Britney Jean Spears
was born on December
2, 1981 in Kentwood Louisiana
to Jamie and Lynne Spears
. According to Lynne, Britney "was a very sweet and lovable baby." Britney started talking earlier than most children, and her talent
was evident early in her life. Britney's first public
performance was at her local church
, where she sang "What Child is This
" at the age of 4.
While concentrating on activities such as dancing and singing, Britney also got started in gymnastics. This was worthwhile for her, as she proved herself an able gymnast. Her gym was an hour drive from her home with three hours of practice daily, but it didn't stop her from winning several state titles at her level. Her favorite gymnastics events were floor exercise, and the uneven bars. She stuck with gymnastics until she was about 9.
After her ninth birthday, Britney went back to dancing. She joined a dance company, and competed around the state in both group and solo dance competitions. Britney eventually travelled from Kentwood to Atlanta, Georgia to audition for a part on the Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club. She was considered too young to be part of the show, however one of the producers was amazed by her talent. He suggested to Lynne that she fly to New York, and look into getting Britney an agent.
Britney spent three summers in New York City studying at the off-Broadway Dance Center, as well as the Professional Performing Arts School. In 1991, Britney landed a part in the off-Broadway production of Ruthless. She also appeared in several national commercials.
When Britney turned 11, she was finally brought on as a member of the Mickey Mouse Club. She stayed with the show for two seasons (1993 and 1994), up until the point when it was cancelled. When the show was pulled, Britney returned to Kentwood to start High School. She missed performing, and returned to New York to give a second go at singing. She was offered an opportunity to audition for an all-girl singing group, however, it was short lived because she decided she was a better fit for a solo career.
At 15, Britney put together a demo tape. An executive with Jive Records heard the demo, and signed her to a development deal. She was partnered with Eric Foster White, a producer who worked with several high-profile stars such as Whitney Houston, and Hi-Five. She also traveled to Sweden to work with Max Martin, who had previously worked with The Backstreet Boys, Ace of Base, and Robyn. Britney's first album for Jive was completed by early 1998.
Later that year, Britney started doing some promotional appearances at shopping malls across the country. Her routine included four songs, two back-up dancers, and promotional copies of her music. In October, the "...Baby one more time" single was released, and shot up the charts. As a result of her new success, Britney graduated from mall performances to becoming the opening act for N*Sync through January of 1999.
On January 12, 1999, Britney's first album "...Baby one more time" was released into stores. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts with 'N Sync coming in a close second. She was 17.
And the rest (as they say) is history!
Albums ...Baby one more time
Oops!...I did it again!