Is Britney's New Single Too Dirty for Radio?

Groups are already complaining about "If U Seek Amy," and there's good reason why

By Leslie Gornstein Jan 22, 2009 8:26 PMTags

I hear Britney's new song is so nasty that radio stations may not play it. Is the song Internet only?
—Melissa, Wissahickon, Pa.

I see the overheated Britney publicity machine is still operating on all gears. Hey, great to know! As for that song, it's called "If U Seek Amy" (say it real fast in front of a Jonas Brother, and watch him blush).

It has yet to score an official release date, but the controversy surrounding it is already pipin' hot, thanks to the phonetic power of that seemingly cryptic title phrase.

Here's what we know...

The song, as it was originally recorded, is probably too dirty to play on public airwaves during the sacred hours between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., sources tell me.

The FCC has that block of time set aside as family hours, and profanity is a no-no.

"If the song were played between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., it would be in violation of the Broadcast Decency Law," says Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council. Violations could cost radio stations up to $325,000 in fines. And that is money that stations surely will not risk, promoters tell me.

There's a strong chance the song's name will be changed, if not the whole darned thing, so that the kids can hear it after school. Rumor has it that Brit is retooling the song into the much-less-naughty—and completely nonsensical—"If You See Amy," though promoters tell me that, officially, Jive Records has not said how it plans to clean up the song.

A Sony spokeswoman would not comment to me on what Britney has up her circus leotard sleeve on this one. Has she cleaned up the song, which is what the rumor mill indicates? If she hasn't, will she? 

She probably will, if she hasn't already.

"They will have to change the single, because airplay equals more sales, and that's what record companies are in business for," says Bob Burke, managing director of the FMQB record industry trade publication and promotions service. "The label will creatively find a way to make it work."

In other words, computerized bleeps, foops, boops, wheeps or just silence.

If Britney does choose to keep her song as is, most radio stations will probably avoid the risk of fines—and simply play the tune after 10 p.m., after Nick, Kevin and Joe are already in bed.

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