Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2, 1981, in Kentwood, Louisiana. She always knew she wanted to pursue a musical career and took her talents to her local church, where she sang with the choir. She even sang on national television, as a Star Search contestant.
At the age of 8, Britney auditioned for the popular children’s variety show, The New Mickey Mouse Club, but was refused because of her young age. Luckily for Britney, one of the show’s producers saw the young singer’s talent and helped her find an agent in New York City.
britney dances to fame
Britney spent the next three summers in New York, where she studied at the famous Off Broadway Dance Center and at the Professional Performing Arts School. To add to the formation of a future international star, Britney appeared in commercials and off-Broadway shows, one of which showcased Britney as an innocent 10-year-old with a “bad girl” edge.
britney on mickey mouse club
Three years after her first Mickey Mouse Club rejection, Britney finally landed a spot as a “Mouseketeer” at the age of 11. Joining a cast of talented teens on the show, Britney showed off her acting, dancing and singing talents on the show that also spawned the careers of fellow beauties Keri Russell and Christina Aguilera.
After two years of living in Orlando with her family while doing the show, Britney moved back home to Kentwood after the show was canceled, and returned to high school.
Her one normal year as a 14-year-old high school student would be the last bit of normalcy in Britney’s life. With dreams of pursuing a career as a singer and a desire to leave her small hometown, Britney set off to New York City yet again, this time destined to sign with a major record label.
Britney finally signed with Jive Records, after an executive was fully impressed with the talent he heard on the demo tape. Working with Eric Foster White, a producer who had previously worked with artists such as Boyzone and Whitney Houston, Britney’s debut album was finally ready for its January 12, 1999 release date.
spears hits us baby one more time
…Baby One More Time spawned such hits as “Crazy,” “Sometimes” and of course the title track, the infectious “…[Hit Me] Baby, One More Time.” The album held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts, was certified RIAA 12 times platinum (it has gone on to sell more than 20 million copies), and won Britney awards such as the 1999 MTV Europe Awards for Best Female Artist, Best Pop Artist and Best Breakthrough Artist.
Between the release of her smash debut and the recording of her second album, Britney co-wrote a book with mom Lynne Spears, entitled Heart to Heart, and went on an extensive worldwide tour.
A huge Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson and Madonna fan, Britney was scrutinized by the media early on, with reports of a breast augmentation and a love affair with England’s most eligible bachelor, Prince William.
With the Britney Spears hype nowhere near over, she returned to the music scene in 2000 with her follow-up album, entitled Oops!…I Did It Again. With a hit video accompanying the hit title track (in which Miss Spears definitely did it again, this time in a red latex catsuit), a second worldwide tour in support of her album, and millions of fans, Britney accomplished what few artists ever accomplish, at the mere age of 18.
oops! britney does it again
Oops!…I Did It Again spawned hit singles like “Lucky,” “Stronger” (with an accompanying video that features her performing a lap dance to a chair) and “Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know.”
2001 was a banner year for the pop star, as she co-hosted the American Music Awards with L.L. Cool J; performed at the Rock in Rio festival (where audiences got a real glimpse of what she sounds like offstage — and we don’t mean her singing voice); performed with Aerosmith, ‘N Sync, Nelly, and Mary J. Blige at the Super Bowl; appeared on a spoken-word CD of the Pope’s prayers; and signed a multimillion-dollar endorsement deal with Pepsi.
While she danced with factory workers in a warehouse, impressing even Viagra-enhanced Bob Dole and his dog, Christina Aguilera starred in a Coca-Cola commercial, fueling more than just a soda pop war.
britney spears rumors
The mystery of her sudden physical maturity is still unsolved, but there are two rumors we can dispel: Britney was not cuddling up to Prince William, but rather a prince of pop, former ‘N Sync singer Justin Timberlake. After their breakup and Justin’s constant on-the-record interviews in which he stated that he and Britney did have sex, Britney finally admitted that she did in fact sleep with Justin (and added it was because she thought she would marry him).
And another rumor that was certainly not true is the one claiming that Britney and Justin were killed in a car crash in Los Angeles in 2001; it was just a prank courtesy of two radio personalities at Dallas radio station KEGL, who were later fired.
britney spears in crossroads
In 2001, the hardworking singer released her third and self-titled album, which spawned hits like “Overprotected,” “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman” and “Slave 4 U.”
As if CDs, sold-out concerts, books (her second co-written book with her mother was released in April 2001, entitled A Mother’s Gift), and a huge endorsement deal weren’t enough, Britney starred in her first feature film, Crossroads in 2002 (although her only award win came from the Razzie Awards for Worst Actress), starred as host and performer on Saturday Night Live (in February 2002), had a cameo in Austin Powers in Goldmember, and even entered the restaurant industry with her own establishment, Nyla (which stands for her two favorite places, “NY” for New York and “LA” for her home state of Louisiana — the restaurant has since closed).
But Britney’s personal life was continuing to make headlines. After her public breakup with now solo singer Justin Timberlake in 2002 (after his song and video “Cry Me River,” it seems like Brit cheated on him), the once chaste Miss Spears was making the tabloids and entertainment news shows for her heavy partying and rebellious lifestyle.
She even appeared at a movie premiere with bad boy Colin Farrell, and her many tattoos and confirmation that Justin indeed did have sex with Britney only added fuel to the fire. Throw in a nearly naked performance at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, a performance with caged animals and a snake at the following year’s VMAs, and a very erotic video for the aforementioned “Slave 4 U,” and it seemed like Britney was far from the good girl she once promoted herself to be.
britney on mtv video music awards
But the saga continued. A few months before the release of her fourth album, In The Zone, Britney shocked audiences yet again at the VMAs, this time in a remixed rendition of Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” and “Hollywood.” Along with Christina Aguilera and dressed like a prostitute/bride, Britney kissed Madonna in one of the most memorable — and scandalous — moments of the year. The publicity surely helped and it seemed Madonna really meant it when she said she was a Britney fan, as the Material Girl appeared on the first single off In The Zone, “Me Against the Music,” and co-starred in the video. In The Zone was released in November 2003, and debuted at No. 1 with more than 609,000 copies sold in its first week of release. That same month, Britney received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
But the stunt that really took the cake was Britney’s quickie marriage to childhood pal, Jason Allen Alexander (not of Seinfeld fame). She and Alexander exchanged vows at a Las Vegas chapel, after a night of drinking. The marriage was annulled 55 hours later, although they’re apparently still friends.
britney in the zone
While the second single off In The Zone, “Toxic,” is proving to be another hit for Britney, she is co-starring in a Gladiator-style Pepsi commercial with Beyonce, Pink and Enrique Iglesias. It’s clear that whatever Britney does, she continues to rock us.
Despite the failure of Crossroads, we haven’t seen the last of Britney on the big screen: she is set to appear in the 2007 comedy, In the Pink.
britney spears family life
On the personal front, Britney married her former back-up dancer Kevin Federline on September 18, 2004, and after months of separation and weight gain rumors, Britney announced that she was pregnant with a baby boy, who she gave birth to in 2005. The young husband and wife would go on to have another child, a baby boy named Jayden in 2006, but ended up in court later that year when Britney filed for divorce on November 7, 2006.