Toxic (3:18)

Cover of Greatest Hits: My Prerogative

From Greatest Hits: My Prerogative and 108 other releases

“Toxic” is a song by American recording artist Britney Spears from her fourth album, In the Zone. It was released on January 12, 2004, by Jive Records as the second single from the album. Co-written and produced by Bloodshy & Avant, the song was initially offered to Kylie Minogue, but she rejected it. Spears has named “Toxic” as her favorite song from her career, and originally had to convince her record label to release it as a single. “Toxic” is a dance-pop song with influences of electropop and bhangra music, that features varied instrumentation, such as drums, synthesizers and surf guitar. It is accompanied by high-pitched strings and breathy vocals. Its lyrics refer to being addicted to a lover. The song was well received by critics, who deemed it as the strongest track of In the Zone, while praising its hook and chorus.

“Toxic” attained worldwide success, reaching the top-five in fifteen countries, while topping the charts in Australia, Canada, Hungary, Norway and the United Kingdom. In the United States, it became her first single to peak inside the top ten in almost four years. The accompanying music video for the song was directed by Joseph Kahn and features references to Blade Runner, The Seven Year Itch and the films of John Woo. It portrays Spears as a secret agent in the search of a vial of green liquid. After she steals it, she enters an apartment and poisons her unfaithful boyfriend. The video also includes interspersed scenes of Spears naked with diamonds over her body. After Janet Jackson’s Superbowl incident, the video was considered too racy for MTV and was moved to late-night programming.

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