Britney Spears’ 2011 single Selfish re-entered the Top 10 on US iTunes on the same day that Justin Timberlake released his new single of the same name.
But in true fandom pettiness, fans of his ex-girlfriend and the Princess of Pop essentially trolled Timberlake by running her homonymous song up the charts, instead.
The efforts appear to have started from a fan account on X (formerly Twitter), shouting about the parodied “release” of her song Selfish — which hails from her 2011 album, Femme Fatale — on the day of Timberlake’s release.
As it currently stands, Spears has reached number 8 with her 13-year-old track.
According to another stan account, the drive “started as a joke” when Timberlake announced his new song, marking his first album — titled Everything I Thought It Was — in five years.
“Then we all joined in, saying that Britney Spears was coming back with a ‘brand new’ song,” the account, called BritneyxYtube, told Entertainment Weekly.
“I still can’t believe that it became so big, and we see the results we see now.”
Of course, fans of the pop star have been defensive ever since Timberlake’s previous behaviour towards Spears — particularly following their 2002 split — has resurfaced in recent moments.
In her 2023 memoir, The Woman in Me, Spears recalled their relationship between 1999 and 2002, including the abortion he urged her to undergo, as well as the way he framed the narrative of their split in his 2002 Cry Me a River music video.
While Timberlake never responded to the allegations written in Spears’ memoir, he did address his past actions. In a 2021 Instagram post, he wrote: “I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.
“I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed,” he wrote.