Britney Spears, NME

NME

The Church of Britney Spears is not an officially recognized religion.

That being said, millions of fans have worshipped the singer since she burst onto the music scene in 1998 with "...Baby One More Time." Several years ago, Spears' fans even gave her two nicknames: "Godney" and "The Holy Spearit." While the 34-year-old pop princess doesn't mind the adoration—who would?—she's not sure she's worthy of the nicknames. "That's just how the fans are – and I don't want to let them down," she says in NME's Sept. 16 issue. "At the end of the day, we're all human and we all make mistakes. It's really flattering, but I don't know if I can set my bar that high. I'm sure a lot of them have almost felt like they've grown up with me."

Spears has been in the public eye for more than half her life, and her every move has been documented and scrutinized. Needless to say, it can be a lot. "I try not to analyze it too much," she admits. "I love what I do and I think that helps because it speaks for itself when I perform."

The "Make Me..." singer has taken her act all over the world. But, since 2013, she's headlined at The Axis, located inside Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. "Seeing other artists continue to do this kind of thing inspires me, too," Spears says. "Because sometimes I'm like, 'What am I doing?' Like, I could be a teacher. But then I see other people doing it too and I'm like, 'Well, you know, it's probably all they've known for so long, so it just kind of makes sense."

Spears believes the key to longevity is unpredictability. So, when the time came to record her ninth studio album, Glory, she worked with new songwriters and producers to create a sound that was all her own. "Honestly, this is the first project where I've really been hands-on. I was really specific about who I worked with and I've been learning to say no. I'm a people-pleaser, so that's hard for me—even if I don't like something, I'll do it just to make a person happy," she tells NME. "I made sure this album was everything I wanted it to be. I was really selfish with it."

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