Album: In The Zone (2003)
Charted: 1 9
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  • In this song, Britney Spears is mad for a man who is like her toxic addiction. The English songwriter Cathy Dennis wrote it in 2003 with Spears in mind. Dennis was the female voice of the group D-Mob, who had a hit in 1990 with "C'mon And Get My Love." She had some other hits as a solo artist, including "Too Many Walls" and "Just Another Dream," before writing songs for other artists. She wrote Kylie Minogue's 2002 hit "Can't Get You Out Of My Head."
  • The video was released around the same time Janet Jackson's breast was exposed at the Super Bowl. The uproar over indecent material caused MTV to banish the "Toxic" clip, and a few other highly sexual videos, to late-night rotation.

    In the Joseph Kahn-directed video, Spears is shown in a provocative pose wearing a flesh-colored body suit. Kahn also directed the clips for Spears' "Stronger" and "Womanizer."
  • This won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. It was Spears' first Grammy.
  • This was produced by the Swedish production duo Bloodshy & Avant (Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg), and the pair received writing credit on the song as well. They also worked on Spears' 2007 track "Piece Of Me."
  • Spears' previous Top 10 hit was "Oops... I Did It Again" in 2000. While she did rack up some minor hits, her commercial success was fading a bit. This song, with its memorable high-pitched hook, brought her back to the Top 10 and gave her career a nice boost. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • There have been some very interesting and unusual cover versions of this song. The French-Israeli folk-pop artist Yael Naim recorded it, as did the alternative group Local H. A Static Lullaby recorded a Punk version on their 2008 album Rattlesnake!.

    The singer-songwriter interview with Jayme Dee got a lot of attention with her acoustic cover that she posted on YouTube. Dee has covered many popular songs in this style which routinely get over 100,000 views, but she tells us that "Toxic" is the one she most connected with. Said Dee: "It's so different than the original version. I wanted to make the song a little more sultry and less obtrusive, so I pulled out my acoustic and went for a more bluesy vibe. It was fun!"
  • Spears told MTV News in 2003: "It's basically about a girl addicted to a guy. "I really like 'Toxic.' It's an upbeat song. It's really different, that's why I like it so much. This villain girl, she'll do anything to get what she wants. She goes through different obstacles."
  • Cathy Dennis said that writing this song was "sheer torture." She told Songwriting magazine: "I beat myself up for seven days, not sleeping. The melody came first, then I had this puzzle of trying to fit words to the right number of syllables. It was really weird. I kept writing and then re-editing myself again, and again, and again."
  • For the video, Britney appears to be a flight attendant, but she's actually a secret agent in disguise. Director Joseph Kahn told MTV News: "The plot is pretty nonsensical. It's just fun. James Bond flicks and sex."
  • "Toxic" was the most-searched song on Google in 2004; Spears was the most-searched artist that year.
  • The song was originally offered to Kylie Minogue, but she rejected it.
  • Jay-Z revealed during a Twitter Q&A that this is his favorite Britney song. "Jamming my G," he remarked. Britney responded by tweeting: "You learn something every day! Never knew @S_C_ was a fan of Toxic! That's Big Pimpin."
  • This was used on the TV series Chuck in the 2007 episode "Chuck Versus the Truth."
  • The composer Anthony Willis created a strings-only version of "Toxic" for the 2020 film Promising Young Woman.
  • Baz Luhrmann's 2022 Elvis biopic features a mashup of "Toxic" and the Backstreet Boys' "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." The majority of the film's soundtrack contains covers of Elvis tunes by contemporary artists, including the film's star Austin Butler, along with the King's own vintage recordings. Although it doesn't appear on the album, the movie's inclusion of the pop mix is a bit of a head scratcher.

Comments: 43

  • Peter from GlasgowAfter reading the comment from Mike from Matawan firstly you ask who cares about the songs meaning ....if you didn't care how did you actually get here and spend time leaving a comment. As for the comment who exactly are you and what do you do? Which makes your opinion on a person who has talent and makes millions of pounds from it so important. I personally think she has incredible talent you know nothing about her except what you read and have no concept of the life she lives and must be wonderful food she shoves in her face she has one of the best figures I've seen.
  • Mike from Matawan, NjI agree with Skeeter, Ringjob and Buzzbomb on this one. How the hell is Brittany supposed to even know what this song is about? She's too busy shoving food into her face, taking her baby sky-diving or smelling her own farts to take any notice of this songs 'meaning'. Besides, who really cares? In five years she'll be on, "I'm a celebrity, get me outta here!!!". If s--ttany gets remembered at all, it will be as an abject lesson to all up and coming pop singers: "Don't do what SHE did".
  • Matt from Boston, MaCheck out the version by Mark Ronson. It features Michael Tighe (Tiggers) of Jeff Buckley fame on vocals and Ole Dirty Bastard. It's phenomenal.
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnBritney's best dance song, love the guitars and that catchy hook.
  • Bob from Hallanedale, FlJessica, I do agree that she is a popular pop star, no doubt, but only one for this generation of singers. What bothers me is the publicists who promote her to the nth power, but never promoted Tina Turner, Leslie Gore, etc... who really had to be phenomenal to get the attention that some deserved more of. By the way please don't say she is like Madonna--I think Madonna is incredible and is a music icon--now there is real talent! I have to take a lot of crap around a number of my peers who don't like Madonna for some of her political views, etc.. but as a musician and talent--I saw her in concert in 1983 and knew she was awesome.
  • Jessica from Bloomfield , NjBritney Spears is one of the best pop stars of this generation and even though you hate her you have to admit that. She doesn't try to be what she isn't and she's proud of that. Hate on her all you want, fine whatever. But she is what she is and she has proved that she can last. I love classic rock and even I have to admit that she is today's Madonna. Get over it haters
  • Bob from Hallanedale, FlYou know--there are so many great female song artists that do not get one-tenth of the press this overrated spoiled brat receives. She had a couple of ok songs a few years before this but it seems she can put out any piece of junk and some mindless people consider her an artist. I will say that this song is not bad for her but what would great female singer/composers of the past think of her, her silly problems, and her pointless life, other than her singing? Do you think great artists/singers like Diana Ross, Tammy Terrel, Lesley Gore, or the great Tina Turner would even consider this mindless wench a true entertainer? If she couldn't sing and dance around and flash her fake boobs, she would be nothing but Louisiana white trash--oh wait, she still is! Please bring back Motown!
  • Craig from Melbourne, AustraliaYet another clip in which Britney appears barefoot in some scenes.
  • Wessel from Dedemsvaart, Netherlandsi dont like britney spears...
    ever heard the song of korn limpbizkit and stuff?
    its some kind of remix that goes like this:
    'britney spears shes a ******* whore'
    ""shes sucks so much ****""
    i love that song! youve gotta get it!
  • Shannon from Lynbrook, NyI love it's James Bond-ish sound! The video is cool, too. It's a poison paradise! It is just so sexy and fun! LOVING IT!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Rose Marie from Valencia, SpainDidn't she take part of the song from another song? The beginning, before she starts singing, it sounds very familiar!
  • Lori from St. Jacob, IlLast summer I heard "Toxic" on the radio being sung by a guy or group of guys. Does anyone know who that was? It was a good version.
  • Caitlin from Upper Township, NjI really feel bad for Brittney. She's just trying the best she can to get through her life. THis song is great. It's very danceable and fun!
  • Olle from Stockholm, SwedenI have nothing aganst Mrs. Spears, but I still think that the video for this had a quite obvious idea of thinking when it comes to audience....
  • Destini from Evansville, Ini know a lot of people who hate Britney but love this song, thats how awesome this song is. Also, this video (according to Britney) was a "comeback" to Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" both videos show what great length they go through to get back at their exes.
  • Calum from Edinburgh, Scotlandwell, both songs use the same letters of the same alphabet, so in that sense I agree
  • Ryne from Oregon, Ili hate britney spears, if u change a few of the words u get Alice Cooper's 1988 hit Poison.
  • Spencer from West Milford, NjI love Britney and every song.....ENOUGH SAID!
  • Cassie from Creston, OhI do you know that she knew what it meant????? She is awesome. She is only slut because she wants the f-ing attention that you won't give her.
  • Cassie from Creston, OhHey you guys...leave her alone!!! She just had a baby and she's stressed out. It's not her fault she had a songwriter who wrote that for her. Britney just sings it.
  • Milou from Etten-leur , Netherlandsthis song is NOT about drugs , it is about having a relationship with an married man , she said it herself..
  • Shaun from Baltimore, MaThis song is one of my all time favorite songs. A++ Oh and Anon-Jo'burg don't be envious that Americans know how to party and whatever hell hole your from doesn't. God I hate people that say stuff like that about America. I don't say stuff like that about other countries.
  • Jillian from Portland, TxBasically, I do not like Britney Spears ever since she turned slutty. Sure, sex sells, but that doesn't mean you have to make it your lifestyle. I do like some songs of her's and this just happened to be one.
  • Katerina from New Britain, CtI love Britney Spears and to ALL the haters just back off because she is making so much more money that you will make in your ENTIRE life!!!
  • Werner from Hamburg, GermanyI agree with Paul and Laura, just may be the worst song I ever have had the misfortune to hear (maybe Good Morning Starshine by Oliver was worse though)
  • Candice from Vancouver, CanadaBritney must have a sick mind to sing this.
  • Marto from Sydney, AustraliaTe only reason why britney wona a grammy is cause the grammy board has their heads shoved up britney arse. they should have given this to basement jaxxs or the scissor sisters
  • Casie from Denver, CoI have to tell you,I use to love britney as much as anybody and sent her an email and she responded me and everything and I was the happiest girl in the world until the whole deal at the MTV awards I was like.where the hell is britney spears? thats not my favorite singer! That part changed my life,i turned into a punker and the whole deal,i grew out of her and just said she was a great singer and i thought she had a grat future but she blew it,it reminded me of the song of evanscene,she fooled everyone pretending to be someone shes not even though she sais she is. Then everybody started to know her and i said forget it,she continues to be slutty and she wanted more attention,well her plan worked,but she pays the price,more rumors and less fans. Well Christina she did the same thing but she said what the hell,who cares about slutty girl im gonna continue my songs and she did great songs! Sexy but not that slutty like the song "beautifut" but britney is still the same slutty girl she wanted to be,well there isnt any future for her anymore. I keep on telling myself all the great ppl have a problem,Michael Jackson for example or Elvis Presley and now its her turn. This song descustis me!
  • Matt from Millbrae, Cabritney spears has made an entire generation embrace the mute button on their remotes.
  • Chelsea from Freehold, Nji love all of the drug references. it makes me happy.
  • Dianne from Ft. Bening, GaThis is a great song of hers -- I just wish Britney would use her considerable visibility to be a better example. She's a beautiful young woman with great performing personality. Can't she be sexy without being slutty? I really think she takes away from her image when she dresses & acts trashy.
  • Erik from Monterrey, Mexico"Toxic", best pop song ever! This song will be remembered as one of Britney's classics forever, its the best song from Brit's 4th album: In the Zone.
    Though, even it was a #1 song on the radio, it was really overlooked at award shows last year, I mean it lost at the VMAs (which is shocking since it was nominated in the "video of the year" category, and neither 'naughty girl' nor 'its my life' (they videos she lost to) were, this just shows that MTV are nothing, but mother****ers, when it comes to Britney)
  • Maggie from Austin, Txas un talented as she is... shes really hot and a good performer. i like her and i love this song!!
  • Chester from Lincolnshire, England'Toxic' was recently voted the greatest song of 2004 - well done Britney!
  • Danalyn from Beach Lake, Pawatching britney perform this just brought out her personality completely, she was so comfortable, gyrating her body, totally sexy! and when you hear the first few seconds you just think sexy dancing
  • Chester from Lincolnshire, England"Bloodshy & Avant", the production duo who were chosen by Britney to produce 'Toxic', have been working with America's favourite pop Queen again.

    The title track to her hotly anticpated 'Greatest Hits' album has been produced by "Bloodshy & Avant". The song is a cover of the Bobby Brown classic, 'My Prerogative' - and the Greatest Hits album will be titled... 'Greatest Hits: My Prerogative'
  • Grace from London, Canadathis song is about drugs but it's still an awsome song
  • Chester from Lincolnshire, EnglandIn her sell-out world tour, 'The Onyx Hotel Tour' - Britney opens her set singing 'Toxic' live, dressed in a raunchy black cat suit and surrounded by dancers in outrageous outfits, flames and wind machines.
  • Alex from Pasadena, CaIf ever a song was written about drugs, this is it. C'mon, youve got to be blind do not see it! Devils cup, I'm to high, cant come down, guys(drugs) like you should come with a warning, poisen paradice...? Nothing against the song, it is quite possibly the perfect pop song.
  • Chester from Lincolnshire, EnglandThe thumping bass, the catchy sci-fi hook, the bollywood strings and high-note sexy vocals, as well as the groundbreaking video filled with the most awesome special effects, humourous 'comic-book' story and outrageous outfits; all came together to give Britney one of the biggest hits of her 6 year career.

    'Toxic' is an awesome classic that has won Britney SO many more fans than she ahd before...
  • Jerica from Springtown, TxThis is a GREAT song to dance to....very sexy.
  • Vicky from Someplace Special, Txi hate britney spears, but the song is awesome
  • Khushi from New York, United Statesthis song is really sexy!!!!
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