Merchant Navy Finds a Surprising Use for Britney Spears' Music in the Waters Off Africa NBC News, Metro
Even with almost 100 million albums sold worldwide, Britney Spears is not loved by everyone, and among the haters, as it turns out, are Somali pirates. NBC News reports that Spears' music is being used on the high seas to deter the pirates.
Merchant navy Second Officer Rachel Owens told the U.K. website Metro that Spears hits such as "Oops! I Did It Again" and "Baby One More Time" are helping to protect supertankers off Africa's east coast.
"Her songs were chosen by the security team because they thought the pirates would hate them most," Owens said. "These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect."
Owens added: "It’s so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns. As soon as the pirates get a blast of Britney, they move on as quickly as they can."
Metro reports: "Ships in the region are in constant danger from gun-toting pirates boarding and kidnapping crews for multi-million-pound ransoms. In 2011, there were 176 attacks on ships by gangs of bandits off the Horn of Africa. They are such a threat the Royal Navy has 1,500 sailors on 14 warships operating round-the-clock patrols in the area."
The NBC News report notes that other artists have also been used in law enforcement and counterterrorism efforts.
"Eminem's 'The Real Slim Shady' was played on loop for 20 days at a U.S. prison in Kabul, according to a detainee who told Human Rights Watch that 'plenty lost their minds' during the broadcast," the story reports.
The piece also notes: "Metallica's music was once on the terror playlist, used to 'soften people up' before interrogation, according to a Navy SEAL who spoke to Esquire. But eventually, their metal hits were taken out of rotation. 'Metallica got wind of this and they said, "Hey, please don't use our music because we don't want to promote violence,"' the SEAL recalled."
The report adds: "According to multiple reports, Bruce Springsteen's 'Born in the USA' was a big hit with the officials -- though not the prisoners -- at Guantanamo Bay. The track was said to serve as the morning wake-up call for years."