Life and career
1981–97: Early life and career beginnings
Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2, 1981. She is the second child of Lynne Irene Bridges and James Parnell Spears. Her maternal grandmother, Lillian Portell, was English (born in London), and one of Spears's maternal great-great-grandfathers was Maltese.Her siblings are Bryan James and Jamie Lynn. At age three, she started attending dance lessons in her hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, and was selected to perform as a solo artist at the annual recital. During her childhood, she also attended gymnastics and voice lessons, and won many state-level competitions and children's talent shows.Spears made her local stage debut at age five, singing "What Child Is This?"
1998–2000: ...Baby One More Time and Oops!... I Did It Again
After Spears returned to the United States, she embarked on a shopping mall promotional tour to promote her debut album. Her show was a four song set and she was accompanied by two back up dancers. Her first concert tour followed, as an opening act for 'N Sync. Her debut studio album, ...Baby One More Time, was released on January 12, 1999
2001–03: Britney, Crossroads, and In the Zone
Spears performing at the NFL Kickoff Live, September 2003.
In February 2001, Spears signed a $7–8 million promotional deal with Pepsi, and released another book co-written with her mother, entitled A Mother’s Gift.Her self-titled third studio album, Britney, was released in November 2001. While on tour, she felt inspired by hip hop artists such as Jay-Z and The Neptunes and wanted to create a record with a funkier sound.The album debuted at number one in the Billboard 200 and reached top five positions in Australia,
2004–07: Marriage and motherhood
In January 2004, Spears married childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. The marriage was annulled 55 hours later, stating that Spears "lacked understanding of her actions".
2007: Personal struggles and Blackout
Spears's aunt Sandra Bridges Covington, with whom she had been very close, died of ovarian cancer in January. In February 2007, Spears stayed in a drug rehabilitation facility in Antigua for less than a day. The following night, she shaved her head with electric clippers at a hair salon in Tarzana, Los Angeles. She admitted herself to other treatment facilities during the following weeks.
2008–10: Conservatorship and Circus
Spears performing "Freakshow" at The Circus Starring Britney Spears, May 2009.
In January 2008, Spears refused to relinquish custody of her sons to Federline's representatives. She was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after police that arrived at her house noted she appeared to be under the influence of an illicit substance. The following day, Spears's visitation rights were suspended at an emergency court hearing, and Federline was given sole physical and legal custody of the children. She was committed to the psychiatric ward of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and put on 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold.
2011–12: Femme Fatale and The X Factor
In March 2011, Spears released her seventh studio album Femme Fatale.The album peaked at number one in the United States, Canada, and Australia, and peaked inside the top ten on nearly every other chart. Its peak in the United States ties Britney with Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson for the third-most number ones among women. It has sold 1,000,000 copies in the United States and 2.2 million worldwide, and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.
2013–present: Britney Jean and Britney: Piece of Me
Spears began work on her eighth studio album in December 2012. and enlisted will.i.am as its executive producer in May 2013.On September 17, 2013, she appeared on Good Morning America to announce her two-year residency show at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, titled Britney: Piece of Me. It began on December 27, 2013, and will include a total of 100 shows throughout 2014 and 2015. During the same appearance, Spears announced that her eighth studio album Britney Jean would be released on December 3, 2013, in the United States.
Following her debut, Spears was credited with leading the revival of teen pop in the late 1990s. The Daily Yomiuri reported that "[m]usic critics have hailed her as the most gifted teenage pop idol for many years, but Spears has set her sights a little higher-she is aiming for the level of superstardom that has been achieved by Madonna and Janet Jackson." Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone wrote: "Britney Spears carries on the classic archetype of the rock & roll teen queen, the dungaree doll, the angel baby who just has to make a scene.