Britney Spears Exalts Janet Jackson: "She's Always Been the Deepest and the Brightest Woman"

Spears and Jackson share more than musical prowess: they share a common enemy.

Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Janet Jackson
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Britney Spears might just be a big fan of Janet Jackson's music (like the rest of us)—or she might be taking another swing at her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake.

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Spears thanked Jackson for keeping her "dreams and heart alive."

"Thank you to this beautiful lady for keeping my dreams and heart alive," Spears wrote, "She's always been the deepest and brightest woman at the same time. She went through so much but I feel she is someone I will look up to for the rest of my life. Thank you for your music and your divine way of untangling intelligence to a far more clear view than anyone could ever imagine."

The heartfelt tribute was accompanied by a photo of Jackson's self-titled album, Janet, which was released back in 1993.

Janet Jackson in 1994

Janet Jackson was already iconic back in 1994.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Spears and Jackson share more than musical prowess: they share a common enemy.

Spears and Timberlake's rocky history has recently resurfaced with the release of her memoir, The Woman In Me. In this autobiography, Spears discussed many aspects of her conservatorship and handling fame as a young woman. She also opened up about the darker aspects of her publicized relationship with Timberlake.

For example, she revealed that Timberlake repeatedly cheated on her while they were together, that he broke up with her in a two-word text message, that he pushed her to get an abortion, and that she suffered greatly from the fallout of their breakup.

Justin Timberlake & Britney Spears at the "Crossroads" Hollywood premiere.

Justin Timberlake & Britney Spears at the "Crossroads" Hollywood premiere while dating.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A few weeks ago, Timberland seemingly shared his view on the criticism. Days after Spears said she was "in love with" his new song, the singer performed his 2002 hit "Cry Me a River" with a pretty pointed introduction.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to absolutely f****** nobody," Timberlake announced.

Many assumed this was about Spears, but fans of Jackson actually thought it could be about her. As while Spears opened the floodgates to examine Timberlake's actions, she's far from the only woman he has wronged.

Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson

Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson at that fateful 2004 Super Bowl Halftime show.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Back in 2004, Jackson brought out a young Timberlake as a guest during her Super Bowl Halftime show. (This was two years after his breakup with Spears.)

Towards the end of the song, Timberlake ripped Jackson's costume, revealing one of her breasts to the crowd. Timberlake claimed this was an accident, but many disagreed upon seeing the footage. He also did little to stop the barrage of criticism Jackson received, as she was essentially barred from the industry and blamed entirely for her wardrobe malfunction.

Finally, in 2021, Timberlake apologized to both Spears and Jackson for how he "benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism." However, he also went on to explain that this is the result of a "flawed" industry and "ignorance."

Fleurine Tideman
Freelance Writer

Fleurine Tideman is a freelance writer who is always ready to discuss celebrities, entertainment, mental health, relationships and anything else her busy brain comes up with. She comes from the small, rainy land of the Netherlands, but she uses the flexibility of her work to travel around Europe and explore new places. She spent several years working in the travel industry, which taught her how to fit insane amounts in her hand luggage. She has a degree in Psychology and Anthropology, which she uses to psychoanalyse herself and others. She’s a regular contributor for Betches, and you can also find her work on Pop Sugar, Insider, Time Out or her own blog, Symptoms of Living. At Marie Claire, she’ll be covering celebrity news, usually written to the sounds of Taylor Swift.