Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Few artists have carved a pop culture footprint as large, colorful, and powerful as the incomparable Britney Spears. Born in Mississippi on December 2, 1981, Spears' knack for center-stage was obvious
very early on. By the time she was 18, Spears' first studio album ...Baby One More Time debuted on top of the U.S. Billboard 200 and cemented her as the new It girl. Her first two albums catapulted her to the best-selling teenage artist of all time, and revived the pop genre altogether. What followed was nearly two decades of instantly iconic music videos, chart-topping singles, viral performances, and timeless pop culture moments that have made Spears one of the most influential artists of all time. Now on her ninth album, she remains one of the best-selling musicians with over 150 million records sold worldwide. On the pop princess' 38th birthday.
While in middle school, Spears bounced between family businesses to earn some spending money, coordinating aerobic classes at her father’s gym and waiting tables at her great-grandmother’s crawfish restaurant.
When she was eight years old, she auditioned for a spot on the Disney Channel's The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. Spears did not get the part, but she did eventually achieve one childhood dream: showcasing her vocal talents on the popular entertainment competition Star Search in 1992.
She got her start on the stage: Spears’ first professional role was the lead in an Off-Broadway musical Ruthless! when she was just 10 years old.
She was in the star-studded cast of Mouseketeers : In 1992, 12-year-old Spears was cast in The Mickey Mouse Club alongside Ryan Gosling, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake—who she would later open for in her first concert tour, and date for three years.
The middle of the three children, Spears developed an interest in performing at a young age. "Ever since I was 7 or 8 years old, my mom would have company over, and I was always performing for everybody in front of the TV. ... Even when I went to school, I was always the weird child; I would go outside and instead of playing, I wanted to have Star Search competitions," Spears told the Hollywood Reporter.
She was almost in a girl group Before officially signing with Jive Records in 1997, Spears’ team was in talks to place her in a girl group called Innosense.
Her big break was written for someone else Spears' 1999 single “…Baby One More Time,” her breakout hit and career-defining catalyst, was originally written for (and rejected by) TLC.
She’s a philanthropist: A few months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks struck New York City, Spears and her eponymous Britney Spears Foundation donated a $1 million grant to the children of uniformed officers affected.
In an interview, 20-year-old Spears admitted to exchanging flirty emails with Prince William, although the two never went on their proposed date.
She was a restauranteur: In 2002, Spears opened a Louisiana-style restaurant, Nyla, in New York City, but cut ties with the establishment less than five months later due to mismanagement.
In January 2004, Spears married her childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at a Las Vegas chapel, wearing a baseball cap and low-rise jeans. The marriage was annulled 55 hours later.
The same year, Spears married her backup dancer Kevin Federline. In 2005, they told the story of their relationship and personal lives on a limited-run reality show, Britney and Kevin: Chaotic, which used video footage and home videos that they mostly shot themselves. They went on to have two children together and an emotional divorce in 2007.
She dominated the 2000s: By the end of the ‘00s, Spears was crowned the best-selling female album artist of the decade and eighth biggest artist overall. Guinness World Records later named her the most searched person of the decade.
Britney Spears has travels incognito, Spears often travels under the pseudonyms Alotta Warmheart, Mrs. Diana Prince, or Chastity Montgomery.
On November 5, 2014, Las Vegas celebrated the first-ever Britney Day to celebrate the artist's impact on the city throughout her longterm residency. Britney Day, now a city-wide yearly tradition, presented Spears with an official proclamation and key to the Las Vegas Strip. After posting videos of herself painting on Instagram, Spears donated one of her works to Vegas Cares, a benefit for the victims and responders of the Las Vegas shooting. The painting, a letter-sized canvas of purple and blue flowers, sold for $10,000.
In April 2017, The Israeli Labor Party rescheduled a primary election to avoid conflicting with Spear’s sold-out Tel Aviv stop of the Britney: Live in Concert tour.
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