Name at birth: Britney Jean Spears
Britney Spears was only 17 when she reached #1 on the U.S. pop music charts with her 1999 debut album ...Baby One More Time. Her catchy tunes and hubba-hubba physique made Spears one of America's biggest pop stars, and she became a near-constant presence on MTV, radio broadcasts and magazine covers around the world. Spears's second album, Oops!...I Did It Again, was released in May of 2000 and went gold in its first week. In 2003 she released In the Zone, but by then her personal life got more press than her singing career. On 3 January 2004 she married childhood friend Jason Alexander (not the Jason Alexander of Seinfeld), then had the marriage annulled the same day. Later in the year she married Kevin Federline, a professional dancer whose claim to fame was fathering two children with Moesha star Shar Jackson. Spears and Federline had two sons, Sean (b. 14 September 2005) and Jayden (b. 12 September 2006), but Spears filed for divorce in November of 2006 (their divorce became final on 30 July 2007). During 2007 Spears was in the gossip columns on a weekly basis and made headlines by shaving her head, entering rehab and, after repeated missteps with the courts, losing custody of her children to Federline. With very little publicity, she released Blackout, her fifth studio album, in November 2007.
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