Britney Spears facts for kids

Born (1981-12-02) December 2, 1981 (age 42) Education Occupation Years active 1992-present Spouse(s) Children 2 Parent(s) Relatives Awards Full list Musical career Genres Instruments Vocals Labels Signature

Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Often referred to as the “Princess of Pop”, she is credited with influencing the revival of teen pop during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Early life and career beginnings

Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2, 1981, in McComb, Mississippi, the second child of James “Jamie” Parnell Spears and Lynne Irene Bridges. Her maternal grandmother, Lillian Portell, was English (born in London), and one of Spears’s maternal great-great-grandfathers was Maltese. Her siblings are Bryan James Spears and Jamie Lynn Spears. Born in the Bible Belt, where socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a particularly strong religious influence, she was baptized as a Southern Baptist and sang in a church choir as a child. As an adult, she has studied Kabbalist teachings. On August 5, 2021, Spears announced that she had converted to Catholicism. Her mother, sister, and nieces Maddie Aldridge and Ivey Joan Watson, are also Catholic. However, on September 5, 2022, after Spears’s youngest son and ex-husband, Kevin Federline, did an interview defending her father’s actions during her conservatorship, she stated: “I don’t believe in God anymore because of the way my children and my family have treated me. There is nothing to believe in anymore. I’m an atheist y’all”.

At age three, Spears began attending dance lessons in her hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, and was selected to perform as a solo artist at the annual recital. Aged five she made her local stage debut, singing “What Child Is This?” at her kindergarten graduation. During her childhood, she also had gymnastics and voice lessons, and won many state-level competitions and children’s talent shows. In gymnastics, Spears attended Béla Károlyi’s training camp. She said of her ambition as a child, “I was in my own world, … I found out what I’m supposed to do at an early age”.

When Spears was eight, she and her mother Lynne traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to audition for the 1990s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club. Casting director Matt Casella rejected her as too young, but introduced her to Nancy Carson, a New York City talent agent. Carson was impressed with Spears’s singing and suggested enrolling her at the Professional Performing Arts School; shortly afterward, Lynne and her daughters moved to a sublet apartment in New York.

Spears was hired for her first professional role as the understudy for the lead role of Tina Denmark in the off-Broadway musical Ruthless! She also appeared as a contestant on the popular television show Star Search and was cast in a number of commercials. In December 1992, she was cast in The Mickey Mouse Club alongside Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, and Keri Russell. After the show was canceled in 1994, she returned to Mississippi and enrolled at McComb’s Parklane Academy. Although she made friends with most of her classmates, she compared the school to “the opening scene in Clueless with all the cliques. … I was so bored. I was the point guard on the basketball team. I had my boyfriend, and I went to homecoming and Christmas formal. But I wanted more.”

In June 1997, Spears was in talks with manager Lou Pearlman to join the 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 that he wanted to pitch her to record labels, for which she needed a professional demo made. He sent Spears an unused song of Toni Braxton; she rehearsed for a week and recorded her vocals in a studio. Spears traveled 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, saying that 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. Senior vice president of A&R Jeff Fenster said about Spears’s audition that “it’s very rare to hear someone that age who can deliver emotional content and commercial appeal … For any artist, the motivation—the ‘eye of the tiger’—is extremely important. And Britney had that.” Spears sang Houston’s “I Have Nothing” (1992) for the executives, and was subsequently signed to the label. They assigned her to work with producer Eric Foster White for a month; he reportedly shaped her voice from “lower and less poppy” delivery to “distinctively, unmistakably Britney”. After hearing the recorded material, president Clive Calder ordered a full album. Spears had originally envisioned “Sheryl Crow music, but younger; more adult contemporary”. She felt secure with her label’s appointment of producers, since “It made more sense to go pop, because I can dance to it—it’s more me.” She flew to Cheiron Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, where half of the album was recorded from March to April 1998, with producers Max Martin, Denniz Pop, and Rami Yacoub, among others.

Career

Spears signed with Jive Records in 1997 at age fifteen. Her first two studio albums, …Baby One More Time (1999) and Oops!… I Did It Again (2000), are among the best-selling albums of all time and made Spears the best-selling teenage artist of all time. With first-week sales of over 1.3 million copies, Oops!… I Did It Again held the record for the fastest-selling album by a female artist in the United States for fifteen years. Spears adopted a more mature style for her albums Britney (2001) and In the Zone (2003), and starred in the 2002 film Crossroads.

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Spears was executive producer of her fifth studio album Blackout (2007), often referred to as her best work. Following a series of highly publicized personal problems, promotion for the album was limited, and Spears was involuntarily placed in a conservatorship. Since then, she released the chart-topping albums, Circus (2008) and Femme Fatale (2011), the latter of which became her most successful era of singles in the US charts. She embarked on a four-year concert residency, Britney: Piece of Me, at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to promote her next two albums Britney Jean (2013) and Glory (2016).

Regarded as a pop icon, Spears has sold over 100 million records worldwide, including over 70 million in the United States, making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists. She has achieved six number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and four number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100. Her singles “Oops!… I Did It Again”, “Toxic”, “Scream & Shout”, and “Hold Me Closer” topped the charts in most countries. With “3” in 2009 and “Hold It Against Me” in 2011, Spears became the second artist after Mariah Carey in the Hot 100’s history to debut at number one with two or more songs. Her heavily choreographed videos earned her the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. She has earned numerous other awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award, 15 Guinness World Records, six MTV Video Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards (including the Millennium Award), the inaugural Radio Disney Icon Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

On February 21, 2022, it was reported that Spears signed a $15 million book deal for her upcoming memoir, one of the biggest book deals of all time.

On August 26, Spears and English musician Elton John released the duet “Hold Me Closer”, a remake of John’s 1972 single “Tiny Dancer”. It debuted at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming her 14th top-ten single and her highest-charting song in the chart since “Scream & Shout” (2012). It debuted at number three on the UK Singles Chart.

Spears and the rapper will.i.am released their single, “Mind Your Business”, on July 21, 2023.

Spears was ranked by Billboard as the eighth-biggest artist of the 2000s. In the United States, she is the fourth best-selling female album artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era as well as the best-selling female album artist of the 2000s. “…Baby One More Time” was named the greatest debut single of all time by Rolling Stone in 2020. In 2004, Spears launched a perfume brand with Elizabeth Arden, Inc.; sales exceeded $1.5 billion as of 2012[update]. Forbes has reported Spears as the highest-earning female musician of 2001 and 2012. By 2012, she had topped Yahoo!’s list of most searched celebrities seven times in twelve years. Time named Spears one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2021, while also winning the reader poll by receiving the highest number of votes.

Artistry

Influences

Spears has cited Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Whitney Houston as major influences, her “three favorite artists” as a child, whom she would “sing along to … day and night in [her] living room”; Houston’s “I Have Nothing” was the song she auditioned to that landed her record deal with Jive Records. Spears also named Mariah Carey as “one of the main reasons I started singing”. Throughout her career, Spears has drawn frequent comparisons to Madonna and Jackson in particular, in terms of vocals, choreography, and stage presence. According to Spears: “I know when I was younger, I looked up to people … like, you know, Janet Jackson and Madonna. And they were major inspirations for me. But I also had my own identity and I knew who I was.”

Musical style

Spears is described as a pop artist and generally explores the genre in the form of dance-pop. Following her debut, she was credited with influencing the revival of teen pop in the late 1990s. Her third studio album, Britney derived from the teen pop niche “[r]hythmically and melodically”, but was described as “sharper, tougher than what came before”, incorporating genres such as R&B, disco, and funk.

Spears has explored and heavily incorporated the genres of electropop and dance music in her records, as well as influences of urban and hip hop. Spears’s ninth studio album Glory is more eclectic and experimental than her previous released work. .

Voice

Spears is a soprano. Other sources state that she possesses a contralto vocal range. Prior to her breakthrough success, she is described as having sung “much deeper than her highly recognizable trademark voice of today”, with Eric Foster White, who worked with Spears on her debut album …Baby One More Time, being cited as “[shaping] her voice over the course of a month” upon being signed to Jive Records “to where it is today—distinctively, unmistakably Britney”.

Legacy

Referred to as the “Princess of Pop”, Spears was credited as one of the “driving force[s] behind the return of teen pop in the late 1990s”.

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Spears was at the forefront of the female teen pop explosion starting in 1999 and extending through the 2000s, leading the pack of Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, and Mandy Moore.

After eighteen years as a performer, Billboard described her as having “earned her title as one of pop’s reigning queens. In 2012, she was ranked as the fourth VH1’s 50 Greatest Women of the Video Era show list. VH1 also cited her among its choices on the 100 Greatest Women in Music in 2012 and the 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons in 2003. In 2020, Billboard ranked her eight on its 100 Greatest Music Video Artists of all-time list.

Spears and her work have influenced various artists including Katy Perry, Meghan Trainor, Demi Lovato, Kelly Key, Kristinia DeBarge, Little Boots, Charli XCX, Marina Diamandis, the Weeknd, Tegan and Sara, Pixie Lott, Grimes, Selena Gomez, Hailee Steinfeld, Pabllo Vittar, Tinashe, Victoria Justice, Cassie, Leah Wellbaum of Slothrust, the Saturdays, Normani, Miley Cyrus, Cheryl, Lana Del Rey, Ava Max, Billie Eilish, Sam Smith, and Rina Sawayama. During the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, Lady Gaga said that Spears “taught us all how to be fearless, and the industry wouldn’t be the same without her.”

Forbes named Spears the sixth-highest-earning female musician of 2015.

Awards and achievements

Throughout her career, Spears has earned numerous awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award; fifteen Guinness World Records; six MTV Video Music Awards, including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award; seven Billboard Music Awards, including the Millennium Award; the inaugural Radio Disney Icon Award; the GLAAD Media Award’s Vanguard Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

She is listed by the Guinness World Records as having the “Best-selling album by a teenage solo artist” for her debut studio album, …Baby One More Time, which sold over thirteen million copies in the United States. Melissa Ruggieri of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported: “She’s also marked for being the best-selling teenage artist. Before she turned 20 in 2001, Spears had sold over 37 million albums worldwide”.

As of 2016[update], according to the BBC, she has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time; and more than 70 million records in United States, including 36.9 million digital singles and 33.6 million digital albums. Spears is also recognized as the best-selling female albums artist of the 2000s in the United States, as well as the fifth overall. In December 2009, Billboard ranked Spears the 8th Artist of the 2000s decade in the United States. She is one of the few artists in history to have had a number-one single and a number-one studio album in the US during each of the three decades of her career. With “3” in 2009 and “Hold It Against Me” in 2011, she became the second artist after Mariah Carey in the Hot 100’s history to debut at number one with two or more songs. In 2016, Spears ranked at number twenty on Billboard‘s Greatest Of All Time Top Dance Club Artists list.

Other ventures

Product and endorsements

In 2000, Spears released a limited edition of sunglasses titled Shades of Britney. In 2001, she signed a deal with shoe company Skechers, and a $7-8 million promotional deal with Pepsi, their biggest entertainment deal at the time. Aside from numerous commercials with the latter during that year, she also appeared in a 2004 Pepsi television commercial in the theme of “Gladiators” with singers Beyoncé, Pink, and Enrique Iglesias. On June 19, 2002, she released her first multi-platform video game, Britney’s Dance Beat, which received positive reviews.

In March 2009, Spears was announced as the new face of clothing brand Candie’s. Dari Marder, chief marketing officer for the brand, said: “Everybody loves a comeback and nobody’s doing it better than Britney. She’s just poised for even greater success.” In 2010, Spears designed a limited edition line for the brand, which was released in stores in July 2010. In 2011, she teamed up with Sony, Make Up For Ever, and Plenty of Fish to release her music video for “Hold It Against Me”, earning her $500,000 for the product placement.

Spears also teamed up with Hasbro in 2012 to release an exclusive version of Twister Dance, which includes a remix of “Till the World Ends”. She was also featured on a commercial, which was directed by Ray Kay, to promote the game. Spears was also featured on the commercial of Twister Dance Rave, and the game included a Twister remix of “Circus”. In March 2018, it was revealed that Spears would be the face of Kenzo, a contemporary French luxury clothing house.

Spears’s range of commercial deals and products also includes beauty care products and perfumes. She released her first perfume with Elizabeth Arden, Curious in 2004, which broke the company’s first-week gross for a perfume. By 2009, she had released seven more perfumes including Fantasy.

Worldwide, Spears sold over one million bottles in the first five years, with gross receipts of $1.5 billion. In 2016, Spears contacted Glu Mobile to create her own role-playing game, Britney Spears: American Dream. The app officially launched in May 2016 and is compatible with iOS and Android. On June 17, 2016, Spears announced the release of her twentieth fragrance, Private Show. As of January 2018[update], Spears has released 24 fragrances through Elizabeth Arden.

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Philanthropy

Spears founded The Britney Spears Foundation, a charitable entity set up to help children in need. The philosophy behind the Foundation was that music and entertainment has a healing quality that can benefit children. The Foundation also supported the annual Britney Spears Camp for the Performing Arts, where campers had the opportunity to explore and develop their talents. In April 2002, through the efforts of Spears and The Britney Spears Foundation, a grant of $1 million was made to the Twin Towers Fund to support the children of uniformed service heroes affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, including New York City Fire Department and its Emergency Medical Services Command, the New York City Police Department, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York State Office of court Administration and other government offices. However, it was reported in 2008 that the Foundation had a deficit of $200,000. After Spears went through conservatorship, her father and lawyer Andrew Wallet zeroed out the effort, leading to its closure in 2011.

On October 30, 2001, Spears, alongside Bono and other popular recording artists under the name “Artists Against AIDS Worldwide”, released an album consisting of multiple versions of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”, with the intention to benefit AIDS programs in Africa and other impoverished regions. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Spears donated $350,000 to Music Rising. Later in 2011, she raised $200,000 during An Evening of Southern Style at a private residence in Beverly Hills to benefit the St. Bernard Project, with the help of several celebrities, including Hilary Duff, Selena Gomez, Kelly Osbourne, Kellan Lutz, and Kim Kardashian. Spears has also helped several charities during her career, including Madonna’s Kabbalah-based Spirituality for Kids, cancer charity Gilda’s Club Worldwide, Promises Foundation, and United Way, with the latter two focused on giving families from various disadvantaged situations new hope and stable foundations for the future.

On October 24, 2015, Spears donated $120,000 to the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. In addition, $1 of each ticket sale for her Las Vegas residency, Britney: Piece of Me, was donated to the nonprofit organization. Spears also fundraised for the charity through social media, in addition to selling limited edition merchandise, with all proceeds going to the NCCF. On October 27, 2016, Spears partnered with Zappos and XCYCLE to host the Britney Spears Piece of Me Charity Ride in Boca Park, Las Vegas to raise additional money toward her goal of $1 million for the NCCF, with $450,000 having already been raised from Spears’s ticket sales and merchandise. Participants were entered for a chance to win a spin class with Spears herself. The event ultimately went on to raise $553,130. The fundraising ultimately led to the development of the NCCF Britney Spears Campus in Las Vegas, which saw its grand opening on November 4, 2017. Spears also regularly participates in Spirit Day to combat bullying of LGBTQ youth and bullying.

In March 2020, Spears was participating in the #DoYourPartChallenge, which entails helping people with anything they might need during the coronavirus crisis. She told fans to send her messages on Instagram if they need supportive words during the coronavirus pandemic, with Spears picking three fans.

Personal life

On January 3, 2004, Spears married her childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander in Las Vegas, Nevada. The marriage was annulled 55 hours later.

On September 18, 2004, she married Kevin Federline. The couple have two sons, Sean Preston Spears Federline (born September 14, 2005) and Jayden James Spears Federline (born September 12, 2006). Two months after giving birth to her second son, Spears filed for divorce from Federline. In September 2007, she lost some custody of her sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James, to her ex-husband, Federline. At the beginning of January 2008, she lost again the full custody of her children after a mental breakdown. In February 2008, Spears’ father took control of her estate. She is currently has 50/50 custody of her two sons.

Spears stated in 2012 that she has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Spears has been in a relationship with model and fitness coach Sam Asghari since her music video Slumber Party.

On June 9, 2022, she and Asghari were married. On August 16, it was announced that the couple separated after 14 months of marriage.

Discography

  • …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)
  • Glory (2016)

Selected filmography

  • Longshot (2001)
  • Crossroads (2002)
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
  • Pauly Shore Is Dead (2003)
  • Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
  • Corporate Animals (2019)

Concerts and residencies

Tours

  • …Baby One More Time Tour (1999)
  • (You Drive Me) Crazy Tour (2000)
  • Oops!… I Did It Again Tour (2000-2001)
  • Dream Within a Dream Tour (2001-2002)
  • The Onyx Hotel Tour (2004)
  • The M+M’s Tour (2007)
  • The Circus Starring Britney Spears (2009)
  • Femme Fatale Tour (2011)
  • Britney: Live in Concert (2017)
  • Piece of Me Tour (2018)

Residencies

  • Britney: Piece of Me (2013-2017)

See also

In Spanish: Britney Spears para niños

  • List of best-selling singles worldwide

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