Britney Spears’ Unedited “Toxic” Demo Surfaces Online

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For fans and nonbelievers alike, “Toxic” is a defining release in the life and times of pop icon Britney Spears. With production by the illustrious Bloodshy & Avant, alluring strings, and a beat so frantic that it made even the most incapable want to twerk (before twerking was a thing), the track was an instant hit upon release in 2004 and eventually won the diva her first Grammy. Since then, the song has become a highlight in her discography, and it remains a career-defining hit that every new release is compared to in terms of ingenuity and success. Now, thanks to the gods that be, fans are being treated to a newly-leaked demo.

The new version features raw vocals that Britney dropped while recording the track over the final production. In the past, snippets of the recording session have made their way online, but this is a full and final recording without any vocal processing. She sings on the track with passion and there’s character in her vocal hiccups and proclamations that feels more organic than the final cut. While Britney may never deliver gospel-esque vocal runs, the take proves that she’s more than capable of delivering a compelling vocal performance. The leak is particularly refreshing in the wake of a new lip-sync scandal that occurred on her first international tour in years. Listen to the “Toxic” raw vocals below.

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