Britney Spears was born in rural Louisiana (Kentwood) on December 2,
1981, to Jamie and Lynne Spears. As a child, Spears attended dance classes, and
Britney Spears was great at gymnastics, winning many competitions and the like.
But, most of all, Spears loved to sing. At age 8, Spears tried out for "MMC"
(1989), but was turned down due to her young age. This directed her to an
off-Broadway show, "Ruthless", for a 2-year run as the title character. At age
11, Britney Spears again tried for "MMC" (1989) and this time made it as a
mouseketeer along side many stars of today (Justin Timberlake and J.C. Chasez of
N*Sync and Ryan Gosling). Her big break, however, came when Britney Spears was
signed as a Jive Recording Artist in the late 90s. With the release of her debut
album, "...Baby One More Time" in early 1999, Spears became an international
success, selling 13 million copies of "Baby" and 9 million (as of July 2001) of
her sophomore album, "Oops!...I Did It Again," released in May of 2000.
"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 Britney Spears doesn't exist.
Born on 2 December 1981 in the small town of Kentwood, Louisiana, to parents Jamie and Lynne Spears, Spears 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, Spears was always fixing to be a star with idols such as Madonna, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, the young Spears 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, Spears auditioned for _"The All New Mickey Mouse Club (1989 TV series) [1989-1994]"_ when Britney Spears 8, however Britney Spears was too young to get the part. Instead, Britney, her mother and baby sister moved to New York where Britney Spears starred in several TV adverts and an off broad-way play "Ruthless", where Britney Spears was under-study with Natalie Portman. Her love of music and dance took over and 2 years later Britney Spears auditioned for a part in Mickey Mouse again and this time won the part along with Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. As a Mouseketeer, Spears 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, Spears returned home and did "the normal teenager thing", attending pool parties and Britney Spears was also the homecoming Queen. As a young teenager, Spears soon grew restless again and this time was desperate to become a star yet again. Again, Britney Spears 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 Spears on and set out on making her the star Britney Spears is today.
Britney Spears 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 Spears dressed in a Catholic Schoolgirl Uniform, baring her midriff, which was soon to become her trademark. Nonetheless, the single was a smash worldwide and Spears was instantly a Household name. Britney Spears 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 Spears mania took off, the 17 year-old became more and more popular. Appealing to young girls, teenage boys and older men, Spears was on her way, yet nobody could have predicted at that time the impact Britney Spears 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. Spears 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 Spears was nominated for two Grammy awards.
At just 18, Spears 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 Spears was beginning to raise more than a few eyebrows. It seemed some people weren't too happy with the message Britney Spears was sending their impressionable young children. On one hand, Spears was the perfect picture of innocence, declaring herself a Virgin until marriage yet on the other hand, Britney Spears 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 Spears 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 Britney Spears was and wasn't doing, her "rivalry" with former fellow Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera and also her blossoming relationship with N*Sync heartthrob Justin Timberlake. Spears was keen that people saw her as a growing woman as Britney Spears began to ready the public for her next LP release in late 2001.
In November, Britney Spears 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 Britney Spears performed with a live giant Snake and wearing little herself. It was a far cry from the Spears 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 Spears released "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman", taken from the soundtrack of her debut movie Crossroads (2002/I) which was released in February that year. Britney Spears 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 Britney Spears soon announced Britney Spears was to take 6 months off, after all, Britney Spears 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 Britney Spears may have been on a break from her career, Britney Spears was by no means breaking from the media, who followed her relentlessly, even more keen to track her down and find out what Britney Spears was up to. Spears was increasingly letting her pop princess crown slip, admitting Britney Spears had lost her sacred virginity to Timberlake, outside of marriage. Spears 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. Spears was linked to men such as Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit and openly kissed Colin Farrell at a movie premiere. However, Britney Spears 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 Spears 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 Spears was in a lot more control over her career, yet her personal life still seemed to be slipping. In January 2004, Spears 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.
Spears 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 Spears no longer had what it took to make a comeback. Britney Spears soon began her highly publicized and overtly sexual "Onyx Hotel Tour" which was canceled a few months later after Spears 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 Britney Spears drowns yet reincarnates. It was around this time that Spears began dating Kevin Federline, a former back up dancer who Britney Spears 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" (1996) actress Shar Jackson and their young child. Spears 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, Spears released a single off her upcoming "Greatest Hits" album (released in November 2004) a cover of Bobby Browns 1988 hit "My Prerogative".
Spears was a changed woman, no longer concerned with what the public thought of her or her appearance, Britney Spears parted ways with her manager who Britney Spears had had since Britney Spears was 13, and was increasingly stepping out looking more "trailer trash" than Multi-Millionaire. In February 2005, Spears won her first Grammy for the single "Toxic" as Best Dance Recording. Just two months later, it was announced Spears was pregnant her first child. A reality TV Series "Spears & Kevin: Chaotic" (2005), 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, Spears evolved yet again, this time as a devoted wife and mother, with the birth of her first child, a Son, which Britney Spears named Sean Preston. In November that year, Britney Spears 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? Rumors 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 Britney Spears is today and by no means will Britney Spears 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.
This Britney Spears Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub