Basic Information• Birth name: Britney Jean Spears• Born: December 2, 1981 (age 30)• Genres: pop, dance• Occupations: singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, record producer, author, fashion designer, video director, entertainer• Instruments: Vocals, piano• Years active: 1992–present• Labels: Jive, RCA• Associated acts: The New Mickey Mouse Club, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Christina Aguilera
Childhood• At age three, she started to attend dance lessons in her hometown of Kentwood in Louisiana. She was selected to perform as a solo artist at the annual recital.• She also attended gymnastics and voice lessons, and won many state-level competitions and childrens talent shows.• Spears made her local stage debut at age five, singing "What Child Is This?" at her kindergarten graduation.• She said about her ambition as a child, "I was in my own world, [...] I found out what Im supposed to do at an early age―.• Spears was hired for her first professional role as the understudy for the lead role of Tina Denmark in the Off-Broadway musical ’Ruthless!’. She also appeared as a contestant on the popular television show Star Search, as well as being cast in a number of commercials.
The Mickey Mouse Club• At age eight, Spears and her mother Lynne travelled to Atlanta for an audition in the 1990s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club. Casting director Matt Casella rejected her for being too young to join the series at the time, but introduced her to Nancy Carson, a New York City talent agent. Carson was impressed with Spearss vocals and suggested enrolling her at the Professional Performing Arts.• In December 1992, she was finally cast in The Mickey Mouse Club, but returned to Kentwood after the show was cancelled.
Getting Signed• In June 1997, Spears was in talks with manager Lou Pearlman to join the female pop group Innosense. Lynne asked family friend and entertainment lawyer Larry Rudolph for his opinion and submitted a tape of Spears singing over a Whitney Houston karaoke song along with some pictures. He wanted to pitch her to record labels, therefore she needed a professional demo. He sent Spears an unused song of Toni Braxton; she rehearsed for a week and recorded her vocals in a studio with a sound engineer.• 3 of the 4 labels rejected her, arguing that audiences wanted pop bands such as the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls, and "there wasnt going to be another Madonna, another Debbie Gibson, or another Tiffany.―• Senior vice president of A&R Jeff Fenster stated about Spearss audition that "Its very rare to hear someone that age who can deliver emotional content and commercial appeal. [...] For any artist, the motivation—the eye of the tiger—is extremely important. And Britney had that.―• After hearing the recorded material, president Clive Calder ordered a full album. She flew to Cheiron Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, where half of the album was recorded from March to April 1998, with producers Max Martin, Denniz Pop and Rami Yacoub, among others.
• Her debut album, ...Baby One More Time, was released on January 1999. It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was certified two-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America after a month.• Worldwide, the album topped the charts in fifteen countries and sold over ten million copies in a year. It became the biggest selling album ever by a teenage artist.• The title track was released as the lead single from the album. Originally, Jive Records wanted its music video to be animated; however, Spears rejected it, and suggested the final idea of a Catholic schoolgirl.• The single sold 500,000 copies on its first day, and peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, topping the chart for two consecutive weeks."...Baby One More Time" later received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.• The title track also topped the singles chart for two weeks in the United Kingdom, and became the fastest-selling single ever by a female artist, shipping over 460,000 copies. It would later become the 25th most successful song of all time in British chart history.• Spears is also the youngest female artist to have a million seller in the country. "(You Drive Me) Crazy" was released as the third single from the album. It became a top-ten hit worldwide and propelled ...Baby One More Time to sell 26 million copies.
Controversy • The April 1999 cover of Rolling Stone featured Spears lying on her bed, clad with a bra, shorts and an open top. The American Family Association (AFA) referred to the shoot as "a disturbing mix of childhood innocence and adult sexuality" and called to "God- loving Americans to boycott stores selling Britneys albums." Spears responded to the outcry commenting, "Whats the big deal? I have strong morals. [...] Id do it again. I thought the pictures were fine. And I was tired of being compared to Debbie Gibson and all of this bubblegum pop all the time.“.
• Oops!... I Did It Again, her second studio album, was released in May 2000. It debuted at number one in the US, selling 1,3 million copies, breaking the SoundScan record for the highest debut sales by any solo artist.• The album sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone said that "the great thing about Oops! – under the cheese surface, Britneys demand for satisfaction is complex, fierce and downright scary, making her a true child of rock & roll tradition.‖.• The albums lead single, "Oops!... I Did It Again", peaked at the top of the charts in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and many other European nations.• The album as well as the title track received Grammy nominations for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, respectively.
• Her 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, the United Kingdom and mainland Europe and sold over 12 million copies worldwide.• Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic called Britney "the record where she strives to deepen her persona, making it more adult while still recognizably Britney. [...] It does sound like the work of a star who has now found and refined her voice, resulting in her best record yet.‖.• The album was honoured with two Grammy nominations— Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Overprotected"— and was listed in 2008 as one of Entertainment Weeklys "100 Best Albums from the Past 25 Years". The albums first single, "Im a Slave 4 U", became a top-ten hit worldwide.
Controversy• Spearss performance of the single at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards featured a caged tiger and a large albino python draped over her shoulders. It was harshly received by animal rights organization PETA, who claimed the animals were mistreated and scrapped plans for an anti-fur billboard that was to feature Spears.
Film Debut• Spears also landed her first starring role in Crossroads, released in February 2002. Although the film was largely panned, most critics actually praised Spearss acting.• Crossroads, which had a $11 million budget, went on to gross over $57 million worldwide.
Relationships • In June 2002, Spears opened her first restaurant, Nyla, in New York City, but terminated her relationship in November, citing mismanagement and "managements failure to keep her fully apprised―. • In July 2002, Spears announced she would take a six month break from her career; however, she went back into the studio in November to record her new album. • Spears relationship with Justin Timberlake ended after three years. In December 2002, Timberlake released the song "Cry Me a River" as the second single from his solo debut album. The music video featured a Spears look-alike and fuelled the rumours that she had been unfaithful to him. • As a response, Spears wrote the ballad "Everytime" with her backing vocalist and friend Annet Artani. • Spears opened the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards with Christina Aguilera, performing "Like a Virgin". Halfway through they were joined by Madonna, with whom they both kissed. The incident was highly publicized.
• Spears released her fourth studio album, In the Zone, in November 2003. She assumed more creative control by writing and co-producing most of the material.• Vibe called it "A supremely confident dance record that also illustrates Spearss development as a songwriter." NPR listed the album as one of "The 50 Most Important Recording of the Decade", adding that "the decades history of impeccably crafted pop is written on her body of work.―• In the Zone sold over 609,000 copies in the United States and debuted at the top of the charts, making Spears the first female artist in the SoundScan era to have her first four studio albums to debut at number one.• It also debuted at the top of the charts in France and the top ten in Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. In the Zone sold over 10 million copies worldwide.• The album produced the hit singles: "Me Against the Music", a collaboration with Madonna; "Toxic"—which won Spears her only Grammy for Best Dance Recording; "Everytime" and "Outrageous".
Remix• In November 2005, she released her first remix compilation, B in the Mix: The Remixes, which consists of eleven remixes. It has sold over 1 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best selling remix albums of all time.
Meltdown• Spearss aunt Sandra Bridges Covington, with whom she had been very close, died of ovarian cancer in January 2007.• On February 16, 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. After completing a month-long program at Promises, she wrote on her website, "I truly hit rock bottom. Till this day I dont think that it was alcohol or depression. [...] was like a bad kid running around with ADD.―• In May 2007, she produced a series of promotional concerts at House of Blues venues, titled The M+Ms Tour. Spears lost physical custody of her children to Federline on October 1, 2007. The reasons of the court ruling were not revealed to the public.
• Her fifth studio album, Blackout, was released in October 2007. It debuted at the top of charts in Canada and Ireland, number two in the U.S. Billboard 200,—held off from the top spot by EaglessLong Road out of Eden— France, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom and the top ten in Australia, Korea, New Zealand and many European nations.• In the US, Spears became the only female artist to have her first five studio albums debut at the two top slots of the chart.• Blackout sold over 3.1 million copies worldwide. Peter Robinson of The Observer said that "Britney has delivered the best album of her career, raising the bar for modern pop music with an incendiary mix of Timbalands Shock Value and her own back catalogue.―• Dennis Lim of Blender commented, "Spears’s fifth studio album is her most consistent, a seamlessly entertaining collection of bright, brash electro pop.―• Blackout won Album of the Year at MTV Europe Music Awards 2008 and was listed as the fifth Best Pop Album of the Decade by The Times.• Despite the backlash of ―Gimme More‖ after her performance at the MTV awards, the single rocketed to worldwide success, peaking at number one in Canada and the top ten in almost every country it charted.• The second single "Piece of Me" reached the top of the charts in Ireland and reached the top five in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The third single "Break the Ice" was released the following year and had moderate success due to Spears not being able to promote it properly.
How I Met Your Mother• In March 2008, Britney guest-starred on the How I Met Your Mother episode "Ten Sessions" as receptionist Abby. She received positive reviews for her performance, as well as bringing the series its highest ratings ever.
Return to the Recording Industry• On September 7, 2008, Spears opened the MTV Video Music Awards with a pre-taped comedy sketch with Jonah Hill and an introduction speech. She won Best Female Video, Best Pop Video and Video of the Year for "Piece of Me".• A 60-minute introspective documentary, Britney: For the Record, was produced to chronicle Spears return to the recording industry. Directed by Phil Griffin, For the Record was entirely shot in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and New York City during the third quarter of 2008.• Main shooting began on September 5, 2008, two days before Spears appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards. For the Record was broadcast on MTV on November 30, 2008 to 5.6 million viewers for the two airings on the premiere night. MTV reported that Spears documentary garnered on average, the highest rating in its Sunday night timeslot, in the networks history.
• Her sixth studio album Circus, was released in December 2008. It received positive reviews from critics; according to the music review aggregation of Metacritic, it garnered an average score of 64/100. Circus debuted at number one in Canada, Czech Republic and the United States, and inside the top in many European nations.• In the United States, Spears became the youngest female artist to have five albums debut at number one, earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. She also became the only act in the Soundscan era to have four albums debut with 500,000 or more copies sold.• Circus became one of the fastest-selling albums of the year, and has sold 4 million copies worldwide. Its lead single, "Womanizer", became her first number one in the Billboard Hot 100 since "...Baby One More Time" and topped the charts in countries such as Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway and Sweden. It was also nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Dance Recording.• Spears embarked on The Circus Starring Britney Spears in March 2009. With a gross of U.S. $131.8 million, it became the fifth highest grossing tour of the year.
Glee• On September 28, 2010, she made a cameo appearance on a Spears- themed tribute episode of American TV show Glee, titled "Britney/Brittany". Spears approved of the episode, although her appearances received mixed reviews from critics. The episode drew Glees second largest audience, as well as the shows highest ratings ever.
• In March 2011, Spears released her seventh studio album Femme Fatale. Max Martin and Dr. Luke executive produced the album and the albums first single "Hold It Against Me". The single debuted at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100. This gave Spears her fourth number-one single on the chart, and made her only the second artist in history to have two consecutive singles debut at number-one, after Mariah Carey.• The album peaked at number one in the United States (selling 276,000 copies in its first week), Canada, and Australia, and peaked inside the top ten on nearly every other chart. The albums peak in the United States ties Britney with Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson for the third- most number ones among women.• As of March 9, 2012, Femme Fatale has sold 883,000 copies in the United States and 2.2 million worldwide and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. The album received positive critical reviews after its release, receiving a score of 67 on Metacritic, her highest critical score since Oops!... I Did It Again, with many critics naming the album one of Spearss best.• In early May, Spears second single from Femme Fatale, "Till The World Ends", reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and had ninety-eight million audience impressions on the Billboard chart, granting Spears the highest weekly audience of her 13-year chart career.
• On December 16 2011, Spears confirmed her engagement to her long-time boyfriend Jason Trawick, her former agent. Spears revealed her three-carat diamond ring at a party in Las Vegas on December 17.• According to Joe Riccitelli, the executive vice president of promotion for RCA Records, Spears would be taking time off during 2012.• However, on January 30, 2012, will.i.am confirmed that he recorded a track with Spears, set to be included on his upcoming fourth studio album, #willpower (2012).• It was also reported that Simon Cowell was in talks with Spears for her to join the new season of the The X-Factor.• According to Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, Trawick negotiated Spears contract with the show, which was later approved by conservatorship judge Reva Goetz. Cowell and the producers of the show agreed to pay the singer $15 million for season two, and also added Trawick as one of the producers for the season. The rumour was later confirmed to be true.