More than any other single artist, Britney Spears was the driving force behind the return of teen pop in the late '90s. Not only did she sell millions of records, she was a media fixture regardless of what she was (or wasn't) doing; among female singers of the era (many of whom followed in her footsteps), her celebrity star power was rivaled only by Jennifer Lopez.
She was born Britney Jean Spears 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. Her siblings are Bryan James and Jamie Lynn.
The middle of the three children, Spears developed an interest in performing at a young age. "Ever since I was 7 or 8 years old, my mom would have company over, and I was always performing for everybody in front of the TV. . .Even when I went to school, I was always the weird child; I would go outside and instead of playing, I wanted to have 'Star Search' competitions," Spears told Hollywood Reporter.
When she was eight, she auditioned for a spot on the Disney Channel's The New Mickey Mouse Club. Spears did not get the part, but she did eventually achieve one childhood dream: showcasing her vocal talents on the popular entertainment competition Star Search in 1992.
Spears tried again for The New Mickey Mouse Club when she was 11. This time, she was picked for the cast, which also featured other up-and-coming talents such as Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and actress Keri Russell. Spears appeared on the children's variety show for two seasons. "We had an amazing amazing time; we got to sing and dance and do everything," she later explained to Hollywood Reporter.
After its cancellation, Spears focused on developing her musical career. She eventually landed a contract with Jive Records. In December 1998, Spears released her first single, "...Baby One More Time." The catchy pop tune reached the top of the pop charts at the end of January 1999, propelled in part by its music video. In the video, the teenaged Spears wore a skimpier version of the traditional Catholic schoolgirl uniform, drawing sharp criticism from the parents of her young fans. Despite her racy outfit, Spears claimed to be a sweet, innocent Southern girl at heart.
The entire . . . Baby One More Time album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts that same year, and went on to sell more than 22 million copies worldwide. At the 1999 Billboard Music Awards, Spears picked up three awards Female Album Artist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, and Best New Artist of the Year. She was part of a teenage pop music wave, which included fellow Mickey Mouse Club alumni Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson.
Britney Jean Spears is your 14th cousin.
your father → Mamie C. Nichols (Collins)
his mother → Daniel J. COLLINS
her father → JOHN H. COLLINS
his father → Elizabeth Boothe
his mother → Abner Boothe
her father → Isaac Abner Boothe, Sr.
his father → George Boothe, Sr.
his father → Stephen Boothe, I
his father → Rebecca Boothe
his mother → Mary Morehouse (Hill)
her mother → Eliphalet Hill
her father → William Hill
his father → Sarah Greenleaf
his mother → Elizabeth Duncan
her sister → Samuel Duncan
her son → Hannah Scott
his daughter → Joseph Scott
her son → Joseph Scott
his son → Nehemiah Scott
his son → Bethany Scott
his daughter → John Magee
her son → Daniel Ira Magee
his son → Jacob Ira Magee
his son → Bertha Thompson Magee
his daughter → Lexie May (Thompson) Forbes
her daughter → Emma Jean (Forbes) Spears
her daughter → Jamie Spears
her son → Britney Jean Spears