A bubbly, blonde singing pop sensation who built a fan base with a girl-next-door sweetness, catchy tunes, unstoppable dance moves and a magnetic sexual appeal, Britney Spears went from a small-town girl in Louisiana to the veritable heir to Madonna’s media saturation crown beginning with the release of her first single in 1998 and holding fast well into the next millennium– and much like Madonna, the attention quickly shifted away from her artistry and focused squarely on her personal dramas. Britney Spears Concert Tickets
A trained dancer and capable singer who wanted a shot at singing, dancing and acting and had the determination and stamina to get to the top, Spears started her career in the entertainment industry early, too early in fact for producers of the revamped “Mickey Mouse Club” who turned down the talented young girl because of her age when she first auditioned in 1990. Mindful of her potential, Spears was hooked up with an agent and temporarily moved with her mother and baby sister to NYC the following year. Here she starred in the Off-Broadway production “Ruthless”, a stage comedy loosely based on “The Bad Seed”. Playing the evil but seemingly angelic child was an enjoyable role for the ten-year-old Spears, who next wowed judges with her debut performance on the televised talent competition “Star Search” in 1992. In 1993 she was finally welcomed into the cast of the Disney Channel’s “Mickey Mouse Club”, becoming a part of the elite set that included future TV star Keri Russell as well as fellow teen pop luminaries Justin Timberlake and J.C. Chasez of *NSYNC and Christina Aguilera. As part of the ensemble, she could do all the dancing, acting and singing her heart desired, but unfortunately, the show ended its run in the midst of only her second season.
When “MMC” called it a day in 1994, the young star returned to Louisiana and attended a private junior/senior high school in nearby McComb, Mississippi, but missed the excitement of the entertainment world.
In 1997, Spears signed with Jive Records, beginning the partnership that would make her a household name. She toured the malls of America a la teen pop star Tiffany in 1998, getting her image into the minds of the people while getting her promo tape into their stereos. Her debut single “…Baby One More Time” was a smash in the last days of 1998, thanks in part to the precocious, provocative schoolgirl-uniform sporting music video that accompanied the catchy and oddly edgy tune. While the fresh-faced teen sensation improbably crooned “My loneliness is killing me”, audiences of all ages were transfixed, from the middle-aged man staring at the singer’s short plaid kilt and midriff-baring blouse, to the 7-year-old girl hopping around in the playground, strangely pleading “Hit me baby, one more time.” Spears’ debut album went multi-platinum while her single stayed at the top of the charts in the first months of 1999. Upping her visibility, Spears’ controversial Rolling Stone cover (clad only in a bra and hot pants) had parent groups up in arms when the overtly sexy image hit stands April 15, 1999, nearly eight months before the star’s eighteenth birthday–meanwhile, Spears and her inner circle began a long-standing policy of sending mixed messages, proclaiming the star’s commitment to Southern, church-going values and remainin a virgin until she married.
Appearances on myriad specials and awards shows and a guest stint on the ABC sitcom “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” helped keep her in the minds and hearts of the public, and when she released her follow-up effort “Oops!… I Did It Again” in 2000, her audience welcomed it with open wallets. Another round of multi-platinum sales met the record, and the video for the lead-off title track single won the performer more kudos, proving her dance talents with an eye-catching routine and her physical assets with a fetching red vinyl catsuit. When Spears appeared tearing off a man’s suit to reveal a next-to-nothing ensemble at that year’s MTV Video Music Awards, her sexy image was solidified (indeed, it became central to her routinely controversial image, with fans and media debating over lurid topics such as whether or not the young star had received breast implants). Spears’ sex appeal was tempered for her more family-value-minded fans by her sweet and seemingly chaste relationship with longtime boyfriend (and former Mouseketeer) Justin Timberlake, by then the lead singer of the hugely popular boy band *NSYNC, which shared the same musical management as Spears. Expressing herself, showing her versatility and growing up in the public eye while losing very few of her original preteen fans, the singer seemed poised to take her talents far.
Though potential roles in the TV series “Dawson’s Creek” and the feature “Scary Movie” (2000) came to naught reportedly due to her busy schedule, new projects with Spears’ name attached sprung up frequently. Rumors of her co-starring with Ricky Martin in a sequel to the 1987 romantic hit “Dirty Dancing” weren’t realized, but the singer/dancer made a major impression on television with a second erotically charged performance on the MTV Music Video Awards, undulation with an albino python to her song “I’m a Slave For U” and a saucy live concert, “Britney Spears Live in Las Vegas” (2001) that aired on HBO, a production that demonstrated her adult sex appeal as much as it did her propencity to lip-synch. Not satisfied with just conquering the music market, Spears tried her hand at publishing, co-authoring with her mother Lynne the autobiographical tome “Britney Spears’ Heart to Heart” (2000) and the novel “A Mother’s Gift” (2001), the later of which was turned into the ABC Family Channel telepic “Brave New Girl” (2004), which Spears and her mother executive produced.
At last the young diva made her big-screen acting debut–with a healthy dash of singing–in “Crossroads” (2002), directed by Tamra Davis, and focusing on three childhood friends on a road trip of self-discovery–neither the mawkish film nor Spears’ candy-coated, aw-shucks performance, were exactly Oscar material, but it did appeal to a certain audience of die-hard Spears fans. Spears’ very busy 2002 also included breaking up with Timberlake amid sordid rumors of infidelity on her part (Timberlake also rather ungentlemanly confirmed that he and Spears had indeed put an end to her much-discussed virginity), opening her own New York restaurant NYLA (which became a spectacular failure) and continuing to tour around the globe. She also had a brief film cameo in “Austin Powers: Goldmember,” and her songs appeared on the soundtracks of an ever-increasing number of films.
The singer was the victim of a predictable popularity backlash in 2003 and 2004, becoming better known for the escapades of her personal life than for her professional activities, of which there were many in both categories. Spears made headlines when, during an appearance on the 2003 MTV Music Video Awards, she opened the show in a musical sequence opposite her idol Madonna and her reported rival (and another former Mousketeer cast mate) Christina Aguilera, in which she shared a lip-lock with the Material Girl (a move that struck some as more calculated than sexy). That was followed by the release of her fourth album In the Zone, in which the singer further pushed provocative boundaries in attempt to establish herself as a grown-up artist (and, presumably, to capitalize on her always buzzed-about sexpot charms). The album received a critical drubbing in most quarters and did not entirely live up to commercial expectations (nevertheless, Spears became the first woman to have four albums go straight to number one on the U.S. charts). The disc still provided hit singles, including the ubiquitous dance floor favorite “Toxic” and its controversial, overtly sexy music video, which was briefly relegated to late-night-only airings on MTV. Oddly, during the promotional period for the album, Spears appeared in many increasingly provocative, skin-baring photographs, including a recreation of a 1960s-era Angie Dickinson shot with her bare bottom peaking out of a strategically stretched sweater for the cover of Esquire, yet she would later claim in interviews she didn’t approve the shots and still tried to project, unconvincingly, an innocent girl-next-door persona.
The wild child beneath the surface was bubbling over into her public persona, with the mainstream and tabloid press endlessly chronicling every juicy aspect of her behavior–which allegedly included late night partying and hook-ups with celebrity lotharios Fred Durst and Colin Farrell; the dam seemingly broke loose in January of 2004, when the singer shocked her fans with a surprise marriage to her childhood friend Jason Alexander (not the much-older “Seineld” actor of the same name) in an apparently booze-fueled New Year’s Eve wedding in Las Vegas, something she called “a joke that had gone too far.” The marriage was annulled within 55 hours (with a lucrative payoff to Alexander), but that didn’t stop Spears’ shocking second rush to the altar later that same year, this time to dancer Kevin Federline (yet another a source of controversy, as Federline was an expectant father invloved in a relationship with actress Shar Jackson–who’d already bore him one child–at the start of their romance). Their engagement was announced in June, with plans for a fall 2004 wedding. Somewhere between romances, Spears continued to self-promote with faux-relevatory documentary specials on MTV, ABC and E!, and she performed a surprisingly unispired live version of her universally panned Onyx Hotel tour for the HBO special “Britney Spears: Live in Miami” (2004). The blonde idol pulled out of the final leg of her poorly received tour after injuring her knee in June of that year, requiring arthroscopic surgery and four months of recuperation (she also admitted that her head “really wasn’t into” the tour).
Spears and Federline agreed to star in and host their own reality series, “Chaotic,” as a response to persistant tabloid reporting on their marriage, planned to debut on UPN in May 2005.
brother: Bryan Spears
father: Jamie Spears
mother: Lynne Spears
sister: Jamie Lynn Spears
Park Lane Academy McComb, Mississippi
Professional Performing Arts School New York, New York 1991
Grammy Best Dance Recording “Toxic” 2005
Razzie Award Worst Original Song “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” 2002
Razzie Award Worst Actress “Crossroads” 2002
2006 Will guest star on an episode of “Will & Grace,” (NBC) as a Christian conservative sidekick to Sean Hayes’ character, Jack, who hosts his own talk show
2005 Will air a six-part series titled “Britney and Kevin: Chaotic” (UPN), which mixes footage shot during the pair’s whirlwind engagement last spring and summer
2004 Signed a five year deal with Elizabeth Arden to develop fragrance, cosmetics and skin care products
2004 Received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording for the song “Toxic”
2003 Recieved Star on the Hollywood walk of Fame
2003 Released fourth album “In the Zone”, which featured Madonna on it’s first single “Me Against the Music”
2002 Feature film acting debut in “Crossroads”, directed by Tamra Davis
2002 Started production company called Britney Spears Productions
2002 Opened restaurant called NyLa in New York; terminated her relationship with the restaurant citing mismanagement and management’s failure to keep her fully apprised in November 2002.
2001 Hosted the American Music Awards telecast on ABC
2000 Lent her vocal talents to an episode of “The Simpsons”, playing herself
2000 Followed up with the successful sophomore effort “Oops!… I Did it Again”
2000 Appeared in a McDonald’s commercial filmed in Canada but refused to film a non-union United States-produced commercial for Clairol’s Herbal Essence shampoo during the commercial actors’ strike; donate
1999 Released multiplatinum debut album “…Baby One More Time”
1999 Guested on an episode of the sitcom “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (ABC)
1998 Went on a promotional shopping mall tour
1998 First single, “…Baby One More Time”
1997 Signed with Jive Records
1993 – 1994 Was a cast member on “Mickey Mouse Club”
1992 Competed on the syndicated talent series “Star Search”; won for her debut performance, but was defeated the following week
1991 Moved with mother and sister to New York City to pursue an acting career
1991 Starred in the Off-Broadway production “Ruthless”, a comedic remake of “The Bad Seed”
1990 Auditioned for the Disney Channel series “The Mickey Mouse Club”; at eight was considered too young by producers
1989 Trained as a gymnast at age seven (date approximate)
1987 Began dance lessons at the age of five (date approximate)
Returned to Louisiana