Born in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears first came to fame as a member of the Disney Channel's New Mickey Mouse Club in the 1993 and 1994 seasons.
Her castmates on the show included Justin Timberlake and Joshua Chasez (who later became members of the pop band NSYNC), Keri Russell (star of the TV show Felicity) and Christina Aguilera, also a pop singer. Spears dated Timberlake for about five years.
Her first album on Jive Records, Baby One More Time, debuted in the number 1 spot on the Billboard Charts in early 1999, and also topped the charts in the UK. The single of the same name was also a number 1 hit in many countries, and was accompanied by a music video in which Spears wore a school-girl outfit and danced through a high-school corridor. Her followup album, Oops I Did It Again, also debuted at number 1 and was a similarly huge hit.
Spears' success has rested on a mixed fanbase. Millions of prepubescent girls became enthusiasts for her work, adopting her as an idol. It also appears that many young adult males are also fans. Writers on popular music for the mainstream press, however, have generally been dismissive of Spears' music, considering it to be commercial and shallow.
Following the first two successful albums, Spears' career skyrocketed, and a multimillion-dollar music, film, advertisement, concert and TV-special "industry" sprang up around her. Her most popular ads were for Pepsi. In 2003 there was media speculation that the soft drink behemoth were planning to replace Spears with Destiny's Child frontwoman Beyonc?Knowles. This speculation turned out to be false, and Spears has gone on to sponsor other Pepsi products.
Her next album, Britney, was released on November 6, 2001, and debuted at number 1 in the charts. The first single "I'm A Slave 4 U" was produced by The Neptunes, and its R'n'B stylings heralded the starlet's attempt to grow with her audience, young or old. Over 4 million copies of Britney were sold in the United States alone, and the album went on to sell over 12 million copies worldwide. While the album was very much a hit by anyone else's standards, these figures are low in comparison to the sales of her other albums.
In September 2002, she took a break from the spotlight, and in 2003 many music industry critics speculated that her career was in decline. Britney Spears, over the course of her first three albums, had sold approximately 54 million copies worldwide. woow! fantastic