It’s one of the biggest hits of Britney Spears’ career, but fans are only just realising that the iconic opening to Toxic is actually a sample.
Britney’s 2004 track from her album In The Zone became a number one single in the UK, going on to become the pop star’s most streamed track on this side of the pond, according to Official Charts.
Not only did the song arrive with a now legendary air hostess-themed music video, but the song features one of the most recognisable openings of any of the pop superstar’s many hits.
But it turns out that the fierce hook and those shrieking strings that can be heard in the opening and throughout are actually a sample from a 1981 Indian song – a fact that is currently doing the rounds on Instagram.
The strings were borrowed from Lata Mangeshkar and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam’s song Tere Mere Beech Mein, which featured in the blockbuster romance movie Ek Duuje Ke Liye.
Listening to the two tracks side by side, you can clearly hear the strings that were sampled to create Toxic:
In an interview with The Other Songs shared with week, Toxic co-writer Cathy Dennis opened up about the little-known fact behind the hit song. “Well, I hate to say it, but they’re a sample,” she shared when asked where the strings fit in the creative process.
Fans have been revisiting Britney’s back catalogue after the release of her bombshell memoir, The Woman In Me. In the book, she recalls making her debut single ...Baby One More Time, including driving the creative direction of the classic school girl video.
The new book also includes a number of shocking revelations about the star’s personal life, including her account of having an abortion while she was dating Justin Timberlake.
There’s also reports that there could even be a second volume of her memoir on the way next year.