Britney Spears has been compared to Marilyn Monroe.

The reaction fans give when they see the pop singer has stunned her fellow 'X Factor' judge L.A. Reid, who claims his co-star has the same mystique as the late icon.

He said: "People go crazy for Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z. I've seen them go crazy for Rihanna. But this? Britney has the same magic that made Marilyn Monroe famous, that intangible ability to be completely loved and for people to be completely consumed by her everything."

However, Britney insists the idea of being an icon "freaks" her out.

She explained to America's Elle magazine: "I try not to think about that. It's just - that's an overwhelming thing to think about. And I still feel new and fresh at the whole game. And when people say they know me, it still freaks me out. Still. To this day."

'X Factor' boss Simon Cowell, who recruited Britney to the show, revealed he was shocked by how shy she is in person.

He said: "She's one of the most humble people. I was raving about a song she'd written and she got really uncomfortable and it's not an act. It's partly down to her shyness. I didn't realise it until I started to work with her. We all remember her [performance at the MTV awards] with that snake around her neck and think, 'She can't be shy.' But she is."