Name at birth: Britney Jean Spears
Britney Spears was only 17 when she reached #1 on the U.S. pop music charts with her 1999 debut album ...Baby One More Time. Her catchy tunes and hubba-hubba physique made Spears one of America's biggest pop stars, and she became a near-constant presence on MTV, radio broadcasts and magazine covers around the world. Britney Spears's second album, Oops!...I Did It Again, was released in May of 2000 and went gold in its first week. In 2003 she released In the Zone, but by then her personal life was getting more press than her singing career. On 3 January 2004 she married childhood friend Jason Alexander (not the Jason Alexander of Seinfeld), then had the marriage annulled the same day. Later in the year she married Kevin Federline, a professional dancer whose claim to fame was fathering two children with Moesha star Shar Jackson. Britney Spears and Federline had two sons, Sean (b. 14 September 2005) and Jayden (b. 12 September 2006), but Spears filed for divorce in November of 2006 (their divorce became final on 30 July 2007). in 2007 Spears was in the gossip columns on a weekly basis and made headlines by shaving her head, entering rehab and, after repeated missteps with the courts, losing custody of her children to Federline. With very little publicity, she released Blackout, her fifth studio album, in November 2007. Slowly she seemed to get her performing mojo back, launching a world tour in 2009, making a guest appearance on the TV show Glee in 2010, and settling back into life as a major pop performer. Her other albums include Circus in 2008 and Femme Fatale in 2011.
Britney Spears was in the cast of the Disney Channel’s The Mickey Mouse Club during its 1993 and 1994 seasons. Future pop stars Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and J.C. Chasez of the band ‘N Sync got their starts on the same show (Spears and Timberlake were romantically linked on and off from 2000-2003)… She starred in the 2002 teen road-trip film Crossroads. In that film the younger version of her character, Lucy, was played by her sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, star of the cable TV comedy Zoey 101… The wedding ceremony for Britney Spears and Kevin Federline was held on 18 September 2004, but papers formalizing the wedding weren’t filed until October 7th… After Spears filed for divorce, Federline was nicknamed “Fed-Ex” by the press… Spears’s middle name is often incorrectly reported to be “Jeau” rather than “Jean.”