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.

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.

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

1 Response

  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..

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