Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981 in McComb, MS) is an American singer, songwriter and dancer. She is credited with influencing the revival of teen pop during the late 1990s and early 2000s, for which she is referred to as the "Princess of Pop". Regarded as a pop icon, Spears has sold nearly 150 million records worldwide, including over 70 million solely in the United States, making her one of the world's best-selling music artists.
She has officially released nine studio albums to date: ...Baby One More Time (1999), Oops!... I Did It Again (2000), Britney (2001), In the Zone (2003), Blackout (2007), Circus (2008), Femme Fatale (2011), Britney Jean (2013) and Glory (2016).
Along with 2 official compilation albums, 2 official remixes albums and 1 official extended play: "Greatest Hits: My Prerogative" (2004), "B In The Mix: The Remixes" (2005), "Britney & Kevin: Chaotic" (2005), "The Singles Collection" (2009) and "B in the Mix: The Remixes Vol. 2" (2011).
In September 2004, she married Kevin Federline. The couple had two sons, Sean (born September 2005) and Jayden (born September 2006). Spears filed for divorce in November 2006.
Britney's debut album' …Baby One More Time' was a huge commercial success. It debuted at number one in the U.S. with 120,500 copies sold in its first week on the Billboard 200, where it remained for 6 non-consecutive weeks, and it also debuted at number one in Canada, and reached the top ten in many other countries. The record has been certified 14× Platinum in the United States. It is the highest selling album by a teenager both in the US and worldwide. The album also spent fifty-one weeks in the top ten of the U.S. Billboard 200 and sixty weeks in the top twenty. With this, it became the second best-selling album of 1999, selling 8,358,619 in the United States, only behind Backstreet Boys' 'Millennium'. It stayed on the Billboard 200 for two years until it was moved to the Pop Catalog chart. According to the RIAA, it is the 27th best-selling album in American music history, and 4th best-selling album by a female artist. This album, its lyrics, and its music videos maintained the typical virgin image of the late 1990s teen pop revival for Spears.
Following the success of her debut 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.
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.
Britney also became a Pepsi spokesperson in 2001, earning a $7-8 million endorsement deal. For the "We Will Rock You" Pepsi campaign, featuring Pink, Beyonce and Enrique Iglesias, Britney received $9.27 million.
2002 found Britney in her first movie role, the somewhat biographical Crossroads.
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. All three singles, Me Against The Music, Toxic and Everytime, reached #1 on the Australian ARIA charts. 'Toxic' became one of Britney's signature songs and the video is considered by most to be her best.
In July 2004, Spears became engaged to back-up dancer Kevin Federline. She and Federline were married on September 18 that same year. She also released a fragrance in September 2004, entitled Curious, and another, Fantasy, the following year. In early 2006, she released the limited edition fragrance In Control Curious. She released two more fragrances in 2007 and 2009 : Believe and Hidden Fantasy.
November 2004 saw the release of her first greatest hits collection, 'Greatest Hits: My Prerogative', which features all of Spears's singles up to 'Outrageous' with the exception of "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart". It also featured three previously unreleased songs, 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 (Havin' 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.
Spears and her now husband Kevin, starred in their own reality television show, Britney and Kevin: Chaotic in the first half of 2005. In the final episode of the show, Spears debuted the single Someday (I Will Understand) but the song and video were not released in the US. 'Britney & Kevin: Chaotic...' the bonus CD, includes Mona Lisa and Over To You Now.
In November 2005, Spears released her first remix album, B In The Mix: The Remixes. The songs ranged from "…Baby One More Time" to "Toxic". Her newest 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 U.S. It also peaked at #13 on Australia's Hot 30 Countdown despite not being officially released.
In 2005, she won her first Grammy award for 'Best Dance Recording' for her song "Toxic". On September 14, 2005, Spears gave birth to her first child, a boy, named Sean Preston.
She appeared as a guest on Will and Grace in 2006. During an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in May 2006, she announced that she was expecting once again. On September 12, 2006 Spears gave birth to her second child, a son named Jayden James.
On November 6, 2006 Spears filed for divorce from husband Kevin Federline. The divorce was finalized on July 30, 2007. During 2007, Britney continually lost more and more custody of her children, until her mental breakdown, which resulted in her taking Jayden hostage in a bathroom for over three hours, in Jan 08 stripped her of any visitations whatsoever for over a month. Visitations after the month were heavily monitored.
On October 30, 2007 Spears released her 5th studio album entitled "Blackout" with its first single "Gimme More" being performed at the MTV Video Music Awards. "Gimme More was Britney's most successful single on the Billboard Hot 100 by peak position since "...Baby One More Time". The next two singles from "Blackout" were 'Piece of Me' and 'Break The Ice'. Britney did minimal promotion for the album and it's singles. For Gimme More, she filmed a music video and performed at the 2007 VMAs. For Piece of Me, she filmed a music video. For Break The Ice, an animated video was made.
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 was December 2, Spears' 27th birthday. The album was released in Australia on the 29th of November and in various European countries on the 27th. Britney heavily promoted the album with various performances around the world, a documentary on her life since recovering from her breakdown and an upcoming world tour.
MTV signed a deal with Spears and Jive records to release a documentary titled 'For the Record', which aired on November 30, 2008, two days before the release of Circus. The documentary was shot over three months and featured Britney discussing her personal life as well as her career.
Circus debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 selling 505,000 copies in its first week. This became Spears' fifth number one album, making her the only act in Nielsen SoundScan history to have four albums debuted with 500,000 copies or more. It is also Spears' second album, the first being …'Baby One More Time', to have charted two top-ten singles as "Circus", the follow up single to the number-one hit "Womanizer", debuted at number three on the Hot 100, making it her highest debut on the chart as well as her seventh top ten hit.
Womanizer was her first #1 track on the "Billboard Hot 100" since ...Baby One More Time and made a new digital download record beating Touch My Body. It also held the record for biggest jump, going from #96 to #1. Kelly Clarkson has since beaten that record.
In March, Spears launched her seventh tour to promote her Circus album. The Circus Starring: Britney Spears began its run on March 3, 2009 in Spears's home state of Louisiana. Opening night, as well as every following show in North America, sold out. The tour spans through North America (two legs), Europe, and Australia (first time touring ever). Britney is accompanied by her children on the tour, and they are in her custody for over 50% of the time for the duration of the tour while ex-husband Kevin trails her.
In April 2009, Spears declared her support for same-sex marriage to the media, following the controversial incident on Miss USA where contestant Carrie Prejean, representing California, expressed her disapproval of same-sex unions. The message left by Spears on her Twitter page read “Love is love! People should be able to do whatever makes them happy!” After years of absence, Forbes magazine listed Spears as the 13th most powerful celebrity and the second most top-earning young musician as she made $35 million from June 2008 to June 2009.
In July 2009, Spears confirmed through her Twitter that she has begun recording new material, stating that she was going into the studio with producer Max Martin. Also producer and remixer Russ Castella posted a message on Twitter stating that he is working on a track titled "Dirty Girl" for Spears. Castella also announced that the track he is working on would be released later in 2009.
In September 2009, Britney won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Pop Video for Womanizer.
In October of 2009, Spears released the song "3" to iTunes. It stayed at #1 on their charts for thirteen days and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It was the first song to do so in three years and the first song by a non-American Idol singer to have a song debut at #1 in eleven years.
In November 2009, Spears completed the Circus Starring: Britney Spears tour. Whilst there was controversy caused by her lip-synching to her shows, other reviews and ticket sales still were strong.
In March 2011, Spears released her seventh studio album Femme Fatale. Max Martin and Dr. Luke executive produced the album and the album's first single "Hold It Against Me". The single debuted at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100. This gave Spears her fourth number-one single on the chart, and made her only the second artist in history to have two consecutive singles debut at number-one, after Mariah Carey. The album peaked at number one in the United States (selling 276,000 copies), Canada, and Australia, and peaked inside the top ten on nearly every other chart. The album's peak in the United States ties Britney with Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson for the third-most number ones among women. Femme Fatale has sold over 590,000 copies in the United States and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. The album received positive critical reviews after its release, receiving a score of 67 on Metacritic, her highest critical score since Oops!… I Did It Again, with many critics naming the album one of Spears's best. In April 2011, Spears appeared in a remix to the song "S&M" by Rihanna after Rihanna asked her fans via Twitter who they wanted her to collaborate with. The song reached number one in the US in mid-April 2011, giving Britney her fifth number one on the chart. In early May, Spears' second single from Femme Fatale, "Till The World Ends", reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and had ninety-eight million audience impressions on the Billboard chart, granting Spears the highest weekly audience of her 13-year chart career. Femme Fatale's third single "I Wanna Go" reached the top forty on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 2011. Among females in the last thirteen years, Spears now has the third-most top forty hits, with twenty-one. In August, the single managed to reach the top-ten on the Billboard Hot 100, which is the first time for Spears to have three songs from one album in the top-ten. On the week ending September 24, 2011, "I Wanna Go" moved 2-1 on the mainstream top 40, becoming her sixth number-one on that chart (making her tied for third all-time) and her first number-one and third top-ten pop song for Femme Fatale. Spears now has the longest span of number ones on the mainstream top 40, with a length of twelve years, seven months, and four days.
On March 2011, Spears announced that she would tour throughout the United States during summer 2011. The Femme Fatale Tour opened June 16 at the Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, California to positive reviews. Many critics noted that Spears sang more of the concert live in response to lip-synching accusations during The Circus Starring Britney Spears, and that the dancing is some of her best in years. The first ten US dates of the tour grossed $6.2 million, landing the fifty-fifth spot on Pollstar's Top 100 North American Tours list for the half-way point of the year. The tour travelled to Europe and South and Central America later in 2011. On August 12, Spears announced that her performances at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto will be taped to air on the EPIX television channel and for a DVD release, resulting in the doubling of traffic to EPIX social sites and 'Britney Spears' becoming a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. Her first televised concert since the Onyx Hotel Tour in 2004, the show, Britney Spears: Femme Fatale, was shot in 2D and 3D on August 13 and 14 and will premiere on Epix in November. It has since been released to DVD and Blu-Ray. There is a Target Exclusive version of the DVD, which includes a Bonus CD with 3 remixes of HIAM, 3 remixes of TTWE, 3 remixes of IWG, and exclusive track titled Scary (which before this release was only available on the Japanese Deluxe Edition and the Premium Fan Edition of Femme Fatale). On the Blu-ray, the 4 music videos from Femme Fatale appear on it exclusively.
The tour ended on December 10, 2011 in Puerto Rico after 79 performances. In August 2011, Spears received the MTV Video Vanguard Award at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. The next month, she released her second remix album, B in the Mix: The Remixes Vol. 2. In December, Spears became engaged to her long-time boyfriend Jason Trawick, who had formerly been her agent. Trawick became a co-conservator of Spears, alongside her father, in April 2012.In January 2013, Spears and Trawick ended their engagement. Trawick was also removed as Spears's co-conservator, restoring her father as the sole conservator.
In May 2012, Spears was hired to replace Nicole Scherzinger as a judge for the second season of the U.S. version of The X Factor, joining Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and fellow new judge Demi Lovato, who replaced Paula Abdul. With a reported salary of $15 million, she became the highest-paid judge on a singing competition series in television history. She mentored the Teens category; her final act, Carly Rose Sonenclar, was named the runner-up of the season. Spears did not return for the show's third season and her spot was filled by Kelly Rowland. Spears was featured on will.i.am's "Scream & Shout", which was released as a single from his fourth studio album, #willpower (2013). The song later became Spears's sixth number one single on the UK Singles Chart and peaked at #3 on US Billboard Hot 100. In December, Forbes magazine named her music's top-earning woman of 2012, with estimated earnings of $58 million.
Spears began work on her eighth studio album in December 2012, and enlisted will.i.am as its executive producer in May 2013. On September 17, 2013, she appeared on Good Morning America to announce her two-year residency show at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, titled Britney: Piece of Me. It began on December 27, 2013, and will include a total of 100 shows throughout 2014 and 2015.During the same appearance, Spears announced that her eighth studio album Britney Jean would be released on December 3, 2013, in the United States. It was released through RCA Records due to the disbandment of Jive Records in 2011.Furthermore, Britney Jean became Spears's final project under her original recording contract with RCA, which had guaranteed the release of eight studio albums.The record received a low amount of promotion and commercial impact, reportedly due to contractual obligations for Britney: Piece of Me. Upon its release, the record debuted at number four on the U.S. Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 107,000 copies, becoming her lowest-peaking and lowest-selling album in the United States.Britney Jean debuted at number 34 on the UK Albums Chart, selling 12,959 copies in its first week.
"Work Bitch" was released as the lead single from Britney Jean on September 16, 2013, one day earlier than expected after being leaked online.It debuted and peaked at number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.The second single "Perfume" was premiered on November 3, 2013, two days earlier than originally announced.It debuted and peaked at number 76 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. During the production of Britney Jean, Spears recorded the song "Ooh La La" for the soundtrack of The Smurfs 2 earlier in 2013. In October 2013, she was featured as a guest vocalist on Miley Cyrus' track "SMS (Bangerz)", taken from her fourth studio album Bangerz (2013).It debuted in the Billboard charts at number 10 in US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles, number 29 in the US Pop Digital Singles, and number 70 in the US Hot Digital Songs, respectively. On January 8, 2014, Spears won Favourite Pop Artist at the 40th People's Choice Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
For the week of July 26, 2014, "Alien" debuted and peaked at number 8 on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles despite not being released as a single from Britney Jean. In August 2014, Spears confirmed she had renewed her contract with RCA and that she was writing and recording new music for her next album. Spears announced through her Twitter account in August 2014 that she would be releasing an intimate apparel line called "The Intimate Britney Spears". It was available to be purchased beginning on September 9, 2014 in the United States and Canada through Spears's Intimate Collection website. It was later available on September 25 for purchase in Europe. The company now ships to over 200 countries including Australia and New Zealand. On September 25, 2014, Spears confirmed on Good Morning Britain that she had extended her contract with The AXIS and Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, to continue Britney: Piece Of Me for two additional years.
In March 2015, it was confirmed by People magazine that Spears would release a new single, "Pretty Girls", with Iggy Azalea, on May 4, 2015. The song debuted and peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and charted moderately in international territories. Spears and Azalea performed the track live at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards from The AXIS, the home of Spears's residency, to positive critical response. Entertainment Weekly praised the performance, noting "Spears gave one of her most energetic televised performances in years." On June 16, 2015, Giorgio Moroder released his album, Deja Vu, that featured Spears on "Tom's Diner". The song was released as the fourth single from the album on October 9. In an interview, Moroder praised Spears's vocals and said that she did a "good job" with the song and also stated that Spears "sounds so good that you would hardly recognize her." At the 2015 Teen Choice Awards, Spears received the Candie's Style Icon Award, her ninth Teen Choice Award. In November, Spears guest starred as a fictionalized version of herself on The CW series, Jane the Virgin. On the show, she danced to "Toxic" with Gina Rodriguez's character.
In 2016, Spears confirmed via social media that she had begun recording her ninth studio album. On March 1, 2016, V magazine announced that Spears would appear on the cover of its 100th issue, dated March 8, 2016, in addition to revealing three different covers shot by photographer Mario Testino for the milestone publication. Editor-in-chief of the magazine, Stephen Gan, revealed that Spears was selected for the "V100" issue because of her status as an icon in the industry. On the decision, Gan stated, “who in our world did not grow up listening to her music?" In May 2016, Spears launched a casual role-play gaming application titled Britney Spears: American Dream. The app, created by Glu Mobile, was made available through both iOS and Google Play. On May 22, 2016, Spears performed a medley of her past singles at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. In addition to opening the show, Spears was honored with the Billboard Millennium Award.
On July 14, 2016, Spears released the lead single, "Make Me…", from her ninth studio album, featuring guest vocals from American rapper G-Eazy. The album, Glory, was formally released on August 26, 2016. On August 16, 2016, MTV and Spears announced that she would perform at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. The performance marked Spears' first time returning to the VMA stage after her widely controversial performance of "Gimme More" at the 2007 show nine years earlier. Along with "Make Me…", Spears and G-Eazy also performed the latter's hit song "Me, Myself & I". Spears appeared on the cover of Marie Claire UK for the October 2016 issue. In the publication, Spears' revealed that she had suffered from crippling anxiety in the past, and that motherhood played a major role in helping her overcome it. "My boys don't care if everything isn't perfect. They don't judge me," Spears said in the issue.
In November 2016, during an interview with Las Vegas Blog, Spears confirmed she had already begun work on her next album, stating: "I’m not sure what I want the next album to sound like. I just know that I’m excited to get into the studio again and actually have already been back recording." In January 2017, Spears received four wins out of four nominations at the 43rd People's Choice Awards, including Favorite Pop Artist, Female Artist, Social Media celebrity as well as Comedic Collaboration for a skit with Ellen DeGeneres for The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
In March 2017, Spears announced that her residency show would be performed abroad as a world tour. The tour is scheduled to visit Japan, Israel and the Philippines, with more dates expected to be announced in the future. This will be Spears' first time performing in the latter two countries. In April 2017, the Israeli Labor Party announced that it would reschedule its July primary election to avoid conflict with Spears' sold-out Tel Aviv concert, citing traffic and security concerns. Spears' manager Larry Rudolph also announced the residency show will not be extended following her contract expiration with Caesars Entertainment at the end of 2017. Her last show will be held on December 31, 2017.