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Britney Spears: Everything You Need to Know About the Most Famous Pop Star in the World

Britney Spears performing in Piece of Me
Britney Spears. Photo Courtesy of rhysadams via Flickr.

Oops, I Did it Again and Baby, One More Time are the names of two of the best-selling albums of all time. And what do these albums have in common? They both belong to the best-selling teenage artist of all time, Britney Spears.

Born on the second of December, 1981 in McComb, Mississippi, she is an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Britney Spears’ parents James ‘Jamie’ Parnell Spears and Lynne Irene Bridges had three children of which she is the second.

At the age of fifteen, Britney was already featured in multiple stage performances and television series. She was signed to Jive Records in 1997 where she released her first two albums “…Baby One More Time” and “Oops!… I Did It Again” in 1999 and 2000 respectively.

Her sophomore album immediately went on to gain the record for the fastest-selling album in the United States by a female artist, a record which was held for over a decade. 

Britney Spears’ songs remained on repeat everywhere in America and abroad.

Two years later she graced her fans with another album, a more mature one, and titled it her name Britney. In 2002 she starred in a movie and in 2003 she released her fourth studio album, In the Zone

Nothing came from her in the years that followed until 2007 when she released her fifth album, Blackout, a critically acclaimed project. To date, a lot of people refer to that album as her best yet.

However, it brought about the publicity of Britney’s problems. For her good, the album was not promoted as it should and she was forced to be under conservatorship. 

The conservatorship did not stop Britney Spears from working on new projects. In 2008, Britney released the album Circus and followed it with Femme Fatale 2011.

Britney Spears in Roundhouse London
Britney Spears. Photo Courtesy of Drew de F Fawkes via Wikimedia Commons.

Both albums topped several charts and the latter contained Britney Spears’ songs that were the most successful in the United States. 

Two more albums were added to her discography in 2013 and 2016 during a four-year concert series that she held in Las Vegas.

In 2019, Britney Spears had issues with her conservatorship, and the #FreeBritney campaign was born. The breakthrough came in November of 2021, after Britney testified that her family and management, who were her conservators at the time, had abused her.

Britney Spears History and Break into Fame

Britney Spears was born into a very religious family. At a very tender age, she was baptized and a member of her church choir.

Britney was not like every other child. At the age of three, she had started attending dance lessons and when she was five, she got to perform at her kindergarten graduation.

The rest of her childhood was filled with milestones upon milestones. She won many talent shows for children at different levels and she was also attending gymnastics lessons at the time.

In 1989, at the age of eight, Britney joined the Professional Performing Arts School and moved to New York with her mother. This happened after she was rejected at an audition because of her age.

Rather than audition, she was introduced to a talent agent in New York and the agent suggested that she should be enrolled in the school. 

After getting into the Professional Performing Arts School, Britney got hired for a lead role. She was featured in several talent shows and television commercials.

Britney Spears at Sydney International Airport
Britney Spears. Photo Courtesy of Eva Rinaldi via Flickr.

When she was eleven, she was able to cast in the show where she was rejected initially. She continued as a cast member in The Mickey Mouse Club with stars like Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake until two years later when the show got canceled. 

In 1997, Britney Spears’ mom reached out to their family friend who also happened to be an entertainment lawyer to help Britney in pitching to record labels. They recorded a Toni Braxton song and pitched it to four record labels. 

Britney was rejected by three of these labels but the last one, Jive Records, reached out after a fortnight. They were impressed that her content was emotional, yet commercial.

They signed her immediately and spent the first month shaping her voice and giving her an identity. After this, she was flown to Sweden where she recorded her debut album. 

Britney Spears returned to America after recording and started publicity for the release of her upcoming album which was later released in January 1999.

In the space of one month, Britney Spears’ album had number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and topped other charts in other countries selling millions of copies in its first year.

The album became the best-selling album to ever come from a teenage artist. 

Her single “… Baby One More Time” off the debut album was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammys. She went on to bag several records for herself with this album and while the accolades were still coming in, she released her sophomore album in 2000.

The album, as a whole, and some of its songs broke records, topped charts, and received Grammy nominations.

At this time, there were rumors that the popular singer and Justin Timberlake were in a relationship.

However, in August 2003, at the opening of a Video Music Awards for MTV, Britney performed with Christina Aguilera and Madonna, and they all kissed each other right on stage.

The moment was a hot topic for discussion and MTV referred to it as the best opening performance in the history of their Video Music Awards. 

Marriage Life

Britney got married to a friend from her childhood, Jason Allen Alexander, in January 2004. The wedding was not long-lived as it was annulled by a court on the third day because Britney did not understand the gravity of her actions. 

Later that year, in July, she got engaged to a dancer, Kevin Federline. This was only three months after they had met each other.

Their wedding was conducted in September of that year but they were legally bound in October. 

After the wedding, Britney went on a career break for the sole purpose of raising a family. However, she filed a divorce in November 2006 and the divorce was finalized in July 2007. They received joint custody of their children. 

Personal Problems

Britney Spears. Photo Courtesy of loveyousave via Wikimedia Commons.
Britney Spears. Photo Courtesy of loveyousave via Wikimedia Commons.

Britney’s divorce was only one out of the many issues that she faced at that period. She was criticized by child advocates after a picture of her driving with her son on her lap instead of a car seat had broken onto the internet. 

She also lost a close aunt of hers to ovarian cancer. She was very close to this aunt and her passing took a toll on Britney.

Britney shaved her hair and admitted herself into treatment facilities in the first months of 2007. Towards the end of the year, she lost her right to joint custody of her kids to Kevin.

That same year, Britney’s 2005 music video “Do Somethin” was banned in TV stations around Europe. This happened as a result of a lawsuit from Louis Vuitton who sued her for using a counterfeit bag in her music video.

She went on to release her fifth studio album that year. It was her first album to not top the U.S. music chart but it debuted in several other countries.

Conservatorship

Britney Spears. Photo Courtesy of rhysadams via Flickr.
Britney Spears. Photo Courtesy of rhysadams via Flickr.

After losing custody of her children, Britney refused to follow court orders. She didn’t hand them over to Kevin’s representatives.

The police visited her house and discovered that she was under the influence of an unidentified substance. She was admitted to a hospital and all rights to the custody of her son were given to Kevin at an emergency court hearing. 

Later on, Britney was committed to a psychiatric home and was placed under a conservatorship. Britney’s dad Jamie Spears and her attorney Andrew Wallet were complete rights to all of her assets. 

In 2019, it was revealed that Britney’s conservatorship was supposed to have ended in 2009 but her father had refused to let go and committed her to a psychiatric facility earlier that year. This led to an uproar that was supported by celebrities and non-profits. 

A Britney Spears Documentary was released in 2021. The documentary detailed her career and conservatorship. Britney frowned at the documentary saying she felt embarrassed by how she was perceived. 

In June 2021, Britney confessed in court that the conservatorship was an abusive one and she was not truly happy. 

The confession led to the use of the hashtag #FreeBritney and gained over a million engagements on Twitter. The ending of 2021 was a good one. The conversationship was canceled in November.

Also, Britney Spears’ boyfriend Sam Aghari asked her to marry him and they go engaged. The news was posted on her Instagram page. 

Britney Spears’ Instagram page has over thirty-eight million followers and Britney Spears songs have won her several awards.

She was named the highest-paid female artist in 2002 and 2012 by Forbes and one of the most influential people in the world by Time. Her perfume brand that was launched in 2004 with Elizabeth Arden has raked in billions of dollars in profit.

Bo Weber
Author: Bo Weber

Supporting artists since 2014

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Written by Bo Weber

Supporting artists since 2014

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