Britney Spears burst onto the pop stage in 1998 with the release of her first single, “Baby One More Time.” The song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks, in large part, to the accompanying video which featured Spears dancing in a racy schoolgirl outfit. The notoriety and media attention that she received were a long way from her humble beginnings.
Britney Jean Spears was born in Mississippi in December of 1981, and was subsequently raised in Kentwood, Louisiana along with her siblings Bryan and Jamie. Britney had a penchant for performing from a very young age, participating in her school gymnastic team at state level, as well as appearing in numerous local dance concerts.
At the tender age of 8, Britney auditioned for “The New Mickey Mouse Club,” but was considered too young for the show. She spent the next 3 Summers studying with The New York City Professional Performing Arts School, and at the age of 11, at last, joined the cast the Mickey Mouse Club where she appeared for 2 seasons alongside future stars Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera.
At the end of her run, she returned to Kentwood to finish high school, but never stopped dreaming of a career in entertainment. In 1997 she had a brief stint with an all-girl group before striking out on her own and signing a solo deal with Jive Records.
Her career skyrocketed, but despite her success, she always seemed to be followed by drama and controversy; her relationship with Justin Timberlake which cast doubts on her claims of virginity, a shocking open-mouthed kiss with Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, a marriage to, long-time friend, Jason Alexander which lasted a mere 2 days, and, most notably, her marriage to former dancer Kevin Federline which produced 2 children (Sean Preston, and Jayden James), but ultimately ended in divorce in 1996.
The rocky marriage, and a major downturn in here musical career, seemed to take a heavy personal toll on Spears, and she went through a seeming mental breakdown which played out on just about every TV station and tabloid front page. The problems were, thankfully brief, and Britney was soon back in the spotlight for the right reasons, turning in a memorable guest acting spot on “How I met Your Mother.”
2008 has been a musical renaissance of sorts for Spears, winning 3 MTV Video Music Awards for “Piece Of Me,” and releasing a critically acclaimed new album, “Circus,” which made it to the top of the Billboard chart in record setting fashion.
In spite of the turbulent nature of her career, Spears has still been able to record over 80 million album sales worldwide, and seems to be showing no signs of slowing down, something that can not be said for almost all of the artists who appeared on the Hot 100 alongside her in 1998.
- Baby One More Time (1999)
- Oops! I Did It Again (2000)
- Britney (2001)
- In The Zone (2003)
- Blackout (2007)
- Circus (2008)