Both Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” Are, Randomly, Likely Written About the Same Veterinarian with His Own Reality Show

Yeah, let us explain.

Britney Spears
(Image credit: Britney Spears)

So wait—you’re telling me that two of the biggest pop hits of the early aughts…were written about a veterinarian? It seems likely, and the backstory is pretty incredible. 

Britney Spears’ single “Toxic” just celebrated its 20-year anniversary last year, and, as Bustle put it, the track “has become one of the defining song and music videos of our generation, but the inspiration for her lyrics about a ‘poisonous’ lover has always been a mystery.”  

Britney Spears in 2001

"Toxic," released in 2003, went on to become one of Spears' signature hits.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But its origin story and the inspiration behind the lyrics really don’t have much to do with Spears it all, it turns out. Though she made it famous, a songwriter named Cathy Dennis co-wrote the hit, which was on Spears’ 2003 album In the Zone. Dennis—along with Henrik Jonback, Christian Karlsson, and Pontus Winnberg—wrote the song with Janet Jackson in mind, actually; it was initially offered to Kylie Minogue, who turned it down. (Minogue reportedly later called “Toxic” the one that got away.)

Dennis used to date a veterinarian named Noel Fitzpatrick, who now hosts the BBC show The Supervet; TikToker Jason Pargin is convinced that “Toxic” was likely written about Fitzpatrick, who split from Dennis in 2003—the same year “Toxic” was written. 

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake during their relationship

It'd be an easy conclusion to draw considering Spears and Justin Timberlake broke up the year before "Toxic" was released, but it doesn't seem that Timberlake inspired this song, after all.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fitzpatrick is aware of the rumor, and was even asked about it on the British show This Morning. “Are you who that song is written about?” host Holly Willoughby asked. “Is it you? Please say yes.”

In an extreme flex, Fitzpatrick replied “You may have to ask Kylie Minogue whether ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ is written about me.” Yes, that’s correct—Dennis also co-wrote Minogue’s 2001 hit of that name, back when she and Fitzpatrick were dating and experiencing happier times. 

Kylie Minogue attends the 2024 People's Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on February 18, 2024 in Santa Monica, California.

Minogue's happier tune, "Can't Get You Out of My Head," was also reportedly inspired by Fitzpatrick.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Noel Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick, the man that supposedly inspired some of the biggest bops of the early aughts.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cathy Dennis

Dennis, who is highly skilled at writing songs that the whole world sings.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Both “Toxic” and “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” hit No. 1 on Billboard’s U.S. Dance Club songs, and “Toxic” won Spears a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. To think that they’re about the same veterinarian is absolutely bonkers. As Pargin noted on TikTok, “There’s no way for anyone to know for sure” if Fitzpatrick is to thank for inspiring such creativity—well, except for asking Dennis herself, we suppose. And speaking of Dennis, she has written a number of hits for the likes of S Club 7, Kelly Clarkson, Jonas Brothers, Adam Lambert, and more, but one hit single she wrote that we’re reasonably certain is not about Fitzpatrick? Katy Perry’s 2008 song “I Kissed a Girl,” for obvious reasons.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.