“I was 16 when I got my record deal. I’ve learned a lot about backstabbers.’

“It’s really not healthy to spend this much time talking about yourself. No wonder artists end up self-obsessed. It’s like therapy. Plus a team of people who do everything for you surrounds you. And having to be on all the time is exhausting, but you have to be or people will think badly of you.”

“When I first signed to the label I was basically monitored by RCA representatives to make sure the way I looked was cool. Everybody wanted their ‘all-American girl’.”

“Hopefully I have an edge that will enable me to cross over. I have lots of ideas that I wasn’t able to put over on the first album and I had to compromise a lot, but that wont happen again.”

“This business is so superficial that it’s like…I try to stay the same person I always was, keep the same friends, strong friends and family support, just keeping it like that.”

“You are surrounded by people, each one more false than the other, always ready to step on you. Either you quickly learn to survive or you fail, you lose everything as quickly as you find success.”

“I felt trapped… under the thumb of people who were mostly interested in keeping me doing exactly the same thing. But I’m not blaming anyone,”

“But I think I’ve grown and learned a lot about myself. In this business, it’s often all about hype, record sales, and a crazy schedule of traveling, performances, and it can be easy to get lost in all that.”

“For a while, it was to the point that I was losing my voice and I thought I was going to have to be hospitalized if I kept working myself into the ground. I ended up getting really introverted. I wasn’t happy.”

“But nobody knows what’s really going on, I need to eat, I need to sleep, and sometimes those things weren’t considered. It was like, When do you think I’ll have time to go to the bathroom? That wasn’t on the schedule.”

“Listen, I’m not complaining because this is my dream come true, I don’t want to appear ungrateful, but I have to admit that they has been a lot hidden surprises. When I was a kid rehearsing my acceptance speeches in front of the mirror I didn’t realize the amount of time you have to spend on airplanes or the schedules you have to work to. I dreamt about the audiences and the applause but I didn’t think about the emptiness of room service for one in a hotel room. You know, I can’t remember the last time I went out in public. That’s sad isn’t it? Oh, I know. I do remember, I was at an airport and looking at all these people just walking around on their own, and it suddenly hit me that I don’t do that anymore. Anytime I do anything I have to tell someone so they can some with me, but for once I just wanted to be on my own. So I just walked off without even looking over my shoulder. It was great!”

“My old management had my face on everything puzzles for 99 cents, little crayons with your name on them. Cheesy stuff. I look back now and wish that was handled in a different light, because that wasn’t me; the whole image, the long, straight blond hair, the smile and certain clothes. It was hard for me to put that smile on my face and just go with it. That’s why I showed up at the Grammys with braids – it’s just trying to put a little more me in there than; I’m not your cookie-cutter pop singer.”

“The market changed. I was part of a huge teen pop explosion when I first came on the scene and I’m not knocking it – it was great. I was young and happy to be living my dream. But as the roller coaster went on, I was becoming really unhappy the longer it was going on. I was working like a madwoman. I felt I was nutty.”

“In this business you’re forced to look at yourself.”

“It can be hard in this business, especially when you’re very young, to figure out who you can and can’t trust. When success comes, people can try to trick you or take advantage of you. I was being overworked, and my head was so caught up in the whirlwind of my schedule. You find out that someone you thought was a friend is stealing money behind your back, and it’s heartbreaking. I put faith in the people around me, and unfortunately, it bit me in the butt.”

“It’s a crazy business, I’ve learned things the hard way, but you just have to move on.”

“When you’re part of a pop phenomenon, you have so many opinions shoved down your throat. People try to tell you what you should do, how you should act, what you should wear, who you should be with. At the time things started happening for me, it was popular to be the squeaky-clean, cookie-cutter pop singer. But that role didn’t speak to me, because it’s so boring and superficial.”

“You learn a lot in this business and you learn quickly.”

“Its such a crazy game… it’s sad the music sometimes seems to come last.”

“You learn fast in this business and, once I knew where I wanted to go, I didn’t let anyone get in my way. If it hadn’t hurt, I may never have learned the lesson. The whirlwind from my first album to the point where I dropped my old management was empowering. My new management just let me be me. I said, ‘I know you don’t want to hear this, but I don’t care if I sell one or one million copies. I have to be myself and I’m going to do that with or without you.’ They let me be in my own creative space and get stuff done.”

“My first management had me running so crazy all over the place they wouldn’t even schedule a time for me to eat. It was awful. I was just dollar signs in their eyes and I’ll never go back to that.”

“Before my last tour, it was just me and labelheads who were 20 years my senior. You grow up fast that way, but I had nobody on the road who liked to go clubbing and all that. Then when my dancers came into the picture, it was like, ‘These are my boys! These are my dawgs!’”

“When you’re new to recording, and you get signed to a label, people decide what you’re going to be, but you’re so excited to be doing it, period. Then you realize, Man I don’t know if this is what I really want.”

“RCA wanted a sweetheart kind of girl. Trust me, it’s fights, always fights, just to be myself.”

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