More than a decade ago Britney Spears walked out of rehab and into a hair salon where she grabbed a pair of clippers and proceeded to shave off her long blonde locks.
It appeared to mark the beginning of the end for one of the world’s most famous pop stars.
A very public meltdown followed, resulting in a disastrous performance at 2007’s MTV VMAS, where the audience –including 50 Cent and P Diddy – were left aghast, and she was mocked by Rihanna.
But the 36-year-old comeback queen – who has sold 100million records – looked strong and defiant as she took to the stage at Brighton Pride for one of her most widely anticipated shows ever.
Some 40,000 fans in glitter, sequins and rainbow colours turned out to cheer her on.
Watts The Goss can reveal that Britney herself is a huge fan of the royal family.
The singer – on her UK Piece Of Me tour – has a picture of Princess Diana in her dressing room, and hopes to meet Meghan Markle.
During her Las Vegas residency, she told one of the dancers how impressed she was by Meghan going from Hollywood to the Palace, saying: “It shows you dreams can come true.”
A source says: “Britney could not stop waxing lyrical about Prince Harry being so handsome and the perfect gentleman. She was really hyped about the royal wedding.
“She has extended an open invite for all shows to both princes, but especially to Harry and Meghan. To her the princes are truly inspirational, having overcome the loss of their mother so young and staying strong while under intense public scrutiny.”
On Friday, Britney took her sons, Sean Preston, 12, and Jayden James, 11, to visit Buckingham Palace.
And yesterday they went to the beach in Brighton ahead of her headlining slot.
A source tells me: “The boys haven’t seen Buckingham Palace or the Victoria memorial before so they walked round and took it all in. They wanted fish and chips for dinner because Britney has always told them that’s what she has when she’s here.”
Britney revealed in 2000 that she nearly went on a date with Prince William while on tour in the UK.