This long-time pop-princess was the best-selling female album artist of the decade in 2000, and Guinness World Records called her the most searched person on the internet for the decade as well. But like every story, hers has a beginning…
Baby for the First Time
Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2nd, 1981, in McComb, Mississippi. She was the second child of James Parnell Spears and Lynne Irene Bridges. She had a maternal grandmother from England, Lillian Portell, and one of her maternal great-great-grandfathers came from Malta.
She has an elder brother named Bryan James, and a younger sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, who has found fame of her own. Britney started life in the middle of America's Bible belt.
Britney Starts Dancing
At the tender age of three, while living in Kentwood, Louisiana, Britney started taking dance lessons. She made her debut on a local stage at the age of five, singing the classic Christmas carol “What Child is This?” at her kindergarten graduation. Even at a young age, Spears was ambitious, and her parents were constantly driving her to dance, gymnastics, voice lessons, and talent shows.
She has said of the period: “I was in my own world...I found out what I'm supposed to do at an early age.” At the age of eight, Britney went with her mom to audition for "The Mickey Mouse Club." She was too young but still made important connections in the industry.
Getting Her Start in Showbiz
Spears got her next shot at fame a few years later. At age ten, she landed an understudy role on the Off-Broadway musical "Ruthless!" She auditioned to become part of "The Mickey Mouse Club" a second time, a year later, and was accepted, finding herself among Christina Aguilera, Keri Russell, and Ryan Gosling.
Apparently, it was Gosling who taught Spears about the birds and the bees, giving her a sex-ed class when she asked him about it. Disney is apparently great at finding young talent – Justin Timberlake was also part of the cast. We'll hear more about him later.
Something Like a Normal Life
Spears and her family spent three years filming "The Mickey Mouse Club" in Orlando, and when the show was canceled, they all moved back to Kentwood. After her taste of stardom, Spears led a pretty normal life. She re-enrolled in high school and played point guard on the basketball team.
Her father bought a gym, and the family all pitched in to keep it successful. Britney coordinated aerobics classes. She also got a part-time job at her great-grandmother's crawfish restaurant as a waitress. If there's one thing we know about Britney, it's that she knows how to work hard.
She Always Wanted More
During this period of her life, Spears was surviving, but she wasn't thriving. She knew she wanted more out of life than just working as a waitress, playing basketball, and going to prom. She had her eyes on the stars. Specifically, she wanted to try out professional singing.
Her mother, Lynne, was just as determined to get her daughter a good career, so she found Britney a manager to help her find singing jobs. A breakthrough came in June 1997, when an all-girl band asked Britney to join them. Yes, back in 1997, Britney was all but unknown.
Dodged a Bullet
Spears and her manager joined with recording producer bigwig Lou Pearlman to join his female pop group Innosense. Still, she didn't have a professional demo tape to pitch to record labels. Pearlman sent one of Toni Braxton's unused songs, and she recorded her take, but three labels rejected her.
They wanted their singers to sound like the Spice Girls, and there was no market for solo artists. By not working with Pearlman, however, Spears got lucky. He was found guilty of being behind one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history, as well as guilty of fraud and misrepresentation, getting him twenty-five years in prison, though he died before his sentence ended.
After weeks of searching, Jive Records signed Britney, and she flew to their Cheiron Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, to record her debut album from March to April 1998. Remember, she recorded her debut album in early 1998.
After returning to the states, she went on a promotional tour of shopping malls for the album, bringing a four-song set and two backup dancers. She opened for *NSYNC a few times, reuniting with former "The Mickey Mouse Club" cast member Justin Timberlake. The two started seeing each other romantically and quickly became one of the era's hot tabloid couples.
Spears's debut album – "...Baby One More Time" – was released on January 12th, 1999. It shot to the top of the charts like nothing anybody has ever seen, debuting at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. After only a month, the Recording Industry Association of America certified it double platinum.
Fifteen different countries saw the album top the charts, and in just one year, it sold ten million copies. Thanks to the lead single, it became the best-selling album by a teenage artist ever. It's a record that still stands today.
Baby One More Time
Jive Records wanted the music video for Spears's titanic single to be animated. It was Britney herself who disagreed, instead suggesting that she be dressed as a Catholic schoolgirl. “...Baby One More Time” sold half a million copies on its first day and hung out at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks.
It's become one of the best-selling singles of all time and almost single-handedly revitalized teen pop. All of this stardom, success, and money happened before Spears even turned twenty years old. Britney's star was rising, but that doesn't mean it would always be easy.
She Did it Again
Britney Spears's second studio album came out in May of 2000. "Oops!... I Did It Again" debuted at number one in the United States, selling 1.3 million copies, breaking the record for the highest debut sales of any solo artist. This album has sold more than twenty million copies worldwide. The same year, Spears set out on her "Oops!... I Did It Again Tour," grossing $40.5 million.
She released a book, "Britney Spears' Heart to Heart," which she co-wrote with her mom. In September 2000, she performed at the MTV Video Music Awards. She began the performance as normal, but halfway through, she ripped her black suit off to reveal a much more risque flesh-colored bodysuit and provocative dance routine.
Spears and Timberlake
After much speculation, Britney confirmed that she was dating *NSYNC superstar Justin Timberlake. The surface made it seem like a fairy tale romance. The lovebirds were on cloud nine, wearing the infamous matching denim outfits at the American Music Awards.
They even wore matching basketball jerseys at a charity basketball game, emblazoned with their nicknames for each other – Stinky for Timberlake, and Pinky for Spears. Fans loved the power couple, and so were shocked when they split in 2002. Rumors started to emerge before long. JT would eventually spill all the beans in one of his early solo songs.
He's Not Fooling Anybody
Not long after this star-studded split, Timberlake released the song “Cry Me a River” in December 2002. Fans loved the haunting, beautiful lyrics, but it didn't take a genius to point out the similarities between the female star in the music video and Spears. While Timberlake has never publicly acknowledged who the song is about...we all know who it is.
He's even said that he wrote the song in the span of two hours, immediately following the breakup. Spears wrote a song in response: “Everytime,” with her friend's help and backing vocalist Annet Artani. The ballad couldn't defeat Timberlake's song, though.
Timberlake is Doing Fine
One of the longest-running and most prevalent rumors about the breakup is that Spears cheated on Timberlake with choreographer Wade Robson. Britney tried to hide the affair from Justin's eyes, but he discovered it nonetheless. Despite it all, it seems like Timberlake has ended up with a pretty wonderful life: he's married to the beautiful Jessica Biel, they have two children together.
Based on his 2019 album "Man of the Woods," he has a handsome log cabin in the woods where he sits to write his music and get away from it all. Spears’s life has gone through many ups and downs, but she can't claim the storybook life of Timberlake.
Almost a Real Princess
Become part of the pantheon of pop power, and you're going to find all kinds of people coming after your hand in marriage. But we might not even get the kind of suitors Spears did – none other than England's Prince William sent an invitation to meet.
This member of English royalty apparently had a thing for pop stars – he was known to have a crush on Baby Spice, Emma Bunton, as well. Spears admitted to having exchanged flirty emails with the prince. During her 2000 tour across the pond, the two were supposed to have a dinner date, but Spears stood William up. What chutzpah the gal had!
How's Banana Doing, We Wonder
While on tour after her second album, Spears found inspiration in hip hop artists such as Jay-Z and The Neptunes and started creating new songs with a little more funk. She signed a million-dollar promotional deal with Pepsi and released her self-titled third studio album in November 2001. The album's first single, “I'm a Slave 4 U,” became a top-ten hit worldwide.
Spears drew more inspiration from Salma Hayek in "From Dusk till Dawn" and revealed a stunning performance at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. She draped a seven-foot-long albino Burmese python over her shoulders. The python's name was Banana, and she passed away in 2013 after growing to a total of sixteen feet long.
Britney Does Things her Way
As she toured, promoted, and recorded, Britney didn't have much time to write her own lyrics. She had a stable of writers to help her out there, so it wasn't until her third album that she started to provide her own material. Leave it to Britney to create her own unique way of keeping track of the lyrics she came up with.
She would call her house phone from her cellphone and leave a message on her own answering machine, singing through the phone to make a recording for herself. Not only did it keep the ideas from disappearing, but she had a recording to transport with ease. One of the first songs Spears created in this way was “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.”
Following in Her Grandmother's Footsteps
In 2002, Spears decided to right by her great-grandmother, opening her own restaurant in New York City. The restaurant bore the title Nyla, and it sold Louisiana-style Cajun food, the same thing that Spears enjoyed every day while growing up. Only months after it opened, it crashed, and Spears came away saying her business partners hadn't kept her involved.
Unfortunately, the restaurant took on a huge amount of debt, and health code violations plagued the establishment. When Spears pulled out, the location closed and rebranded as an Italian restaurant before closing permanently.
Staying Close With the Family
She's had a tumultuous life, but Britney has always remained close with her family. When Jamie Lynn was pregnant at the young age of sixteen, Britney stuck by her side. She also bought her brother, Bryan, a 1.5 million dollar loft in New York City, but then nearly burnt it to the ground when she knocked over a candle.
Spears has always been generous with her money – after September 11th, she donated a million dollars to the children of uniformed officers affected by the attack.
The Devil Met her at the Crossroads
Spears had done almost everything right and had become one of the most famous stars in the world after mere years. Though it seemed like she could do it all, that came back to bite her when she starred in a movie titled, fittingly, "Crossroads." As a coming-of-age road trip with a few other female stars, it should have drawn in plenty of box office sales.
And it did...but critics hated it, taking aim at Spears's acting and calling it nothing more than a vanity project. Zoe Saldana, of all people, called Spears's acting “very good.” At the same time, Britney's parents revealed they were divorcing after twenty-seven years of marriage.
The Kiss That Shocked the World
The 2003 VMAs featured an incredible anticipated performance that combined Madonna, Britney, and Christina Aguilera. Britney found a way to make the performance even more memorable. During the middle of Madonna's classic pop hit “Like A Virgin,” the queen of pop kissed both fellow performers on the lips (no doubt inspiring Katy Perry in the process).
This memorable event came right on the heels of Britney's breakup with Timberlake. While Madonna quickly switched sides to give Aguilera the same lip lovin', the broadcast quickly pointed the camera at Timberlake, catching him in the process of making a face.
A Long List of Lovers
After her heartbreaking breakup with Timberlake, Britney hit the dating field. Whether it's famous actors like Colin Farrell or Jared Leto, or musicians like Fred Durst, Britney barely had a moment to herself. It was Durst who came with some controversy, however.
In 2003, at the height of both of their careers, the Limp Bizkit front-man worked on a song with Spears, and they soon got into a relationship. Well, he thinks they did, at least, though Britney has denied all of his claims. Whether or not he was telling the truth, he later went on record saying, “I just guess at the time it was taboo for a guy like me to be associated with a gal like her.”
Album Number Four
In November of 2003, Britney's fourth album, "In the Zone,” hit shelves. It sold over ten million copies and produced four singles, the first of which was a collab with Madonna called “Me Against the Music.” The other three singles were “Every time,” “Outrageous,” and “Toxic.” The video for “Toxic” won Britney her first Grammy award for Best Dance Recording.
By this time, Spears had taken over most of the creative control of her material, writing and co-producing all of it. Vibe referred to the album as “a supremely confident dance record that also illustrates Spears's development as a songwriter.”
After going through the lists of famous – and not-famous – men trying to find love, Spears finally went with childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander. Marrying him in January 2004 at A Little White Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Britney's wedding look was a maroon cap and low-rise jeans. Like most Vegas weddings, it didn't last long.
In fact, the speed of this divorce has become a legendary tale about celeb marriages. Just fifty-five hours after the wedding, Britney filed for the marriage to be annulled, stating that when she married Alexander, she “lacked understanding of her actions.”
The Mega-Star Halts
Britney was at the top of her game. She was the ultimate name in pop stars, and breakups and marriages aside, nothing could stop her. She was friends with Madonna, had just released a highly-regarded fourth album, was on a huge promotional tour, and had won a Grammy. Two months into the tour, however, tragedy struck.
While filming a music video, Spears fell and wrecked her knee, requiring arthroscopic surgery, six weeks of brace wear, and eight to twelve weeks of rehabilitation. She had to cancel the tour, and for the first time in six years, she had to put her career on hold. This period of rest produced plenty of problems.
While rehearsing for the "In the Zone" tour, Spears met and became romantically attached with Kevin Federline, a backup dancer for pop band LFO. In July of 2004, while she was recovering, the couple announced that they would be married.
They had known each other for three months, and the relationship came with plenty of issues. Federline had just broken up with actress Shar Jackson – while she was pregnant with their second child. The tabloids had a field day, piling negative attention on the couple, and it was nowhere near the end of the problems for Spears.
An Unconventional Wedding
Spears and Federline tied the knot on September 18th, 2004. It was a weird day for everybody. There were a total of twenty-seven guests, who had all showed up thinking it was an engagement party, not the actual wedding ceremony. After the short ceremony and dinner, the entire party went to a local club, wearing matching sweatsuits.
Federline wore one that read “The Pimp,” while his half of the wedding party had the words “The Pimps.” As it turns out, they weren't actually married that day.
So...are They Married...Or...?
When K-Fed popped the question, Spears had a lawyer draw up an airtight prenuptial agreement to protect her assets in the chance of divorce. It took so long, and paparazzi were so interested in getting the details that Britney decided to hold a non-binding ceremony to get them off their backs.
Their first wedding was a sham until they were officially married on October 6th, 2004, in a secret ceremony, which could only occur after Kevin signed the extensive prenup that Spears's legal team had slaved away on.
On the Little Screen
Less than a year into their marriage, Spears and Federline starred in a five-episode reality show called "Britney & Kevin: Chaotic." Britney had lots of footage of her daily life before her injury and her preparations for her "In the Zone" tour while she was dating and engaged to Kevin.
This footage formed the show's basis, and more footage was added from after they were married. For the entire run of the show, it drew huge viewer numbers, but for pretty much all the wrong reasons.
You Both Want to Watch and Don't
"Britney & Kevin: Chaotic" was explicit. Very explicit. The couple went into ridiculous detail about their bedroom activities and even made out on-camera. Big fans of the star couldn't stop watching, but people tuning in on a whim, as well as TV reviewers, thought the opposite.
Phrases such as “horrifying train wreck” and “an insult to common sense and decency” appeared in reviews of the show. Perhaps due to embarrassment, the couple has stayed mum about their reaction to the show until 2013. Britney finally revealed her thoughts on the show: “The worst thing I've ever done in my career.”
Rhodes Scholar She Ain't
Spears is hard-working, beautiful, and talented. While this difficult period in her life continued, she almost got a role as Daisy Duke in the – many think entirely unnecessary – 2005 remake of "The Dukes of Hazzard."
Ultimately, another southern blonde, Jessica Simpson, got the role. Simpson may have had an idiotic question when she asked, “Is tuna chicken or fish?” but Britney had her own brain fart earlier in her career: “The cool thing about being famous is traveling. I have always wanted to travel across seas. Like, to Canada, and stuff.”
A Dangerous Relationship
The toxic relationship between Britney and Federline continued. Numerous times on their reality show gave us a picture of Britney, grinding her teeth and rubbing her hurting jaw. The cause of her erratic behavior is now obvious, but at the time, viewers could do nothing other than feeling worried.
Spears had married the kind of guy no one wants to see with their daughter. Federline was a high school dropout, a failed rapper, and a father of six children with three different women. And he suddenly had more on the way.
Life Goal Achieved
One thing Spears had always been adamant about is wanting was a family of her own. She made that clear even back when she was dating Timberlake. In October of 2004, she announced she had taken a break from her career to start being a mom. A few months later, she announced she was pregnant with her first child.
She had her first son, Sean Preston, in September of 2005. A few months into 2006, she was pregnant again, and in October, she gave birth to her second son – with Federline, again – Jayden James. It seems like all of her dreams had come true.
Showing Off the Baby Bump
During her second pregnancy, Spears decided to show off (almost) everything. She joined "Harper's Bazaar" for a cover shoot, showing off her growing family. Let's just say that the photoshoot got her some attention. Just like the reality show, though, it ended up negative.
The infamous "Vanity Fair" cover shoot that Demi Moore did in the 1990s, while pregnant with her second child, inspired this choice, but it would be far from the most controversial thing Britney did during her pregnancy. To Spears's credit, she looks pretty good on the cover!
Not Safe for Kids
In February of 2006, an enterprising paparazzi caught a pic of Spears driving with her son in her lap. A massive outcry rose, calling Spears a poor mother and a danger to her children. Spears explained that she just didn't have time to secure the child in his seat after scurrying into the car, a pack of bloodthirsty photographers on her heels.
She apologized profusely for the mistake, yet it was just another piece of evidence on the pile that not all was right with Spears.
Taking the Ring Off
Britney could tell she took a wrong turn, and she was quick to fix it. A single month after the birth of her second son, Spears filed for divorce from Kevin Federline, citing “irreconcilable differences.” We like to imagine the difference was Spears didn't love Federline, but Federline did love Federline.
K-Fed got the news by text message and was stunned that Britney would break up the family. A pair of children had loosened the air-tight prenuptial agreement, sparking a custody battle that, in a legal sense, is still going on to this very day.
The Big Fall
Things had been trending down for Spears in the years leading up to 2007. Two marriages, two divorces, two children, and failed projects. In 2007, however, it all fell apart. She produced one of the most memorable and wild pop-star moments of the decade.
It went like this: In January, Britney's aunt, Sandra Bridges Covington, with whom Britney had been very close, died of ovarian cancer. Sad for anyone. But, Britney took it harder than most and went so far as to checking herself into rehab in Antigua. One day later, she made an escape from the facility and flew back to America, and that's when things really got completely out of control.
Shave and a Haircut
One day after she left rehab, paparazzi found Britney sitting in her car outside a hair salon in Tarzana, California. One of the most famous women in the world was crying, alone, as people took pictures through the windows. After a few minutes, Spears got up, marched into the beauty salon, sat down, and took a good, long look at herself in the mirror.
A brief argument with the hairdresser followed. And then Britney Spears grabbed a pair of clippers and shaved her head bald. Every camera in the county went wild, and Spears's determined, almost crazed look became world-famous in an instant.
Making the Best of a Bad Haircut
While the clippings were still falling, the owner of the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles salon gathered up Britney's long, brunette tresses, the Red Bull can she had drunk from, and the cigarette lighter she had used, as well as cigarette butts she'd stubbed out in the ashtray.
Before long, the whole kit and caboodle appeared on eBay, on sale for the eyebrow-raising price of one million dollars. A sale might have gone through, but eBay removed the listing, stating it was against their policies. It says it right there in terms of service: no pop star hair.
She Did it Again
Right after giving herself a new 'do, Spears made her way to a tattoo parlor to get a small tattoo of lips on her wrist (reason: unknown). The tattoo artist asked her why she had shaved her head, and Britney's response gave us all pause.
She told the tattoo artist: “I don't want anyone to touch me. I'm tired of people touching me.” A few days later, Britney was caught ringing Federline's doorbell, desperate to see her sons. After no answer, Spears turned her attention to the cameras. She grabbed an umbrella, attacked the paparazzi's cars, lashed out at photographers, and screamed obscenities.
Questions That Must Be Answered
A popular saying arose: “If Britney Spears survived 2007, you can survive this.” What happened to make the star snap? She had everything. Millions of dollars, a legendary career, adoring fans, even a family, just like she always wanted. Now she was a warning to stars and someone who clearly needed help.
It turns out her breakdown was a long time coming. She had been acting erratically for months. Her musical performances had become robotic moments of going through the motions. Fans and family alike couldn't help but we worried for Britney.
Giving Her Life Away
There was no denying it. Spears needed help. She herself realized it but bounced in and out of rehab in a celeb tale that was as old as time, voluntarily checking in to LA treatment centers to no avail. She met manager Sam Lufti in a club and quickly agreed to hand over her entire life in exchange for fifteen percent of her earnings.
Sam had one big request: no more illegal substances. Spears was hooked as her marriage and relationship with her sons crumbled. Lufti spent eight years as Spears's manager and established new rules, too.
Keep the Cameras Away
Some of the rules Lufti came up with were for the paparazzi. He drew up a code of conduct for them that included keeping off her private property, not following her into shops, and not run red lights chasing her. They also had to save her a parking space if they knew where she was going.
If – and only if – they complied with these rules, they would be allowed to see Britney's itinerary for the day. Despite all of Lufti's efforts, things would take a lot longer for Spears to right the ship. Another big blow was just around the corner.
Among all of this, somehow, Spears released her fifth album, "Blackout." Many hoped it would mark a return to the singer's spotlight and a way to escape her troubles. She performed her new single “Gimme More” at the 2007 MTV Music Awards, where she has always been welcomed with open arms, though it didn't go as she had planned.
The "New York Times" panned the performance, calling it a fiasco. The "Toronto Star" said Britney was “lumbering, in slow motion, as if somebody had poured cement into her streetwalker boots.” David Willis of the BBC said it would go down as one of the worst MTV performances of all time.
Chris Crocker's Impassioned Plea
One day after Spears's painful MTV performance, American Youtuber Chris Crocker took to his account to post a video asking people to “Leave Britney Alone!” He defended the performance and explained that he didn't want Spears to spiral out of control, similar to how Anna Nicole Smith had.
At the end of the video, Crocker became intensely emotional. The internet, being the internet, mocked him for his high-pitched plea, and “Leave Britney Alone!” became a viral video for all the wrong reasons, and all over the internet, people parodied it relentlessly. Even someone trying to get others off her back went poorly for Britney.
A New Relationship
In a short time, Spears had divorced Federline, released a new album that had only generally favorable reviews, made a disastrous MTV performance, had multiple public meltdowns, and several violent outbursts. She begged the cameras to keep away, and so when it was revealed that she was dating British photographer Adnan Ghalib, plenty of people were surprised.
The pair found themselves on camera several times between 2007 and 2008, and tabloids loved it. According to them, Spears feuded with Ghalib's parents. Of course, Ghalib was married at the time, which made it even more scandalous for the paparazzi.
Losing the Kids
Through all of these changes, trials, and upheavals, Spears and Federline's divorce proceedings continued. At the center stage, where their two children and the custody battle for them. In late 2007, a picture featuring Spears driving both of her sons around – despite her suspended license – made the rounds, and a judge granted full custody to Federline.
Sadly, Britney had to hand over Sean Preston and Jayden James to her ex-husband and was allowed scheduled visits that were few and far between. This directly led to Spears's next big breakdown and a huge change in her life.
During a January 2008 visit with her children in her Los Angeles home, Britney locked herself in a room with her younger son, Jayden. After a four-hour police stand-off, they got a hold of her and took her to a hospital on a gurney, eventually earning a 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold.
Jamie and Lynne Spears applied for a restraining order against Adnan Ghalib and Sam Lufti, claiming they'd tried to control her affairs and had snuck her a cell phone while institutionalized. It didn't end for Spears: She ended up under a conservatorship, meaning her father Jamie would oversee her well-being and assets.
A Chance at a Comeback
When Spears earned her release, she put her head down and returned to work. She had guest appearances on TV shows and started working on her sixth album, "Circus." The album came out in November 2008, and there's no title more apt, to sum up, Britney's life to that point.
Spears appeared in a stylized ringleader's outfit, and she cracked her whip on tour to promote the album. A comeback was on the horizon, but it was up to Spears to keep herself on the straight and narrow. Would her return to good graces last, or would she plummet again?
Another Relationship Comes and Goes
In 2009, a new beau appeared by the name of Jason Trawick, Spears's then-manager. He was ten years her senior, and after the trouble with Sam Lufti and her parents, plenty of people wondered what he wanted out of it. However, Trawick chose to stop being her manager to avoid conflicts of interest.
However, he remained one of her conservators, alongside Britney's father. They got engaged in 2011 but broke up in 2013, stating they wanted different things in life. Jason seemed to have her best interests at heart but was still removed as a conservator by Spears's father.
Clawing Her Way Back
Time passed, and Britney's life cooled down. She got a four-year residency in Las Vegas, and during that time, she put out several albums, all of them well regarded. She also started her own perfume line with Elizabeth Arden, releasing a total of twenty-four fragrances.
Almost a full decade after her woeful performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, she stepped onto the stage in 2016 and performed “Make Me” to great applause. Things hadn't ended for the singer, though. The sharks were circling, and they smelled perfume in the water.
Lufti Strikes Back
Spears's ex-manager Sam Lufti sued Britney and her parents for defamation, breach of contract, and libel. Lynne, Britney's mother, released a book in 2008 titled "Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World" that said Lufti drugged and manipulated Spears and her family.
Also, Lufti accused Spears's father of assault. After a long legal battle, a judge dismissed his case in 2012, but Lufti appealed, and the two parties agreed on a settlement fee in the low six figures. In 2019, Spears got a second, five-year restraining order against her former manager.
In 2014, Las Vegas celebrated this famous singer and her long-term residency with the first Britney Day, which is now an annual event. The city presented Spears with an official proclamation and a key to the Las Vegas strip. A second residency was due to being when tragedy struck. Her father's colon ruptured, nearly killing him.
Spears went on an indefinite hiatus as her father recovered. Jamie Spears recovered, but during that time, his lawyer, Andrew M. Wallet, stated that Britney's conservatorship should end, stating the consequences to Britney could be “substantial detriment, irreparable harm, and immediate danger.”
Who's in Charge Today?
More than a decade later, the conservatorship is still ongoing. It's been run by a long list of constantly-changing names, including family, ex-boyfriends, and lawyers. The only name that has always appeared is Britney's father, Jamie Spears. He remains in charge despite disturbing allegations as well as questions about his character.
Britney found herself under strict rules as part of the conservatorship (and we can see the reasoning there), including no driving and a strict regimen of prescription drugs. When Britney went against these edicts, her father had her put into a psychiatric facility against her will.
Back in the Ward
After her father's hospitalization, his lawyer's accusations, and constant legal battles, Spears once again found herself hospitalized in a psychiatric facility in 2019. The reason given was that she was under great stress due to her father's near-death, but a lot of people are trying to read deeper.
In May of 2019, Britney stated that her father had forced her into the mental facility and forced her to take certain medications. When this information – true or not – reached fans, the controversy deepened, and plenty of people started rallying around her, trying to help her.
It didn't take long for Britney to get out of the psychiatric facility, and soon after, she made a video assuring fans that she was going to be okay. Fans seemed not to get the message, and a hashtag sprang up: #FreeBritney. It was dedicated to getting Spears out from under her conservatorship and away from her father – their relationship remained as complicated as ever.
Plenty of big names and celebrities jumped on the hashtag train to help get Britney her life back. People like Miley Cyrus, Paris Hilton, and Cher all voiced their support for this groundbreaking artist's emancipation, and fans even held a protest outside of West Hollywood City Hall.
More Family Problems
The Spears family became even more fractured. Britney's sons had spent most of their lives with the father, Kevin (who appears to have cleaned up his act somewhat), and in August of 2019, Federline filed a police report against Jamie Spears. The allegations included Jamie being abusive toward Sean. Jamie avoided charges, but the details are frightful.
It started with an argument, and then Jamie broke down a door to get to Sean. Despite being Britney's weekend to see the boys, she immediately sent them back to their father. Grandpa Jamie got a three-year restraining order from seeing either Sean or his brother Jayden.
Ten Long Years
More than ten years after being made, Britney's conservator, Jamie Spears, was finally investigated. After a closed-door hearing, a judge ordered an investigation, stating anyone with Spears' control would fall under a watchful eye. On September fifth of 2019, Jamie Spears filed papers in Los Angeles to be relieved of the role temporarily, for health reasons.
A judge approved the request and appointed Jodi Montgomery, Britney's caregiver, as his replacement. Since then, Spears has filed paperwork to get her father removed permanently as her conservator. She's hoping that Montgomery, who at the very least isn't her father, will have control over her finances.
Good News at Last
Finally, it seems as if Britney's life is back on track. Every cloud has a silver lining – Britney has been in a long-term relationship since 2016 with a model and personal trainer from Iran, Sam Asghari. Nothing but the good news is coming out of the relationship. By now, Britney has probably taught herself to be careful with who she attaches herself to, but Sam seems to have Spears's best interest at heart.
Who knows – maybe he'll be the guy that she'll finally settle down and grow old with, something she deserves more than anyone. Plus, everybody knows that working out is great for your mental health, and who better than a personal trainer boyfriend to keep you active?
The Very First Guy
Spears and Timberlake's big breakup remains a mystery for a lot of people, and while they've never really come out and explained all of the details, it seems enough time has passed for bygones to be bygones.
In 2020, Spears filmed herself dancing along to one of JT's songs, and commented “PS I know we had one of the world's biggest breakups 20 years ago...but hey, the man is a genius!!! Great Song JT!!!” JT responded with emojis displaying his approval. It might not be a fairy tale happy ending, but tomorrow can always be better, even for this singer who once might not have had a future.