Britney Spears Biography

Birthdate: December 2, 1981
Birthplace: Kentwood, Louisiana

No doubt, Britney Spears has had a crazy life. She got married young, had two kids and then got divorced. Then she went a bit "cuckoo," but now things seem to be back to normal ... or are they?

Rising Star

Britney, the middle child of three kids, wanted to be a star from a really young age. Ever since she was 7 or 8 years old, every time her mom had guests over she would perform for them in front of the TV. Even in school, Britney stood out. Instead of playing with the other kids at recess, she would gather her friends and hold Star Search competitions in the playground

At 8 years old, Brit auditioned for the Disney Channel's New Mickey Mouse Club, but didn't get the part. Instead, she went on the talent competition show, Star Search, in 1992 and showcased her singing talents to the world.

Britney tried again for the New Mickey Mouse Club when she was 11. This time, she was chosen for the cast, which included other rising stars like Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Keri Russell. Brit was on the show for two seasons until it got cancelled. That's when she got serious about developing her musical career.

Top of the Pops

Britney landed a contract with Jive Records and, in December 1998, released her first single, Baby One More Time. The catchy pop tune topped the charts, partly because of its music video, in which Britney wore a skimpy version of a Catholic schoolgirl uniform. She took a lot of heat from parents for the outfit, but fired back at by insisting that she was a sweet, innocent Southern girl at heart.

At the 1999 Billboard Music Awards, Britney picked up three awards, including Female Album Artist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year and Best New Artist of the Year and claimed her spot as part of a teenage pop music wave, which included Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson.

Oops, She Did it Again

In 2000, Britney released her second No. 1 hit single, Oops! I Did It Again. The song sold over 1 million copies in the first week. Her personal life was also getting more media attention, as rumors circulated that she was dating Justin Timberlake, who was then part of the hit pop group [kwlink ]'N Sync[/kwlink].

End of Innocence

In 2001, Britney started making moves to lose her "good girl" image, while also taking her music in a different direction with tracks like I'm a Slave 4 U. When she performed that song at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, she turned heads by dancing with a seven-foot albino python around her neck and wearing a barely-there dress.

In 2002, Brit got the lead role in the feature film Crossroads, which was loved by fans and hated by the critics. It ended up making more than $37 million at the box office. Later that spring, she and JT broke up.

The next year, brit made more headlines when she shared a kiss with Christina Aguilera and Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. Britney explained her actions by saying Madonna was a really big role model for her, and that she used to dance around the house in her short tops and sing and dream about being just like the Material Girl.

Married Life, Twice

Brit's next single, Toxic, won her a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording ... and then the pop princess was back to stirring up controversy. In January 2004, she married her childhood friend Jason Alexander in Las Vegas, but that was ended two days later. She then got involved with backup dancer Kevin Federline, who's supposed "other" girlfriend, Shar Jackson, was pregnant with their second child. Britney also had to have surgery to correct a knee injury, forcing her to cancel the last part of her tour. Despite the setback, Britney and Kevin got hitched on September 18, 2004, in California.

Shortly after the wedding, Brit released Greatest Hits: My Prerogative - it seemed to be her way of talking back to her critics and lashing out about the media frenzy that continually surrounded her. The single didn't do as well as previous songs, but it didn't seem to phase Brit. She and Kevin were expecting their first child together in April 2005 and were busy taping their reality show Britney and Kevin: Chaotic, which told the story of their early relationship through personal videos. That September, Britney gave birth to her first son Sean Preston.

Mommy Dearest

As a new mom, Britney found herself in trouble in February 2006 after she was caught driving her car with her baby son in her lap. Her parenting skills became a subject of national debate, and critics said she was sending the wrong message to millions of her fans. Britney quickly apologized, saying she had only been trying to get away from the paparazzi, who were constantly hounding and following her.

In tha Club

In September 2006, Britney had her second son, Jayden James. Unfortunately, a new baby couldn't save her marriage, and she and Kevin divorced. Once single, Britney started partying again, and hanging out with the ultimate party girl, Paris Hilton. She also reportedly checked in and out rehab and then shaved her head in a California beauty salon while the paparazzi took pictures in February 2007.

By summer, Britney and Kevin were in the middle of a full-blown custody battle. Kevin wanted full custody of the kids, saying Britney was not mentally healthy enough to take care of the boys. Britney also stopped talking to her mom at that time. Despite everything she was going through, she released the single Gimme More from her new album. While people loved the songs, her performance at that year's MTV Video Music Awards totally bombed. Britney seemed nervous on stage, missing her steps and poorly lip-syncing. And the next month, she was charged in connection to a hit-and-run incident in a parking lot.

Spears in the Headlines

Britney wasn't the only member of her family making headlines in 2007. Her baby sister Jamie Lynn Spears, announced that she was pregnant at age 16, and instantly became a controversial symbol of teen pregnancy. And, despite the success of her Blackout album, Britney appeared to have yet another breakdown in January 2008. She was taken to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation when she refused to return her sons to their dad after a court-appointed visit. The result: Kevin got full custody of the two boys.

Rumors swirled about Britney's condition, and some people guessed she had bipolar disorder. While in the hospital, Britney got caught in a power struggle between her parents, Jamie and Lynne, and her manager Sam Lufti. Mom and dad claimed Sam was a bad influence on britney and was trying to control her life. Her dad even went to court and got full control over Britney's personal, professional and medical matters.

On the Mend

Only two months after her personal crisis, Britney got back into the spotlight with a guest appearance on the sitcom How I Met Your Mother. She also released her next recording Circus, which instantly topped the album charts, thanks to the success of her single Womanizer, proving Britney was still a powerful force in the world of pop music.

Britney went on to make an amazing return at the MTV Video Music Awards, winning three awards for her hit single Piece of Me. She went on tour and Kevin even joined her for a while so she could spend some time with her sons. Now, Brit seems to have settled down, telling Glamour magazine that "I don't like going out...I love my home and staying in bed and watching Dancing with the Stars or reading. I'm kind of boring."

Related Stories:

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What's Your Fave Britney Song?

  • Oops!... I Did it Again.
  • I'm a Slave 4 U.
  • Gimme More.
  • Piece of Me.

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