1981 – Britney Spears is born on this day in rock history! Truly she has lived up to the true tradition of Rock ‘n Roll Spirit… Sex, drugs and … well… she got the first two.
Birth name Britney Jean Spears
Born December 2, 1981 (1981-12-02) (age 29)
McComb, Mississippi, United States
Genres Pop, dance-pop
Occupations Singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, record producer, author, fashion designer, video director
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1992–present
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 began performing as a child, landing acting roles in stage productions and television shows. She signed with Jive Records in 1997 and released her debut album in 1999. During her first decade within the music industry, she became a prominent figure in mainstream popular music and popular culture, followed by a much-publicized personal life. Her first two albums established her as a pop icon and broke sales records, while title tracks “…Baby One More Time” and “Oops!… I Did It Again” became international number-one hits. Spears was credited with influencing the revival of teen pop during the late 1990s.
In 2001, she released her third studio album Britney and expanded her brand, playing the starring role in the film Crossroads. She assumed creative control of her fourth studio album, In the Zone released in 2003, which yielded chart-topping singles “Me Against the Music”, “Toxic” and “Everytime”. After the release of two compilation albums, Spears experienced personal struggles and career went under hiatus. Her fifth studio album, Blackout, was released in 2007 and despite receiving little promotion, it spawned hits “Gimme More” and “Piece of Me”. In 2008, her erratic behaviour and hospitalizations caused her to be placed in a conservatorship. The same year, her sixth studio album Circus was released, with the global chart-topping lead single “Womanizer”. After embarking on The Circus Starring Britney Spears, she released greatest hits The Singles Collection, which featured U.S. and Canadian number-one single “3”.
Spears has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists. In June 2010, Spears was ranked sixth on Forbes list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential celebrities in the world; she is also ranked as the third most powerful musician in the world.
1981–97: Early life and beginnings
Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2, 1981, the second child of Lynne Irene (née Bridges) and James Parnell Spears. She is of English heritage through her maternal grandmother, who was born in London, and of distant Maltese descent.
In June 1997, Spears was in talks with manager Lou Pearlman to join female pop group Innosense. Lynne asked family friend and entertainment lawyer Larry Rudolph for his opinion and submitted a tape of Spears singing over a Whitney Houston karaoke song along with some pictures. Rudolph decided he wanted to pitch her to record labels, therefore she needed a professional demo. He sent Spears an unused song from Toni Braxton; she rehearsed for a week and recorded her vocals in a studio with a sound engineer. Spears travelled to New York with the demo and met with executives from four labels, returning to Kentwood the same day. Three of the labels rejected her, arguing audiences wanted pop bands such as The Backstreet Boys and The Spice Girls, and “there wasn’t going to be another Madonna, another Debbie Gibson, or another Tiffany.” Two weeks later, executives from Jive Records returned calls to Rudolph.
1998–2000: …Baby One More Time and Oops!… I Did It Again
Spears performing at the …Baby One More Time Tour in 1999
After Spears returned to the United States, Spears embarked on a shopping mall promotional tour to promote her forthcoming album. Her show was a four song set and she was accompanied by two back up dancers. Her first concert tour followed, as an opening act for ‘N Sync.
On June 28, 1999, Spears began her first headlining …Baby One More Time Tour in North America, which was positively received by critics,
2001–03: Britney, Crossroads, and In the Zone
On February 2001, Spears got a promotional deal for $7–8 million dollars with Pepsi, and released another book co-written with her mother, entitled A Mother’s Gift.
Spears performing “Me Against the Music” at the NFL Kickoff Live 2003
In June 2002, Spears opened her first restaurant, Nyla, in New York City, but terminated her relationship in November, citing mismanagement and “management’s failure to keep her fully apprised”.
2004–07: Compilation albums, motherhood, personal struggles and Blackout
On January 3, 2004, Spears married childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The marriage was annulled 55 hours later, stating that Spears “lacked understanding of her actions”.
In November 2005, she released her first remix compilation, B in the Mix: The Remixes, which consists of eleven remixes.
Her fifth studio album, Blackout, was released in October 2007. It debuted at the top of charts in Canada and Ireland, number two in the U.S. Billboard 200,—held off from the top spot by Eagles’s Long Road out of Eden— France, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom and the top ten in Australia, Korea, New Zealand and many European nations. In the United States, Spears became the only female artist to have her first five studio albums debut at the two top slots of the chart.
2008–present: Conservatorship, Circus, and The Circus Starring Britney Spears
Spears at the album release party of Circus and her 27th birthday party.
On January 3, 2008, Spears refused to relinquish custody of her sons to Federline’s representatives. She was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, after police that arrived at her house noted she appeared to be under the influence of an illicit substance. The following day, Spears’s visitation rights were suspended at an emergency court hearing, and Federline was given sole physical and legal custody of the children. On January 31, 2008, Spears was committed to the psychiatric ward of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and put on 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold. The court placed her under temporary conservatorship of her father James Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet, giving them complete control of her assets.
Her sixth studio album Circus, was released in December 2008. It received positive reviews from critics; according to the music review aggregation of Metacritic, it garnered an average score of 64/100.
She released her second greatest hits album, The Singles Collection in November 2009. “3” became her third number one single in the US, and was the first song to debut at the top of the charts in three years.
In March 2010, it was confirmed by Spears’s label that an album was in the process of being recorded though no exact date of release had been determined.
Musical style and performance
Spears performing in 2009’s world tour The Circus Starring Britney Spears
Following her debut, Spears was credited with leading the revival of teen pop in the late 1990s. The Daily Yomiuri reported that ”
Oops!…I Did It Again and subsequent albums saw Spears working with several contemporary R&B producers, leading to “a combination of bubblegum, urban soul, and raga.”
Spears possesses the vocal range of a contralto. Her vocal ability has also been criticized, often drawing unfavorable comparison to her pop rival, Christina Aguilera
Like other dance-oriented pop stars, it has been widely reported that Spears lip-syncs in concert. Author Gary Giddins wrote in his book Natural selection: Gary Giddins on comedy, film, music, and books (2006) that “among many other performers accused of moving their lips while a machine does the labor are Britney Spears, Luciano Pavarotti, Shania Twain, Beyoncé, and Madonna.”
Throughout her career, Spears has drawn frequent comparisons to Madonna and Janet Jackson, in terms of vocals, choreography and stage presence, citing both as influences in her work. She has also named Michael Jackson as a source of inspiration.”
Many critics have argued that Spears should not be considered in the same league of talent as Jackson or Madonna. Journalists Erika Montalvo and Jackie Sheppard of the Rocky Mountain Collegian observed ”
Reporter Ed Bumgardner commented her transition from teen pop start to adult sex symbol with her third studio album Britney “takes its cues from two other successful performers—Madonna and Janet Jackson—both of whom she brazenly rips off and both of whom, like Spears, are passable singers, at best.”
Madonna’s respect for Spears has also been a subject of observation. Santiago Fouz-Hernández and Freya Jarman-Ivens, authors of Madonna’s drowned worlds: new approaches to her cultural transformations, 1983-2003 (2004) note that the most well known cross-generational relationship exists between Spears and Madonna in which “the entertainment newsmedia almost became obsessed with their relationship of mutual admiration.”
Spears’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Spears became an international 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”.
Barbara Ellen of The Observer has 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 Mouseketeer, 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”.
Bebo Norman wrote a song about Spears, called “Britney”, which was released as a single. Boy band Busted also wrote a song about Spears called “Britney”, which was on their debut album.
Main articles: Britney Spears discography and Britney Spears videography
* …Baby One More Time (1999)
* Oops!… I Did It Again (2000)
* Britney (2001)
* In the Zone (2003)
* Blackout (2007)
* Circus (2008)