Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2, 1981 in Mississippi and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana. In her childhood, Britney Spears performed in plays and on television shows such as the Mickey Mouse Show. It was on this show that her singing and dancing skills were discovered.
In 1997, Spears signed with Jive Records and released her debut album, Baby One More Time, on January 1999. The album exploded on the music scene and took the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 and sold over 10 million albums in one year. It quickly became to biggest selling album of all time by a teenage artist.
In 1999, Spears was pictured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and there was significant backlash over the picture and its hyper-sexualized portrayal of a young girl. Controversy over Spears’ racy outfits was an ongoing theme in the young artist’s career.
Britney Spears released her second album, Oops!…I did It Again, in May 2000 and it sold over 1.3 million copies and debuted at number one in the U.S. To date, the album has sold over 25 million copies.
That same year, in September, Spears performed at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards and mid-way through her performance, ripped off her black suit to reveal a flesh color scantily clad body suit. Not long after, Spears confirmed she was dating ‘N Sync member, Justin Timberlake. The relationship ended after three years.
In February 2001, Britney signed a $7-8 million dollar deal with Pepsi and later that year, in November 2001, she released her third album titled Britney, in which she co-writes five of its songs. This was her first record not to be in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 list. Its lead single, “I’m a Slave 4 U” hit number 27 on the chart.
Spears starred in the movie Crossroads that was released in February 2002. Although it did perform well at the box office, Spears, none the less, was praised for her acting in the low budget film.
Spears performed “Like A Virgin” at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards with Christina Aguilera. Midway through the performance, the two were joined by Madonna of whom they both kissed. This was a very publicized incident that grabbed the attention of the media. Later that year in November, Spears dropped her fourth studio album, In the Zone, and this is the first time she co-produced all the songs. Top singles on the album are “Me Against the World” (a collaboration with Madonna), “Toxic”, and “Everytime”. The album went on to become the eighth best selling album of 2003.
In July 2004, Spears got engaged to dancer, Kevin Federline, after only three months of dating and they tied the knot later that year in September. Soon after their marriage, Spears released her first fragrance with Elizabeth Arden called Curious, which preceded her more current fragrance, Fantasy. About one year later, Spears gave birth to her first child, Sean Preston Federline. In September 2006, almost exactly one year after, Spears gave birth to her second child Jayden James Federline. Two months later, November 2006, Spears filed from divorce from Federline citing irreconcilable differences.
A period of personal struggles and dark times became very public for Spears. The pop icon struggled with substance abuse, her very public divorce, a few stints in rehab, and a very public cry for help when she shaved her own head in a Los Angeles salon.
Her fifth album, Blackout, was released in October 2007 and sold over 3 million copies worldwide as well as won Album of the Year at MTV Europe Music Awards 2008. Her lead single, “Gimme More” topped the charts.
Again, in 2008, Spears faced custody issues compounded by substance abuse. She was committed to the psychiatric ward of the hospital following her refusal to relinquish custody of her children and was then placed under temporary conservatorship of her father James Spears and her lawyer. Later that year, Spears won Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, and Video of the Year for her single “Piece of Me”.
In December 2008, Circus was released with the lead single, “Womanizer”. Her seventh album, Femme Fatale, was released in March 2011 with the lead single “Hold It Against Me” and the second single, “Till the World Ends”. The Femme Fatale Tour was a huge success.
Spears joined the judges on the American version of The X Factor. She replaced singer Nicold Scherzinger, to join Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato (who replaced Paula Abdul). Spears received a record salary of $15 Million for her position making her the highest paid judge in a televised singing competition.
“Work Bitch”, the lead single from Britney Jean, was released on September 17, 2013. The album took the number four spot on the Billboard 200 and the single peaked at number twelve on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. That same day, on Good Morning America, Spears announced that she will have a two-year residency show at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The show began in December 2013 and is titled, Britney: Piece of Me.