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Born: December 2, 1981
Birthplace: McComb, Mississippi
Recording artist and world icon, Britney Spears was born December 2, 1981 in Mississippi to parents Jamie and Lynne. Growing up in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears began singing in her church’s choir. A big voice with an even bigger personality, Britney soon outgrew the small town and, at age 10, received her first big break. According to Hollywood.com Spears sang “Love Can Build a Bridge” in a 1992 episode of Star Search.
Her star didn’t win the competition series (though it is foretelling of her future career on The Fox Network’s The X Factor) but casting directors from The Mickey Mouse Club found Spears to be a perfect fit for the iconic show. According to Britney.com, Spears joined the show in 1992 alongside fellow Mouseketeers Justin Timberlake and J.C. Chasez of N’sync as well as would-be rival, Christina Aguilera. 1998 proved pivotal in Spears’ career when her touring with N’sync paid off with a recording deal on the Jive Records label. Her first single, “Baby Hit Me One More Time,” took airwaves by storm upon its release in October 1998.The young songstress’ debut album would be the first of several original albums to go platinum. Other platinum albums include Oops!...I did it Again(2000), Britney(2001), In the Zone(2003), My Prerogative (2004), Blackout (2007), Circus (2008) and Femme Fatale (2011).
As the music progressed and her fame continued to amplify, Britney’s private life eroded. A public break-up with Justin Timberlake not only broke her emotionally, but also broke the image she had created. Spears proudly stated her promise of celibacy until marriage. It was an admirable quality that many of her young fans appreciated until she was caught lying. Spears took a double-hit when it was later revealed Timberlake ended their longtime romance due to Britney’s alleged indiscretions with a mutual friend and dance choreographer.
The following years were rocky for Britney as she slowly unraveled in front of the public eye. According to Flavorwire.com, after the release of In the Zone, Spears demonstrated a string of odd behaviors. A Las Vegas wedding of 55 hours, doing Kabbalah stuff with Madonna and a quickie engagement to Kevin Federline in the Fall of 2004 did not portray the formerly composed and calculated young pop star. Two years and two sons later, Federline and Spears separated in November 2006.
A shook-up Spears also lost a close family member in early 2007 and the in-and-out treatment facility visits were no help to Britney’s deteriorating mental state. Shortly thereafter, Spears put on a VMA performance indicative of an ill-prepared chaotic lifestyle. One bad choice led to another, which eventually ended in Spears' loss of physical custody of her two children with Kevin Federline in 2008.
One productive stay at UCLA hospital and a close group of friends and family gave Britney the tools she needed to re-build her empire. So far, she’s done a remarkable job. Spears now co-hosts with Simon Cowell on his hit show, The X Factor.