Britney's One-Woman Economy

In Britney Spears' latest single and video, she sings, "You want a piece of me"— a point she directs right toward the paparazzi.

Documenting the evolution and meltdown of the former Mousketeer has created a booming industry, and for many, Britney is a one-woman economy.

"The economy of Britney Spears cannot be underestimated," said Rob Shuter, deputy editor of OK! magazine. "It's magazines, it's TV shows, it's ad dollars. I think a lot of people make money being associated with Britney Spears. She's a brand. She's Coca-Cola. She's Disney. She's a brand."

Court documents show that Britney has a monthly income of more than $700,000. She is also creating income, even wealth, for those who have made Britney their business.

'Everyone Likes to See a Car Wreck'

"She is better than anything I could have ever written," celebrity blogger Perez Hilton told "Nightline" last year. "No one could imagine everything that's happened in her life. And it's still not over. You know she tries to get her train back on the tracks; it's still a wreck. She always keeps crashing and everyone likes to see a car wreck."

The driving force behind the Britney Spears' economy is the paparazzi. Craig Williams works for popular paparazzi website and runs what is known as the "street team" — a group of eight paparazzi covering Spears 24/7. He says working the Britney beat is like a dance.


"Britney wants to be seen," Williams said. "She knows how to walk with the paparazzi and the paparazzi know how to walk with Britney."

Photographers Cash in on Spears Shots photographers like Williams follow her every move — from her home in the Hollywood Hills to Starbucks, Rite Aid, the grocery story, they are there. Though unlike other celebrity Web sites, which pay per shot, photographers for Hollywood.TV get paid an average of $1,500 a week regardless of their production.

Late last month, the paparazzi trailed Britney to Millennium Dance Center in North Hollywood, where dance classes go for $15. Photos of Spears dancing there are worth $250 dollars or more.


Some photographers even rented apartments behind the studio in hopes of getting a good shot of Britney walking to her car. The gym next door to the dance studio even charges the paparazzi $50 to $150 to hang over their fence. was founded by Sheeraz Hasan, who came to the United States from London, where he was running a restaurant with his family. Hasan always wanted to be a part of Hollywood, so he moved to Los Angeles. He says he found the key to his success during a pilgrimage on a mountaintop in Saudi Arabia.

'God Showed Me Britney Spears'

"I went to go get a drink and all of a sudden, I just look up and I see Britney in a magazine. So I think to myself, wait a minute. I'm here on pilgrimage. What the hell is Britney doing here? Of all places. God showed me Britney Spears," Hasan said. "I said to myself, OK, I'm going to go back to Hollywood, I'm going to get the stars. I'm going to get all the stars, but also my main person I'm going to get is Britney Spears."

There are no rules of the road when it comes to following Britney, taking the drastic turns towards Britney's gated community called "The Summit" at upwards of 60 mph.

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