instance, it reached number 1 in 5 different countries, including topping the UK Singles Chart. And overall it was listed on record charts in well over 20 nations, including faring impressively on 5 of Billboard’s US-based listings. Moreover the tack has been certified Platinum in Norway and Sweden.

This track is a product of Jive Records.

Did “Everytime” win a Grammy Award?

No. Actually Britney doesn’t have many Grammys to her credit. As of 2020, she had won only one Grammy Award. This was in 2005 for her song “Toxic”.

Was this a No. 1 hit outside UK?

Yes. It peaked at No. 1 in the following countries too:

  • Australia
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Scotland

2 Responses

  1. ADNAN TUNC says:

    One of the greatest and touching songs ever. It’s so deep and has so much pain in it. Britney is a real pop legend.. Her voice has so much emotion in this song..

  2. Millie says:

    I can remember this song/video being played constantly on tv music channels circa 2004ish. Bloody lousy time for me back then, a time I’m glad is a long way behind me…

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