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Britney Spears Biography"Pop Phenomenon" doesn't come close to describing Britney Spears. The name is legend around the world. So famous is Britney Spears now that it's impossible to imagine a World in which she doesn't exist.
Born on 2 December 1981 in the small town of Kentwood, Louisiana, to parents Jamie and Lynne Spears, Britney is their second child of three. Her older brother Brian was born in April 1977 and her younger sister, Jamie-Lynn was born in April 1991. From a young age, Britney was always fixing to be a star with idols such as Madonna, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, the young Britney could always be heard singing, no matter what else was going on around her. After taking extensive dance and vocal lessons and performing in numerous talent shows and fairs, Britney auditioned for _"The All New Mickey Mouse Club (1989 TV series) [1989-1994]"_ when she 8, however she was too young to get the part. Instead, Britney, her mother and baby sister moved to New York where she starred in several TV adverts and an off broad-way play "Ruthless", where she was under-study with Natalie Portman. Her love of music and dance took over and 2 years later she auditioned for a part in Mickey Mouse again and this time won the part along with Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. As a Mouseketeer, Britney received extensive training in dance, drama and singing and had to grow up a lot during that time. However, after the show was canceled two years later, Britney returned home and did "the normal teenager thing", attending pool parties and she was also the homecoming Queen. As a young teenager, Britney soon grew restless again and this time was desperate to become a star yet again. Again, she traveled to New York and sent out demo tapes to various labels including Sony and Mercury, but was turned down. It was Jive Records that finally took the young Britney on and set out on making her the star she is today.
She hit the studio with writers/producers such as Max Martin and Eric Foster White and the result was her debut album. In late 1998, Jive released her debut single "(Hit me) Baby one more time" which was a pop hit around the Globe, accompanied by the sixteen year old first of many controversial acts - the video, which featured Britney dressed in a Catholic Schoolgirl Uniform, baring her midriff, which was soon to become her trademark. Nonetheless, the single was a smash worldwide and Britney was instantly a Household name. She toured with popular boy band N*Sync and the single shot to the top of the charts for 3 weeks. Her debut album was released a few months later in early 1999 and like the single took to the top of the album charts, where it remained number one for six weeks. The album has now sold millions worldwide and is officially 14 x platinum in the US. Her next controversial act, after the video, was to take the cover of Rolling Stones magazine in a suggestive pose, but as Britney mania took off, the 17 year-old became more and more popular. Appealing to young girls, teenage boys and older men, Britney was on her way, yet nobody could have predicted at that time the impact she would have on Pop Culture. The second single, "Sometimes" was released in June 1999 followed on by the top 10 hit "Crazy" in September and "from the bottom of my broken heart" soon after. Britney ended 1999 selling over 10 million copies of her debut and as the Billboard Top Female Pop Artist (singles and albums), Top New Pop Artist, Top Billboard 200 album Artist and Top 100 singles Artist - female. The American Awards, MTV and Teen Choice awards soon began rolling in and in early 2000 Britney was nominated for two Grammy awards.
At just 18, Britney released her second album in 2000, the #1 smash "Oops! I did it again" and single of the same title, which topped the singles chart for 5 weeks. Smash singles "Stronger" and "Lucky" followed, but it was around this time that Britney was beginning to raise more than a few eyebrows. It seemed some people weren't too happy with the message she was sending their impressionable young children. On one hand, Britney was the perfect picture of innocence, declaring herself a Virgin until marriage yet on the other hand, she was sexually charged and provocative, with performance such as the MTV Video Music Awards in 2000, when her costume made her appear scantily-clad. As the young woman was growing up, it seemed there was an internal conflict between her, her management and her mother, all pulling her in different directions. Yet the image the public saw was a gorgeous young woman, beautifully dressed and damn close to perfection, often labeled the "Pop Princess" around the world. Still, the awards kept rolling in and in early 2001 Britney struck a lucrative deal with Pepsi-Cola for Sponsorship and advertising. The 19 year-old was growing up fast, with the media constantly fixed on what she was and wasn't doing, her "rivalry" with former fellow Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera and also her blossoming relationship with N*Sync heartthrob Justin Timberlake. Britney was keen that people saw her as a growing woman as she began to ready the public for her next LP release in late 2001.
In November, she hit the top 10 with the sexually charged "I'm a slave 4 u" which took a completely different turn in musical direction from her previous singles and in the same month released her third LP, self-titled "Britney" which shot to the top of the albums charts, breaking records for a female artist. Her performance of "Slave" at the MTV VMA's caused outrage among animal rights campaigners, as she performed with a live giant Snake and wearing little herself. It was a far cry from the Britney of just three years ago, and perhaps the critical moment when what some people would say "she started going downhill". Sales of her third album, while impressive, where not nearly as high as her former releases, perhaps due to the increase of new pop female singers flooding the market, yet Britney, still incredibly popular, carried on. In early 2002, the 20 year-old Britney released "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman", taken from the soundtrack of her debut movie Crossroads which was released in February that year. She soon after hit the charts with "Overprotected" and also toured Worldwide on the "Dream within a dream tour". Yet it seemed it was all getting too much for Britney, her four year relationship with Timberlake ended suddenly and very publicly and she soon announced she was to take 6 months off, after all, she had achieved so much by such a young age and in such a short space of time. Her star was by no means fading, with "Forbes" declaring her "The Worlds most powerful celebrity" in mid-2002.
While she may have been on a break from her career, she was by no means breaking from the media, who followed her relentlessly, even more keen to track her down and find out what she was up to. Britney was increasingly letting her pop princess crown slip, admitting she had lost her sacred virginity to Timberlake, outside of marriage. Britney could also be seen smoking and drinking to excess on wild nights out and famously breaking down in tears while being interviewed by Diane Sawyer about her parents (who were recently divorced) and her bitter split from Timberlake. Britney was linked to men such as Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit and openly kissed Colin Farrell at a movie premiere. However, she seemed to get herself back together for her new album released in late 2003. In a blitz of publicity which included the infamous "Like a Virgin" performance and Madonna kiss at the MTV Video Music Awards in August that year. The new album "In The Zone" was a bid to be seen as a woman and caused controversy with songs on it such as "Breathe on me" and "Touch of my hand" - which was about masturbation - however, the appeal of Britney was still there and the album topped the Billboard 200 albums charts. The first single to be lifted was "Me against the music" a club hit that featured pop icon Madonna and singing with her was a dream come true for Britney. Now 22, it seemed Britney was in a lot more control over her career, yet her personal life still seemed to be slipping. In January 2004, Britney got "married" to childhood friend Jason Alexander in a Las Vegas ceremony. The incident shocked the world, especially when the marriage was annulled 55 hours later and was described as "a joke taken too far" by her management.
Britney soon released one of her biggest singles, "Toxic" which topped various charts around the world including the UK and Canadian singles charts. The single was a smash-hit and silenced any critics that said Britney no longer had what it took to make a comeback. She soon began her highly publicized and overtly sexual "Onyx Hotel Tour" which was canceled a few months later after Britney damaged her knee during a video shoot and had to receive medical treatment. Other singles off the album included the Gold Selling "Everytime", which topped the UK singles charts and like usual, also carried a fair amount of controversy for its video, which allegedly depicted the star committing suicide after a fight with her boyfriend, played by Stephen Dorff ; however, this was "changed" to an accident in which she drowns yet reincarnates. It was around this time that Britney began dating Kevin Federline, a former back up dancer who she had taken on tour with her a few months previously. The snag here was that Kevin came with baggage - in the form of an "ex" girlfriend, heavily pregnant Moesha actress Shar Jackson and their young child. Britney and Kevin soon became engaged and in September 2004 were married in a secret ceremony, soon after the birth of Kevin's second child. That same month, Britney released a single off her upcoming "Greatest Hits" album (released in November 2004) a cover of Bobby Browns 1988 hit "My Prerogative".
Britney was a changed woman, no longer concerned with what the public thought of her or her appearance, she parted ways with her manager who she had had since she was 13, and was increasingly stepping out looking more "trailer trash" than Multi-Millionaire. In February 2005, Britney won her first Grammy for the single "Toxic" as Best Dance Recording. Just two months later, it was announced Britney was pregnant her first child. A reality TV Series Britney & Kevin: Chaotic, which featured the pair getting to know each other the previous year, leading up to their wedding aired on UPN and eventually got a world wide audience, despite harsh criticism. In September 2005, Britney evolved yet again, this time as a devoted wife and mother, with the birth of her first child, a Son, which she named Sean Preston. In November that year, she released a remix album "B in the mix, the Remixes".
Looking back over the last seven years of this remarkable ladies career and life, it really is hard to imagine what the face of Pop would look like without her. Here is a 24 year-old woman who has grown in the face of the glaring media from innocent School-girl to Sexual Pop Vixen to Young wife and Mother. Who knows what is next for Britney? Rumours of a comeback album for 2006 have been circulating for a while and also a few more movie productions, yet one thing is for certain: Britney Spears has worked hard to get to where she is today and by no means will she be disappearing any time soon. Her name and face is legend in the media and celebrity circuit and it's surely only a matter of time before Spears shocks us all again, with her next album or tour or movie or personal move. One thing is for certain though: the public will be watching.
TriviaAttended Parklane Academy, a private school in McComb, Mississippi until October 1994. She was on the girls' basketball team. Sister of Bryan Spears. Sister of Jamie Lynn Spears. Daughter of Lynne Spears. Worked at a novelty shop before making it big. Caused a stir with the American Family Association by posing in her underwear on the cover of Rolling Stone.  Ended up as the youngest cast member of "MMC" (1989); during the initial audition, she won the part after Jessica Simpson freaked out at the final question during the initial audition. Announced that she will attend college and eventually wants to study entertainment law.  Is a natural brunette. She often prefers to dye her hair blonde. Requested that writers change the lyrics of her song "Born to Make You Happy." The original version contained sexually explicit lyrics, and Britney felt she was too young to be singing it. Accepted an endorsement from Pepsi to do TV commercials promoting the soft drink. The first commercial was slated for the 2001 Academy Awards.  March 2001: Her video for "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know" features her doing a love scene with a 23-year-old male model. The original cut contained material so sexually explicit that mother Lynne Spears ordered that parts of the video be edited for content before its release to the public in the spring of 2001. 2001: During the concert "Rock in Rio" in Brazil, a tape recorder caught her swearing on a microphone she wasn't aware was connected. She was complaining about the fact that they were not playing a vamp before she was to go on stage. Tape recordings of the incident were downloaded by Napster users. June 2001: Two Texas DJs created a panic for her fans when they falsely reported that the pop princess and her boyfriend, NSYNC's Justin Timberlake, were in a car accident and that she had died in the crash. September 2001: The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) complained to her about the use of four caged cheetahs and a snake for her performance at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, claiming that animals trained for performances are mistreated during the training. 2001: Her deal with Pepsi netted her upwards of $10 million. 2001: Named one of E!'s "top 20 entertainers of 2001". 2001: Turned down an offer to pose nude for a PETA anti-fur campaign ad. Though it had been rumored that she would be guesting on the sexually suggestive HBO series "Sex and the City" (1998), playing the niece of Kim Cattrall's character Samantha Jones, a spokesman for HBO denied the reports, saying no such negotiations ever took place. 2002: Arrived an hour late for the UK premiere of Crossroads (2002/I) and snubbed fans who had been waiting for her to arrive. 2002: Was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine. June 2002: Came in at #2 in the American edition of FHM's Sexiest Girls of 2002 poll. 2003: Ranked #2 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women In The World , in front of Carmen Electra and behind top-ranked Halle Berry. 11/17/03: Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame. She is tied with Melissa Gilbert for being the youngest person to accept a Walk of Fame star. Is a huge fan of Björk. May 2004: She finally gained the top spot in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2004", moving up from #2 last year. Shoe size 6, Bust size 33C. Was ranked #4 on VH1's 100 Hottest Hotties. 2004: Acquired a white Maltese dog named Lacy. Is the first woman to have four albums go straight to #1 on the American charts. Her wedding dress was designed by 'Monique L'Huillier'. Wrote a "letter of truth" to her fans which was published on her official website, telling her fans that she needed to take a hiatus from her career to concentrate on her marriage with her new husband Kevin Federline and start a family with him. The move thus displeased her bosses at Jive Records. She later had two children with Federline before divorcing him. Angered the animal rights group PETA for wearing a fur jacket on the cover of her "Greatest Hits Album: My Prerogative". She claims she was told it was fake fur. This is the second time PETA has criticized her after she performed on stage with a caged tiger and a snake at the 2001 MTV music awards, after which she apologized and posed for an anti-fur poster. Her name is an anagram of "Presbyterians". As of 2010, she is the best-selling female artist of the decade. In her "...Baby One More Time" music video, her love interest is played by her cousin. April 2005: The guy in her "Curious" fragrance commercial is played by actor Eric Winter of the daytime soap "Days of Our Lives" (1965). July 2002: Opened a trendy restaurant on East 41st St., New York City, called "Nyla", which is themed around her home state of Louisiana. Is mentioned in Eminem's song "The Real Slim Shady" and is spoofed in the song's music video. She wrote her song "Someday" two weeks before she found out she was pregnant. She is the only female artist of the Nielsen Soundscan era to have her first four albums debut at number one. Her ex-husband Kevin Federline was a background dancer for her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake. 9/14/05: Son Sean Federline born at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center by Caesarian section. Father is ex-husband Kevin Federline. 11 January 2006: Topped the 2005 "Worst Dressed" list of fashion critic Richard Selzer (aka Mr. Blackwell) for wearing clothes that he said made her look like an "over-the-hill Lolita". 2003: Accompanied Colin Farrell to the S.W.A.T. (2003) US premiere. Was best friends with Christina Aguilera when they performed together on "MMC" (1989). August 2006: Posed nude for the cover of "Harper's Bazaar", in a photo similar to Demi Moore's famous September 1991 cover of "Vanity Fair". 2006: Was named most searched name on internet search engine Yahoo!. 2006: Michael Fredo wrote a song about her called "Popstar Lovelife (Britney, I Know)". 2004: Offered to perform at the Republican National Convention, but was turned down. February 2007: After shaving her own head with clippers in a Sherman Oaks (CA) hair salon, she visited a tattoo parlor and got several tattoos. Her weird behavior caused worldwide public attention. Some days later she admitted herself to a California treatment facility, but checked out after less than 24 hours. April 2007: Manager Larry Rudolph sent her to rehab in early 2007. She fired him. Ranked #8 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists. Actress Claudette Lali was her wardrobe stylist. October 2007: Lost physical custody of her two sons with Kevin Federline due to not having a valid driver's license and failing to take a random drug and alcohol test. Federline has sole custody of the children. Ranked #19 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2008 list. After a lengthy custody battle over their sons Sean Preston and Jayden James, she and Kevin Federline agreed that he retains sole custody of the children, while she keeps her visitation rights. At 18, she became the youngest person in the history of "Saturday Night Live" (1975) to act as a host and the musical guest at the same time on May 13, 2000. She did the same on February 2, 2002 and appeared as the musical guest only on October 18, 2003. Her 2009 world tour, "The Circus Starring Britney Spears", became a huge commercial success. The tour's opening show, as well as every show in the two North American legs were sold out, with a total gross of $94 million. The tour also became the highest grossing tour of the year by a solo artist in North America, as well as the fourth overall. Her sixth album, Circus, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, making her the youngest female artist in history to have five albums debut at number one, thus earning her a place in the Guiness Book of World Records. Her sixth studio album, Circus, was released on 2nd December 2008, her 27th birthday. Her single "3", from her second greatest hits album, The Singles Collection, made her the first artist in over three years to debut at the top position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the only non-American Idol artist in eleven years to do so. In 2009, after years of absence, Forbes magazine listed her as the 13th most powerful celebrity and the second most top-earning young musician as she made $35 million from June 2008 to June 2009. Her 6th studio album "Circus" which was released in 2008, became her fifth number 1 album. Britney Spears has sold over 100 million albums world wide, making her one of the best-selling American recording artists. Her song "Womanizer" gained first-week download sales of 286,000, which is the biggest opening-week tally by a female artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking digital downloads in 2003. As of 2009, Spears has had 6 number one singles on the European Hot 100 Singles Chart.
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