Britney Spears

Britney Jean Spears was born December 2, 1981 , in Kentwood Louisiana. The daughter of Lynne, an elementary school teacher, and Jamie, a construction contractor. At the age of 8, Britney auditioned for the popular children's variety show, Mickey Mouse Club but producers for the show decided she was too young, but one was impressed enough to help her find an agent in New York.

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Three years after her first Mickey Mouse Club rejection, Britney finally landed a spot as a "Mouseketeer" at the age of 11. Joining a cast of talented teens on the show, Britney showed off her acting, dancing and singing talents on the show that also spawned the careers of fellow beauties Keri Russelland Christina Aguilera After 2 years of living in Orlando with her family while doing the show, Britney moved back home to Kentwood after the show was cancelled, and returned to high school.

Her one normal year as a fourteen-year-old high school student would be the last bit of normalcy in Britney's life. With a dream of pursuing a career as a singer and a desire to leave her small hometown, Britney set off to New York City yet again, this time destined to sign with a major record label. Britney finally signed with Jive Records, after an executive was fully impressed with the talent he heard on the demo tape. Working with Eric Foster White, a producer who had previously worked with artists such as Boyzoneand Whitney Houston, Britney's debut album was finally ready for its January 12, 1999 release date.

Baby, One More Time spawned such hits as "Crazy," "Sometimes" and of course the title track, the infectious "Baby, One More Time." The album held the number one spot on the Billboard charts, was certified RIAA 12 x platinum (it has gone on to sell more than 20 million copies), and won Britney awards such as the 1999 MTV Europe Awards for Best Female Artist, Best Pop Artist and Best Breakthrough Artist. Between recording her second album, Britney co-wrote a book with mom Lynne Spears, entitled Heart to Heart, and went on an extensive worldwide tour.

A huge Mariah Carey Michael Jacksonand Madonna fan, Britney has been scrutinized by the media with reports of a breast augmentation, and a love affair with England's most eligible bachelor, Prince William. With the The Edge hype nowhere near over, she returned to the music scene in 2000 with her follow-up album, entitled Oops!... I Did It Again. With a hit video accompanying the hit title track (in which Ms. Spears has definitely done it again, this time in a red leather catsuit), a second worldwide tour in support of her album, and millions of fans, Britney has definitely accomplished what few artists ever accomplish, at the mere age of 18.

The 8 times platinum Oops!... I Did It Again spawned number 1 singles like "Lucky," "Stronger" (in which she performs a lap dance to a chair), and "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know." 2001 was a banner year for the popster, as she co-hosted the American Music Awards with L.L. Cool J.; performed at the Rock In Rio festival (where audiences got a real glimpse of what she sounds like offstage -- and we don't mean her singing voice); performed with Aerosmith, N Sync, Nelly, and Mary J. Bligeat the Super Bowl; appeared on a spoken-word CD of the Pope's prayers; and signed a multimillion-dollar endorsement with Pepsi. While she dances with factory workers in a warehouse, impressing even Viagra-enhanced Bob Dole and his dog, Christina Aguilerastars in a Coca-Cola commercial, fueling more than just a pop war.

The mystery of her sudden physical maturity is still unsolved, but there are two rumors we can dispel: Britney isn't cuddling up to Prince William, but rather a prince of pop, *N Sync singer Justin Timberlake. Although she preaches abstinence until marriage, it's hard to believe that Britney and Justin do no more than cuddle. And another rumor that is certainly not true is the one claiming that Britney and Justin were killed in a car crash in Los Angeles; it was just a prank courtesy of two radio personalities.

Britney and her legions of teenage fans aren't her only admirers: it turns out her role-model, Madonna, has said that she's a big fan of Britney, and a duet with the new Princess of Pop is in the works. Britney also appeared in a one-hour BBC documentary on the Material Girl. As if CDs, sold-out concerts, books (her second co-written book with her mother was released in April 2001, entitled A Mother's Gift), and a huge endorsement aren't enough, Britney is now working on an acting career and tinkering with the idea of a fashion line.

Spears' self-titled third album was a laboured attempt to cultivate a more mature approach, with the singer also going a long way towards shedding her puritanical image. Although its initial sales were not as strong as her previous two albums, Britney shot straight to the top of the US album chart on its release in November 2001 for a brief stay. Her fourth album saw Spears moving further away from teen pop, disposing of the services of Max Martin and cultivating a sexually charged adult image at odds with the flirtatious schoolgirl of her earlier albums.

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The album, released in November 2003, included a collaboration with Madonna on "Me Against The Music" (the two singers had raised some eyebrows by snogging on stage at the MTV Video Music awards in August). Despite mixed reviews, In The Zone debuted at the top of the US charts. In truth, "Me Against The Music" is hardly about declaring war against grooves. "Actually, it's about the intensity that people approach music with," Britney shares. "It's about getting totally lost in the music and pushing yourself to the edge in every way you can imagine. I love thoroughly immersing myself in music, and I wanted to capture that intensity in a song."

Britney's musical intensity and her evolution from a teen renegade into a provocative young woman are undeniable throughout "In The Zone," her fourth Jive Records collection. First and foremost, the project shows her flexing notably strong and mature songwriting muscles. She co-wrote 7 of the project's 12 sterling new compositions, collaborating with such heavy hitters as Red Zone ("Me Against The Music," "The Hook Up"), The Matrix ("Shadow"), Moby ("Early Mornin'"), and Cathy Dennis ("Toxic," "Showdown"). Also contributing hit worthy material to the album is R. Kelly("Outrageous"), Ying-Yang Twins on "(I Got That) Boom Boom."