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Britney Jean Spears (born on December 2, 1981 and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, United States) is a Grammy-winning multi-platinum American pop singer, songwriter, dancer and occasional actress. She debuted in 1998 with her single ...Baby One More Time. Having sold more than 100 million records worldwide, she is one of the most influential and popular post-2000 icons of music, with six #1 albums on the Billboard 200 and The United World Chart. Spears is one of the few young musicians to appear on lists of best selling music acts of all-time. She also holds several world records.
She has released eleven albums to date:"...Baby One More Time" (1999), "Oops!...I Did It Again" (2000), "Britney" (2001), "In the Zone" (2003), "Greatest Hits: My Prerogative" (2004), "B In The Mix: The Remixes" (2005), "Blackout" (2007), "Circus" (2008), "The Singles Collection" (2009), "Femme Fatale" (2011) and "B in the Mix: The Remixes Vol. 2" (2011).
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.
Britney now shares 50/50 custody and will take her sons on tour with her.
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.
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