Britney Spears, also known as The Princess of Pop, rose to fame very quickly, starting her career as a fresh faced, innocent Disney kid, on the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show, alongside fellow actors and musicians, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. Britney Spears became a sensation overnight in the late 1990's and has transformed her image over the years from innocent girl, to hot mama, with a few difficult and very public transitions along the way.
Britney Jean Spears was born in 1981 in Mississippi to parents, Lynne Irene and James Parnell Spears. She has two siblings, Bryan James and Jamie Lynn. She grew up in Kentwood Louisiana and started dance lessons at the age of 3. She also took voice lessons and did gymnastics. At the age of 5 she made her stage debut at her Kindergarten graduation, where she performed "What Child is This?" Britney Spears knew what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. When she was 8 years old, her mother took her to audition for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse revival in Atlanta, but was too young for the part. The casting director, however, saw her potential and suggested to her mother that she join a casting agent, Nancy Carson, which she did, and was immediately enrolled in the Professional Performing Arts School in New York, because of her impressive singing. Her mother and siblings moved to New York to enable the young starlet to pursue her dreams.
Whilst in New York Britney Spears was cast for various roles and commercials as well as contestant on Star Search. She eventually landed a role in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in 1992. After the show was canceled she went back to Mississippi and enrolled in school, but soon found that she was bored and started talking with Lou Pearlman in 1997 about joining the female pop group, Innosense. Instead, her mother and family entertainment lawyer friend, Larry Rudolf, decided that she should go another route and submitted a demo to various record labels as a solo artist. She met with 4 executives of leading New York music agencies, with Jive Records deciding that she had the wow factor that they needed to stray away from the boyband, girlband groups that were popular at the time. After working with her in studio and honing her talent into a distinct, commercial voice, Eric Foster White, produced her first album, the international chart topping sensation, "…Baby One More Time".It not only debuted at No 1 on the Billboard 200, but it became the biggest selling album of all time, by a teenage artist.
The next phase of Britney Spears's career came about with her second album, "Oops! …I Did It Again" which was released in 2000. This also debuted at No. 1 and broke the record for the highest sales by an solo artist on a debuting album. With various Grammy nominations, and sold out tours across the world, Britney Spears was now a household name, but with the release of her third album , "Britney", and some public and media scandal about her provocative wardrobe and dance moves, it was clear that she was changing her persona into something more mature and adult, but still distinct to her.
This paved the way to her 4th album, "In The Zone" where she helped write most of the songs, and where her hit single from the album, Toxic, won her a Grammy.
In 2004, Britney married Jason Alexander, a childhood friend, in a quick and quickly annulled Vegas wedding, which fueled the fire in terms of her risqué and slightly out of control behavior. In the same year, she became engaged to one of her back up dancers, Kevin Federline, and became pregnant with their first child. She announced that she was taking a break from recording to start a family. She was criticized for how she raised her child, Sean, with plenty of media coverage and controversy around how she looked after her son, especially after the highly taboo photo of her driving with her son on her lap. After her second child with Federline, and their subsequent divorce, Britney began a downward spiral that ended with her in drug rehab, hospital, and shaving her head in a very publicized stint that suggested she was mentally unstable. Due to these circumstances, her children were taken away and full custody was awarded to Federline, after which Britney Spears was admitted into a Psychiatric facility, where she was put under temporary conservatorship.
After this period, Britney Spears picked herself back up and continued recording her music and acting in small TV roles, which were well received. She also now has visitation rights to see her children.
Britney Spears became a multi-billion dollar performer in a very short space of time and continued to make chart topping albums and hit singles throughout her illustrious career. Britney Spears also had her own charity, The Britney Spears Foundation which helped needy children, and also established the Britney Spears Camp for the Performing Arts to help hone and recognize new musical talent. However, during her conservatorship, it was discovered that there was a deficit of $200 thousand leading her father and their lawyer to settle and close it. She recorded the single, "What's Going On" with Bono in order to help raise money for African AIDS programs, and she donated $350 thousand to Music Rising after Hurricane Katrina. She also raised money for the St Bernard Project along with other celebrities at an Evening of Southern Style. Throughout her career, she has supported numerous other charity organizations. She was named music's top most earning woman by Forbes Magazine in 2012, with an estimated $58 million in her bank account.
Britney made her big comeback with her 6th album, Circus, which landed her a section in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest female artist to have 5 albums that debuted at No. 1. This album also gave Britney her first No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 since "…Baby One More Time", which was "Womanizer". In 2011 she released "Femme Fatale" which once again peaked on all the charts. During this time, Britney also released more fragrances, started a clothing line and appeared as a special guest on TV's Glee, as well as the X Factor, where she was a celebrity judge.
What is Britney Doing Now?
Currently Britney is working on her 8th album, which is due to be released towards the end of 2013.