Britney Spears (My favourite singer)
Britney Spears performing on the National Mall during the Operation
Tribute to Freedom, NFL and Pepsi sponsored “NFL Kickoff Live 2003”
Birth name Britney Jean Spears
Born December 2, 1981 (1981-12-02) (age 27)
McComb, Mississippi, United States
Origin Kentwood, Louisiana, United States
Occupation(s) Singer, dancer, songwriter, actress, author, pianist,
Instrument(s) vocals, piano
Years active 1993—present
Label(s) Jive / Zomba
Associated acts The New Mickey Mouse Club
Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is an American recording
artist and entertainer. Born in McComb, Mississippi and raised in
Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears first appeared on national television in
1992 as a contestant on the Star Search program, and went on to star on
the television series The New Mickey Mouse Club from 1993–1994. After a
brief membership with the pop musical group Innosense, Spears signed a
recording contract with Jive Records, releasing her debut album …Baby
One More Time in 1999. The album established her as a pop icon and «bona
fide pop phenomenon», credited for influencing the revival of teen pop
in the late 1990s.
The music video for «…Baby One More Time» and Spears’s appearance on
the cover of Rolling Stone magazine also established her as an
international sex symbol, garnering controversy over the influence of
her public image on teenage girls.
Spears’s personal life began to gain substantial media attention after
her marriage to Kevin Federline in 2004. Their marriage ended two years
later, resulting in an ongoing custody battle over their two children,
born in 2005 and 2006. Spears released her fifth studio album
Blackout in 2007. The following year Spears released her sixth studio
Spears is ranked as the eighth best-selling female recording artist in
the United States according to the Recording Industry Association of
America with 31 million certified albums and one of the world’s
best-selling music artists having sold an estimated 83 million records
worldwide. Spears also holds the title to multiple Guinness World
Early life and career debut
Britney Spears was born in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in
Kentwood, Louisiana as a Southern Baptist. Her parents are Lynne Irene
(nee Bridges), a former elementary school teacher, and Jamie Parnell
Spears, a building contractor. Spears’s brother Bryan works as a manager
for the Spears family interests and her sister Jamie Lynn is an
actress and singer. Her maternal grandmother Lillian Woolmore-Portell
was an English war-bride of part Maltese ancestry, born in
Tottenham, London, and met Spears’s grandfather Barnett O’Field
Bridges in England during World War II. Her paternal grandparents were
June Austin Spears and Emma Jean Forbes.
Spears was an accomplished gymnast, attending gymnastics classes until
age nine and competing in state-level competitions. She performed in
local dance revues and sang in her local Baptist church choir. Spears
entered New York City’s Professional Performing Arts School when she was
eight. At age eight she auditioned for the Disney Channel series The New
Mickey Mouse Club. Although she was considered too young to join the
series at the time, a producer on the show introduced her to a New York
City agent. Spears subsequently spent three summers at NYC’s
Professional Performing Arts School and also appeared in a number of
off-Broadway productions. She was an understudy in the 1991 off-Broadway
musical Ruthless!. In 1992, she landed a spot on the popular
television show Star Search. She won the first round of competition, but
ultimately lost. At age eleven, Spears returned to the Disney Channel
for a spot on the The New Mickey Mouse Club in Lakeland, Florida.
She was featured on the show from 1993 to 1994, until she was 13.
After the show ended, Spears returned to Kentwood and attended high
school for a year.
In 1997, Spears briefly joined the all-female pop group Innosense.
Later that same year, she recorded a demo solo and was signed by Jive
Records. She began a U.S. concert tour sponsored by American teen
magazines, and eventually became an opening act for ‘N Sync and the
1998–2000: …Baby One More Time and Oops!… I Did It Again
Spears’s debut single «…Baby One More Time», which was released in
October 1998, peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles
chart in January 1999, and topped the chart for two weeks.
Spears commented, «I just wanted to be on the radio. I didn’t think it
would be on the Billboard charts! I was so excited, I wanted to
cry». Gillian G. Gaar, author of She’s a Rebel: The History of Women
in Rock & Roll (2002) documented that «eyebrows were raised over the
schoolgirl-in-heat persona Spears projected in her [music video for
…Baby One More Time], along with an increasingly revealing series of
stage outfits. The album of the same name debuted at number one on
the Billboard 200 album charts in January 1999. Rolling Stone
magazine wrote: «While several Cherion-crafted kiddie-funk jams serve up
beefy hooks, shameless schlock slowies, like «E-Mail My Heart,» are pure
spam». NME commented «[Spears’s debut album and its title-track] are
the kind of soullessness that saturates Stateside charts and consists of
nothing but over-chewed bubblegum beats and saccharine
In contrast, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic wrote: «Like many teen
pop albums, …Baby One More Time has its share of well-crafted filler,
but the singles, combined with Britney’s burgeoning charisma, make this
a pretty great piece of fluff». …Baby One More Time was later
certified fourteen times platinum by the Recording Industry Association
of America, denoting fourteen million units shipped within the United
In March 1999, Tamara Conniff of Entertainment News Wire reported: «Only
a few years ago, Spears was a Mouseketeer on the Disney Channel’s
«Mickey Mouse Club.» Now, she’s a 17-year-old pop superstar with a No. 1
album, a double-platinum single and a provocative video in heavy
rotation on MTV. Spears’s debut album and its title track, «… Baby One
More Time,» have taken the music world by storm». Spears commented,
«My main goal is just to make good music…And since I am so young, I
can grow as an artist each time and hopefully be a legend or something,
like Madonna». By April 1999, Spears was described as «the Reigning
Princess of Pop» by the Orlando Sentinel.
Britney Spears featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine
Spears posed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in April 1999, shot
by photographer David LaChapelle. Spears commented, «It was so much
fun!…I loved the idea of me holding Tinky Winky and talking on the
phone!» Geoff Boucher of The Los Angeles Times reported, «there was
no mistaking the titillation factor in the recent Spears cover story and
accompanying photos in the April 15 issue of Rolling Stone, which sent
eyebrows arching throughout the music industry, where several executives
half-jokingly called it «child pornography.» Similarly, an editorial
review from Iowa State Daily commented, «a distinction should be drawn
between the cute teeny-boppers in cool outfits who make the boys and
girls buy records by the truckload and the exploitation of a minor by
her parents, her record company and the media… Pictures like these are
only barely legal when taken by private citizens. But when Rolling Stone
does it, it’s just good business». Gillian G. Gaar reported, «The
American Family Association charged that the pictures, which showed
Spears in push-up bras and a minuscule pair of shorts with «Baby» in
rhinestones on the bottom, presented a «disturbing mix of childhood
innocence and adult sexuality» and asked that all «God-loving Americans»
boycott stores carrying her albums».
More controversy arose when Spears declared that she would «remain a
virgin until marriage». This pledge has been questioned due to her
apparently sexual relationship with fellow pop singer Justin
Performing during the Baby One More Time Tour.
In late 1999, Spears appeared on the sitcom Sabrina, the Teenage Witch
and performed the song «(You Drive Me) Crazy»; this cameo was a
cross-promotion for the film Drive Me Crazy, which starred Sabrina’s
Melissa Joan Hart and was named after the song. In December 1999,
she won four Billboard Music Awards, including Female Artist of the
Year. A month later, she took home the Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist
award at the American Music Awards.
Following the success of her previous album, Spears released the album
Oops!… I Did It Again in May 2000. It debuted at number one in the
U.S. by selling 1,319,193 units during its first week of sales, breaking
the SoundScan record for the highest album sales in its debut week by
any solo artist. The RIAA awarded the album with a diamond
certification with 10 million copies sold in the U.S.
Concerning both musical content and sales, the album was very similar to
Spears’s debut, although it fared better with critics. Allmusic once
again gave it 4 out of 5 stars, saying that the album «has the same
combination of sweetly sentimental ballads and endearingly gaudy
dance-pop that made «…Baby One More Time.» Rolling Stone gave the
album 3.5 stars out of 5 by noting the album as «fantastic pop cheese»
and «Britney’s demand for satisfaction is complex, fierce and downright
The album’s lead single of the same name broke the record for most radio
station additions in a single day, and quickly became a top ten hit in
the U.S. and other countries. The same year, Spears launched her
first world tour, the «Oops!… I Did It Again World Tour». During the
tour, she made a stop in New York for the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards.
As part of her performance, she ripped off a black suit to reveal a
provocative nude-colored and crystal-adorned outfit that generated much
controversy. Spears earned two Billboard Music Awards for Oops!… I
Did It Again.
2001–2003: Britney, Crossroads, and In the Zone
Spears released her third studio album Britney in November 2001.
Although not as successful as her previous albums, she assumed some
creative control by co-writing five of the album’s tracks. It
surpassed Michael Jackson’s album Invincible when it had a successful
debut at number one in the U.S. by selling 745,744 units during its
first week. The album’s success made her the only female artist in
music history to have her first three albums debut at number
one. The album fared well with critics such as Allmusic who gave
it 4.5 out of 5 stars, describing the album’s title tracks as being
«pivotal moments on Britney Spears’s third album, the record where she
strives to deepen her persona, making it more adult while still
recognizably Britney.» In contrast, Rolling Stone said of the album
Britney «belabors the obvious: Spears is one month away from entering
her twenties and clearly needs to grow up if she’s going to bring her
The singles did not perform as well; Britney’s lead single «I’m a Slave
4 U» peaked at 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 making it the album’s biggest
hit. To help promote the album, Spears embarked on the Dream Within
a Dream Tour in November 2001. The tour was forced to cut short in
Mexico City due to bad weather. With the end to her tour, Spears
announced she would take a six month break from her career.
In early 2002, Spears’s four-year relationship with Timberlake
ended. His 2002 song «Cry Me a River» and its music video, which
featured an actress resembling Spears, caused speculation that Spears
had been unfaithful; Timberlake, however, denied that his song was
meant to portray her.
June 2002 saw the opening of Spears’s restaurant, Nyla, in New York
City, which served Louisianan and Italian cuisine. However, she was
pulled out of the business venture in November as a result of debts and
management issues. Nyla officially closed in 2003. In the same year,
Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst confirmed that he was in a relationship
with Spears. Durst was also hired to help write and produce tracks for
her album In the Zone, which were eventually scrapped.
Spears had her first starring role in the 2002 film Crossroads, in
which she portrayed a high school graduate who travels to find her
long-lost mother. The movie was poorly received, as was her
performance; Spears received Razzie Awards for Worst Actress and for
Worst Original Song. Nonetheless, the film grossed over $60 million
worldwide. Spears also made cameo appearances in Austin Powers in
Goldmember and Longshot. Footage of Spears appeared in the 2004
documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which samples a 2003 CNN interview about
the Iraq War in which Spears says, «Honestly, I think we should just
trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support
that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.»
The kiss between the two singers caused media uproar.
Spears made her third consecutive MTV Video Music Awards performance.
While performing «I’m a Slave 4 U», she controversially utilized caged
animals and danced erotically with a large albino python draped over her
shoulders. Animal-rights organization PETA claimed that the animals
featured in the performance were mistreated and cancelled plans for an
anti-fur billboard that was to feature Spears. Her career success
was highlighted by Forbes magazine in 2002 as Spears was ranked the
world’s most powerful celebrity. At a performance at the 2003 MTV
Video Music Awards, she appeared with Aguilera performing the song «Like
a Virgin», and was later joined by American pop singer Madonna. Spears
locked lips with Madonna in a highly publicized kiss.
Spears initially supported the policies of President Bush in a CNN
interview in 2003 with conservative political pundit Tucker Carlson.
However, her support was not due to politics; instead more to show
patriotism. Carlson praised Spears for her support of the president, who
was unpopular at that time among Hollywood entertainers.
Spears released her fourth studio album In the Zone in November 2003,
jettisoning the Max Martin-produced synthpop of her earlier releases.
The album took in lesser-known producers such as RedZone and big names
including Moby and R. Kelly. Spears co-wrote eight of the album’s
thirteen songs and co-produced several pieces of her material for the
first time. In the Zone reached number one in the U.S. charts during its
debut week, selling over 609,000 copies. This made Spears the first
female in the Nielsen SoundScan era to have her first four studio albums
to debut at number one. The album had a mild reception from critics.
Stylus Magazine gave the album a D and even blamed Spears’s career
choices by stating, «Ultimately, In the Zone suffers greatly from
Britney’s uneasy transition from teen tart to sexually powerful woman.
Had Britney been in charge of her career direction instead of
mercilessly prostituted by her management, she might have been able to
produce something with some semblance of musical vision.» The
Guardian praised the album’s melodies and her effort, giving it 4 out of
5 stars and writing, «Unlike previous Britney albums, In the Zone has no
filler and no shoddy cover versions, just 57 varieties of blue-chip
hit-factory pop. There is southern hip-hop, deep house, Neptunes-style
R&B, the ubiquitous Diwali beat and, most importantly, oodles of
The album spawned the hit single «Toxic», winning Spears her first ever
Grammy in the category of Best Dance Recording.
2004–2005: Marriages, first child and compilation albums
Spears married childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander on January 3,
2004, at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. The marriage
lasted 55 hours, ending with an annulment stating that Spears «lacked
understanding of her actions to the extent that she was incapable of
agreeing to marriage because before entering into the marriage the
Plaintiff and Defendant did not know each others’ likes and dislikes,
each others’ desires to have or not have children, and each other’s
desires as to State of residency.»
Months after her Las Vegas marriage, Spears embarked on The Onyx Hotel
Tour, which was canceled in June, after Spears injured her knee during
the filming of the video for the single «Outrageous». The tour’s
choreography generated much controversy and criticism, with the presence
of young children in the audience. She then became involved in the
Kabbalah Centre in September 2004 through her friendship with
Madonna. However, she publicly left the religion in 2006, stating on
her website, «I no longer study Kabbalah, my baby is my religion.»
In July 2004, Spears announced her engagement to Kevin Federline, three
months after they met. Federline had recently been in a relationship
with actress Shar Jackson, who was eight months pregnant with their
second child. These initial stages were chronicled in Spears’s first
reality show Britney & Kevin: Chaotic, which aired on UPN in May and
June 2005. On the night of September 18, Spears married Federline in
a surprise, non-denominational ceremony at a residence in Studio City,
California, filing legal papers on October 6. After the
marriage, Spears announced via her website that she would be taking
another career break to start a family. She gave birth to her first
child, Sean Preston Federline, nearly one year later, on September 14,
2005 in Santa Monica, California by a scheduled caesarean section.
November 2004 saw the release of her first greatest hits collection,
Greatest Hits: My Prerogative, which features all of Spears’s singles
with the exception of «From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart». It also
featured three previously unreleased songs, them being a cover version
of American R&B singer Bobby Brown’s 1988 hit «My Prerogative», «Do
Somethin'», produced by Bloodshy and Avant, whom she had worked with on
In The Zone, and «I’ve Just Begun (Having My Fun)», which was a song
recorded for Spears’s fourth album, In The Zone, but did not make the
final cut. By the end of that year, Spears had become one of the
best-selling artists in the world.
In November 2005, Spears released her first remix album, B In The Mix:
The Remixes. The album ranged from «…Baby One More Time» to «Toxic».
Her single «Someday (I Will Understand)» was also remixed. Another
single, «And Then We Kiss», was only released in Asia, where it charted
in many countries. The song peaked at number 15 on Billboard’s Hot Dance
Airplay chart, despite it not being officially released in the
2006–2007: Personal struggles, second child, divorce, and Blackout
In 2006, Spears guest-starred on the Will & Grace episode «Buy, Buy
Baby» as a closeted lesbian. Spears announced her second pregnancy in
May 2006 during an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.
She also appeared on Dateline the next month to discuss tabloid rumors
about an impending divorce, and motherhood. She addressed an incident
which occurred in February when photos revealed her driving with her son
unrestrained in her lap, explaining, «I see a bunch of photographers
and I’m scared and I want to get out of the situation… They’re coming
up on the sides of the car which is a scary situation for me… so I get
my baby out of the car and I go home.» The month following the
televised interview, Spears posed nude for the August 2006 cover of
Harper’s Bazaar. Just two days before Sean’s first birthday,
Spears gave birth to her second son, Jayden James Federline on September
12 in Los Angeles.
Spears’s aunt Sandra Bridges Covington, with whom she had been very
close, died of ovarian cancer on January 21, 2007. Spears then
stayed in an off-shore drug rehabilitation facility in Antigua for less
than 24 hours on February 16. The following night at a hair salon in
Tarzana, California she shaved her head with electric clippers. A few
days later, she admitted herself to another treatment facility in
Malibu, California. While leaving the facility briefly, she quickly
returned on February 22. The previous day, Kevin Federline had
requested an emergency hearing regarding the custody of their children
but then his attorney announced that Federline asked to cancel the court
appearance. No further explanation was given. Spears filed for
divorce from Federline on November 7, 2006, citing irreconcilable
differences and asking for both physical and legal custody of their two
children, with visitation rights for Federline. The following day,
Federline filed a response to Spears’s divorce petition, seeking
physical and legal custody of their children. American attorney
Laura Wasser was hired to represent Spears in the case. According
to a representative for Federline’s lawyer, the divorce filing «caught
Kevin totally by surprise». The couple reached a global settlement
agreement in March 2007 and their divorce was finalized in
July. Throughout 2007, Spears’s behavior received heightened
media attention, including attacking a paparazzi vehicle with an
umbrella. Spears left the rehabilitation center on March 20
according to her manager, who said she was released after «successfully
completing their program.» As the legal battle over the custody of
their children continued, many members of her entourage have been
summoned to testify about her parenting skills.
In May 2007, she produced a mini-tour for the House of Blues just after
she left a rehabilitation facility under the name The M+M’s; with six
shows altogether, she sang live during some lines of her songs. She
recorded her latest album with producers such as Sean Garrett, J. R.
Rotem and Nate «Danja» Hills throughout 2006 and 2007.
In September 2007, the official findings in Spears’s custody battle were
announced by the court. She was ordered to undergo random drug and
alcohol testings and to attend parenting counseling. Spears and
Federline continued to share joint custody of their two children on a
conditional basis. A few days later, she was officially charged
with misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving without a license. If
convicted, she could face a year in jail. Spears lost physical
custody of her children to Federline on October 1, with the
court ruling that Federline will keep full custody of the children.
The charges for her alleged hit-and-run that occurred in August 2007
were officially laid, she was booked for the charges by the Los
Angeles Police Department on October 15 but was not arrested.
The release of Spears’s fifth album, Blackout, was rescheduled to
October 30, 2007 rather than November 13, 2007 due to online
leaks. Blackout debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard
200., making Spears the only female music artist to have her first
five albums go to number one and two. It was fairly well received by
critics. As of June 2008, there have been 3.1 million digital
downloads of the songs and remixes from the album in the United
States. Rolling Stone gave the album 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Allmusic also rated the album 3.5 out of 5 stars, calling Blackout
«coherent and entertaining» and stating that «it holds together better
than any of her other records». Blackout’s lead single, «Gimme
More» leaked on the internet on August 30. The song, which was
Spears’s first produced by Danja, peaked at number three on Billboard’s
Hot 100 on October 3, making it her most successful single in the U.S.
since her debut, «…Baby One More Time». Spears’s highly
anticipated performance of «Gimme More» at the 2007 MTV Video Music
Awards was panned. The BBC stated that «her performance
would go down in the history books as being one of the worst to grace
the MTV Awards», and The Times noted that «Spears was out of synch
as she lip-synched and at times just stopped singing altogether».
Despite the criticism on her performance, the single has achieved
worldwide success. The second single, «Piece of Me», was
certified platinum in the US.
2008–present: Conservatorship, custody settlement and Circus
On the evening of January 3, 2008, after not sleeping for over four
days, Spears refused to relinquish custody of her children to
Federline’s representatives. In response, police were called to Spears’s
home. She was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after she
«appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance»,
though blood tests tested negative for any illicit substances. She
was held for psychiatric evaluation for two days. Pending
a February 19 hearing, Commissioner Scott Gordon issued an order on
January 14 stating that her visitation rights have been suspended
indefinitely. On January 31, a court placed Spears under temporary
co-conservatorship of her father James Spears and attorney Andrew
Wallete, giving them complete control of her assets. As a result of
an order placed by her psychiatrist, she was taken to UCLA Medical
Center to be put on a 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold for the second
time that month. On February 1, a restraining order was issued
against Sam Lutfi, a prominent figure in Spears’s life. She
was released from the hospital on February 6, amid speculation that she
has bipolar disorder, although medical records are classified,
and no confirmation has been made. Her parents expressed disappointment
and concern at the decision to release her. She has regained some
visitation rights after coming to an agreement with Federline and his
counsel. On July 18, 2008, Spears and Federline reached a custody
settlement in which Federline retains sole custody while Spears keeps
her visitation rights. Conservative pundit Rachel Alexander pointed
out in an article that Spears’ support for the president partly caused
the feminists in the United States unwilling to defend her in her child
In 2008, Spears guest-starred on CBS’s television show How I Met Your
Mother playing a receptionist. She received positive reviews for
her performance as well as bringing in the series’ highest ratings
ever. Spears reprised her role in May 2008, leaving the
storyline open for a future return.
On September 7, 2008, Spears opened the MTV Video Music Awards for the
third time. Although having not performed, a skit with Jonah Hill was
pre-taped, as well as an introduction speech to the official opening of
the show. Spears won Best Female Video, Best Pop Video and Video Of The
Year for «Piece of Me».
On September 15, Jive released a statement announcing the title of her
sixth studio album, Circus as well as the first single, «Womanizer». The
single was released to radio stations on September 26, and the release
date for the album is December 2, Spears’ 27th birthday. On October
15, the song made a record-breaking jump to number one on the Billboard
Hot 100, breaking the record set by T.I.’s Live Your Life. It also
garnered first-week download sales of 286,000, the biggest opening-week
tally by a female artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking digital
downloads in 2003. It marked Spears’s first number one single on the Hot
100 since her debut …Baby One More Time.
On October 21, 2008, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Steele
declared a mistrial and dismissed the August 2007 driving without a
license misdemeanor charges against Spears, who was represented by
attorney J. Michael Flanagan. Spears claimed she had a valid Louisiana
license and a California permit was not required.
On November 6, 2008, Spears won two awards at the MTV Europe Music
Awards 2008, «Album of The Year» for Blackout and «Act of 2008»,
and despite not being present, two acceptance videos were taped and
shown at the show.
Yahoo! named Britney Spears the most searched person on the internet in
2008, this marked her seventh time in a row win, beating Barack Obama
and Miley Cyrus.
Musical style and performance
«…Baby One More Time» (1999)
Britney Spears’s first major hit single worldwide.
«Gimme More» (2007)
First single from Blackout.
«Piece of Me» (2007)
«Piece of Me» has ’80s-influenced synths.
Problems listening to these files? See media help.
Spears is a soubrette, a type of soprano vocal part. Rami Yacoub,
who co-produced Spears’s debut album with its songwriter and lyricist
Max Martin, commented, «I know from Denniz Pop and Max’s previous
productions, when we do songs, there’s kind of a nasal thing. With N’
Sync and the Backstreet Boys, we had to push for that mid-nasal voice.
When Britney did that, she got this kind of raspy, sexy voice».
Following the release of her debut album, Chuck Taylor of Billboard
observed, «Spears has become a consummate performer, with snappy dance
moves, a clearly real-albeit young-and funkdified voice…»(You Drive
Me) Crazy,» her third single…demonstrates Spears’s own development,
proving that the 17-year-old is finding her own vocal personality after
so many months of steadfast practice». Spears later commented,
«With […Baby One More Time], I didn’t get to show my voice off. The
songs were great, but they weren’t very challenging».
Joan Anderman of The Boston Globe cited Madonna and Janet Jackson as two
of Spears’ biggest influences», commenting that Spears adopted Madonna’s
«Truth or Dare»-era moves» and Jackson’s sexy-robot body language».
Judy Mitoma, author of Envisioning dance on film and video (2002)
observed «[t]he music videos of the late 1990s and early 2000s
enlist[ed] the popular dance vocabularies at the time … pounding feet
into the floor and jabbing at the air with taunt arm movements,
punctuating with bent knees and thrusting hips». Britney Spears,
among her contemporaries, became a «playfully carnal, provocatively
dressed vixen … led by Madonna (and the first time she grabbed her
crotch) [and] fueled by Janet Jackson, transformed from a soft-fleshed,
innocent girl to a buffed and buxom woman». In the 2002 book
Madonnastyle by Carol Clerk, Spears is quoted saying: «I have been a
huge fan of Madonna since I was a little girl. I would really, really
like to be a legend like Madonna … Her choreography definitely opened
the door for girls to go in there and do their own thing».
Kevin Johnson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that his review of
Spear’s concert performance of her Oops!… I Did It Again World Tour in
July 2000, garnered mix reactions. He stated: «It was the review of
Spears’s concert that got most readers writing — to disagree and agree.
A Spears fan wrote, «I don’t like you or your stinking, horrible,
abusive report! … I, however, love Britney.» Another fan wrote,
«Britney Spears is a legend, a great performer. She is our idol and
nothing you say about that concert will change that. It still hurts to
think you didn’t see how many people she touched that night. … What I
saw was hard work and determination, great dance moves, catchy lyrics,
and positive songs». In contrast, Johnson also reported: «One
reader said, «I was pleased the article was direct and told the simple
truth: Britney can’t sing. I attended the concert and had a great time,
but unlike 95 percent of the crowd, I realized how ridiculous Britney
Spears really is». In August 2000, Joan Anderman wrote in her
review of the concert, «Spears sang without the help of prerecorded
tracks — that’s both the good news and the bad news — avoiding the
perils by having her two backup vocalists sing in unison with her much
of the time, a wise move for someone whose vocal and emotional range are
limited, and whose singing isn’t even particularly appealing».
The following year, at the beginning of Spears’s Dream Within a Dream
Tour, the Daily News reported: «Britney Spears is easy to criticize —
those outfits, that coquette/ good-girl contradiction, those recycled
pop hooks. But Tuesday night, surrounded by thousands of Britney
devotees at the sold-out Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, she was easy to love
as well…Because of all that dancing, thrashing and dodging fire on
stage, Spears performed most of the show to a recorded track. It was
hard to tell when she was really singing or just lip-syncing. But, in
the context of a Britney Spears concert, does it really matter? Like a
Vegas revue show, you don’t go to hear the music, you go for the
somewhat-ridiculous spectacle of it all». In December 2001, Sean
Piccoli of South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported: «[Spears’s]
contributions to pop are not generally founded in music. Wednesday’s
spectacle was pop inspired not by songs, but by cheerleader tryouts and
beauty pageants. The point was not whether Spears could sing — her voice
is a very small bag of heavy-breathing tricks — or even dance. What
mattered was how she presents…By that standard, the show was a
success. Spears had the biggest runway a girl could ask for and made
good use of it, ensuring that every person from the floor to the
nosebleed seats could see her fling her hair, swivel her hips or, in one
sequence that was almost eerie, dance with a video projection of
In March 2007, Leonard Pitts, Jr. wrote that in the aftermath of Spears’
personal struggles that have become widely publicized, Spears had been
reduced to an abstract idea as opposed to being regarded as a real
person. «The abstraction is not surprising: Whatever media touch,
they objectify… What must it be like to have your marriage and
divorce, your relationship with your parents and kids… dissected by
millions of strangers who think they know you?» Pitts further
commented that fame and fortune do not qualify the media scrutiny Spears
has faced, but observed that fact has been overlooked by «our rush to a
day of ‘reality’ television» and «tabloid journalism». Though
«[t]here is no reverence, no privacy, [and] nothing held back as
sacred», Pitts argues «Britney Jean Spears is not an idea.»
Vanessa Grigoriadis reported in «The Tragedy of Britney Spears» (2008),
her cover story for Rolling Stone, that «more than any other star today,
Britney epitomizes the crucible of fame for the famous: loving it,
hating it and never quite being able to stop it from destroying
you.» Grigoriadis wrote that «every day in L.A., at least a hundred
paparazzi, reporters and celebrity-magazine editors dash after her» and
that paparazzi estimated Spears generated «up to twenty percent of their
coverage for the past year.» She further documented that in
addition to tabloid journalists, the Associated Press declared that
everything Spears does is considered news. «The paparazzi feed the
celebrity magazines, which feed the mainstream press, while sources sell
their dirtiest material to British tabloids, and then it trickles back
to America,» wrote Grigoriadis. «She’s the canary in the coal mine of
our culture, the most vivid representation of the excess of the past
Britney Spears star at the Hollywood walk of fame
Britney Spears became a pop culture icon immediately after launching her
recording career. Rolling Stone magazine wrote: «One of the most
controversial and successful female vocalists of the 21st century,» she
«spearheaded the rise of post-millennial teen pop … Spears early on
cultivated a mixture of innocence and experience that broke the
bank». She is listed by the Guinness World Records as having the
«Best-selling album by a teenage solo artist» for her debut album
…Baby One More Time which sold over thirteen million copies in the
United States. Melissa Ruggieri of the Richmond Times-Dispatch
reported, «She’s also marked for being the best-selling teenage artist.
Before she turned 20 in 2001, Spears sold more than 37 million albums
worldwide». Barbara Ellen of The Observer reported: «Spears is
famously one of the ‘oldest’ teenagers pop has ever produced, almost
middle aged in terms of focus and determination. Many 19-year-olds
haven’t even started working by that age, whereas Britney, a former
Mouskateer, was that most unusual and volatile of American phenomena — a
child with a full-time career. While other little girls were putting
posters on their walls, Britney was wanting to be the poster on the
wall. Whereas other children develop at their own pace, Britney was
developing at a pace set by the ferociously competitive American
entertainment industry». ‘Britney Spears’ has been Yahoo!’s most
popular search term for the last four consecutive years, seven times in
total. Spears was named as Most Searched Person in the Guinness
World Records book edition 2007 and 2009.
People and MTV reported that on October 1, 2008, Bronx’s John Philip
Sousa Middle School, named their music studio in honor of Britney
Spears, Spears herself was present during the ceremony and donated
$10,000 dollars to the school’s music program.
Products and endorsements
Britney Spears perfume «Curious»
In early 2001, Spears signed a multi-million dollar promotional deal
with Pepsi that included television commercials, point-of-purchase
promotions, and Internet ties between Spears and the company. Britney
Spears has earned over US$370 million from her many, multi-million
dollar advertisement and endorsement deals all around the World..
She has published four books, including A Mother’s Gift, and released
seven DVDs, including her self-produced 2005 reality series Britney &
Kevin: Chaotic. Other Spears products include a doll and a video game.
She participated in seven tours including «The Onyx Hotel Tour» in 2004.
She has grossed over US$350 million from tour ticket sales and over $185
million in merchandise from her tours, the most ever grossed by a
performer (male and female).
Spears endorsed her first Elizabeth Arden fragrance «Curious» in 2004,
and earned $100 million in sales in the five weeks after its 2004
release. In September 2005, Spears released the fragrance «Fantasy»
with Elizabeth Arden, which also saw great success. These were
followed by the release of two more fragrances of «Curious:In Control»
and «Midnight Fantasy» in 2006. Her latest Elizabeth
Arden fragrance «Believe», was released in September 2007.[citation
needed] In January, 2008, Spears released Curious Heart.Spears
will release a new fragrance entitled Hidden Fantasy, due in stores in
…Baby One More Time (1999)
Oops!… I Did It Again (2000)
In the Zone (2003)
1999: …Baby One More Time Tour
2000: Crazy 2K Tour
2000: Oops!… I Did It Again World Tour
2001 – 2002: Dream Within a Dream Tour
2004: The Onyx Hotel Tour
2007: The M+M’s Tour
2009: The Circus Starring: Britney Spears
Year Title Role Notes
1991 The Mickey Mouse Club Various Roles Seasons 6-7, 1991-1993
1999 The Famous Jett Jackson Herself She sang «…Baby One More Time» on
Sabrina the Teenage Witch Herself Cameo
2000 Longshot Flight Attendant Cameo
2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember Herself Cameo/Soundtrack
Crossroads Lucy Wagner Lead Role/Feature Film
Robbie the Reindeer in Legend of the Lost Tribe Donner English
2004 Britney & Kevin: Chaotic Herself Reality Show
2006 Will & Grace Amber-Louise Episode «Buy, Buy Baby»
2008 How I Met Your Mother Abby Season 3: «Ten Sessions» and «Everything
Britney: For the Record Herself Biography/Documentary
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