Britney Jean Spears was born in McComb (Mississippi) and raised in rural Louisiana (Kentwood) to Jamie Spears and Lynne Spears. As a child, Britney attended dance classes, and she was great at gymnastics, winning many competitions and the like. But, most of all, Britney loved to sing. At age 8, Britney tried out for The All New Mickey Mouse Club (1989), but was turned down due to her young age. This directed her to an off-Broadway show, “Ruthless”, for a 2-year run as the title character. At age 11, she again tried for The All New Mickey Mouse Club (1989) and, this time, made it as a mouseketeer alongside many stars of today (Justin Timberlake and J.C. Chasez of NSYNC and Ryan Gosling). Her big break, however, came when she was signed as a Jive Recording Artist in the late 90s. With the release of her debut album, “…Baby One More Time” in early 1999, Britney became an international success, selling 13 million copies of “Baby” and 9 million (as of July 2001) of her sophomore album, “Oops!…I Did It Again”, released in May of 2000.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) named Spears the eighth top-selling female artist in the United States, with 34 million certified albums. She has sold over 100 million albums worldwide and over 100 million singles making her one of thebest-selling music artists of all time. According to Billboard Spears has sold about 22.38 million singles in digital downloads in US and is the fourth best-selling female artist since Nielsen SoundScan began.
Rolling Stone recognized her instant success as one of the Top 25 Teen Idol Breakout Moments of all time, while VH1 ranked her eleventh on their “100 Greatest Women in Music” list in 2012, and Billboard named her the sexiest woman in music. Forbes reported that Spears was the highest paid female musician of 2012, with earnings of $58 million, having last topped the list in 2002.
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