When songwriting legend Max Martin handed her a demo for “…Baby One More Time,” Britney Spears immediately knew it was a “great” song.
But the songstress had little idea how monumental the track would become for her career.
In a new interview with The Guardian, the 36-year-old singer reflected on the track that launched her career and skyrocketed her to fame, ahead of the song’s 20th anniversary in October.
“I knew it was a great song. It was different and I loved it, [but] I don’t think you can anticipate how a song is going to be received,” she told the U.K. outlet.
Martin reportedly offered the track to TLC, Swedish singer Robyn and British boy band Five before Spears came on board following a meeting in New York. “I was pretty young at the time, so I was nervous, but he was so nice and put me right at ease,” she recalled of her first encounter with Martin.
The mom of two recalled agreeing to go to Martin’s native Sweden to record the hit song, along with other tracks that would later become singles from her smash debut album, also titled …Baby One More Time.
“I remember being so in awe of Stockholm,” she said. “I was out there for, like, 10 days, but we were so busy in the studio I didn’t have time to go out and explore on that first trip.”
Spears was just 16 when the track was released, changing her life forever. “It was such a fun and crazy time,” she said.
Crazy, indeed! While Spears described the song as “about the stress that we all go through the teens,” it was her own teenage years that were most impacted by the track, which led to a whirlwind two decades in the spotlight.
The song sold more than 10 million copies and Spears has since continued to top the charts, welcomed two sons, been married twice, enjoyed a Las Vegas residency, launched her own perfume line, won countless awards, starred on the big screen and is now on her Piece of Me tour.
During the interview, Spears also declared the GRAMMY-winning Martin -- who has also penned hits for the Backstreet Boys, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry -- “the greatest songwriter of all time.”
“I think Max is a genius,” she said. “It all just came together and felt right. In my opinion Max is the greatest songwriter of all time.”
In July, Spears told ET that it was hard to fathom that it had been nearly 20 years since the song came out.
“It’s been so fast. I feel like I just started yesterday," she said. "It's like everything still feels very new, which I guess is a blessing. But it's been a roller coaster. I've had my manager [Larry Rudolph] for 17 years."
In her first-ever interview with ET in 1999, Spears shared how her younger days on The Mickey Mouse Club inspired her to pursue music.
"After that show, that's when I realized I had a major love for music," she said during the interview, just months after the release of "…Baby One More Time." "I had so much experience with acting and singing and dancing. It was a great experience for a lot of people. It really motivated me to go forth and go for what I wanted."
Over the years, the banger appears to have retained a special place in her heart, with the singer having declared the video shoot the “most precious day of my life” in 2016.
She also reenacted moments from the epic video during an appearance on Carpool Karaoke with late night talk show host James Corden in 2016.
So what would Spears tell herself 20 years ago?
"I would tell that Britney just to believe in yourself, and never doubt yourself,” she told ET in July. “Be strong and be you."
See more on Spears and "...Baby One More Time" below.
NEWS: Britney Spears Wears 'Baby One More Time'-Inspired Outfit -- Watch!
NEWS: All of Britney Spears' Iconic VMA Performances, Ranked: From '...Baby One More Time' to 'Gimme More'
NEWS: Britney Spears Shares Flashback Photo From 'Baby One More Time' Music Video: 'Most Precious Day of My Life!'