Full Name: Britney Jeau Spears
Occupation: Pop Singer
Birthplace: Kentwood, Louisiana
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
Contact Address: Britney Fan Club P.O. Box 7022, Red Bank, NJ 07701-7022
Offical WebSite: Peeps.com - Britney Spears
This bright beautiful teen from Kentwood, Louisiana (pop:1200), has been performing since early childhood in local dance reviews and church choirs. At age 8, she auditioned in Atlanta for the Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club. Although she did not get the part, a producer on the show helped her get an agent in New York, where she studied at the Off-Broadway Dance Center and the Professional Performing Arts School. Soon, Britney began appearing in national commercials and off-Broadway plays.
At age 11, Britney finally made it to the Mickey Mouse Club. She stayed on the show for two years before returning to her hometown of Kentwood. After a normal year of high school, Britney began to focus on her future. "It was fun for a while but I started getting really itchy to get out again and see the world."
Britney got on a plane at 15 and headed back to the "Big Apple." An audition for an all-girl vocal group led to her developing a solo career as a pop singer and her eventual rise to fame. Britney's first single, "...Baby One More Time," made its debut at number 17 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. She has been featured in Rolling Stone and Teen People and is currently opening for the band 'N SYNC. With a new album out in 1999, Britney Spears is poised to take the music industry by storm.
BRITNEY JEAN SPEARS was born Dec. 2, 1981, in Kentwood, a small town in Louisiana. Although technically her first public performance was at the age of 4 (when she sang "What Child Is This" at her local church), her professional career began at the ripe old age of 8, when young Britney traveled to Atlanta, Ga., to audition for the Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club (MMC). She was ultimately deemed too young for the show, but one of the producers spotted her potential and helped her get an agent in New York. She spent the next three summers in the Big Apple studying at the off-Broadway Dance Center and at the Professional Performing Arts School. The creative education paid off; in 1991 she landed a part in the off-Broadway production Ruthless.
When Britney turned 11, she finally earned her mouse ears and became a full-fledged member of MMC for both the 1993 and 1994 seasons. Her years with MMC would turn out to be fortuitous for Britney; among the cast members of the children's show was the then 12-year-old Justin Timberlake and Joshua "JC" Chasez, who would go on to become two-fifths of the teen pinup band 'N Sync. Other talented alumni to emerge from the cast are Keri Russell of Felicity fame, singer Christina Aguilera, Nita Booth (Miss Virginia 1998), and Ryan Gosling from Young Hercules.
Following the cancellation of MMC in 1993, Britney returned home, where she went to regular high school for a year. But the bug to perform was too strong, so she returned to New York to give singing another shot. After an executive at Jive heard a demo tape cut by the then 15-year-old, he signed her to a development deal and hooked her up with Eric Foster White, a producer who had worked with Boyzone, Hi-Five, and Whitney Houston. It seemed a perfect fit, given Spears self-declared musical influences: Madonna, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, and Houston. She also traveled to Sweden to work with Max Martin, whose previous clients included the Backstreet Boys, Ace of Base, and Robyn. By early 1998, Spears' first album for Jive was complete.
In the fall of 1998, three months before the release of her debut, …Baby, One More Time, Britney set off on a promotional trek through the malls of America, much like Tiffany had done a decade before her. Her "month in the malls" routine consisted of four songs, with two backup dancers, along with promotional copies of her music. October 1998 saw the release of Spears' first single, the title track from her album, written by Max Martin. Given his track record with the Backstreets, it was, not surprisingly, a commercial success. The warm reception to the single no doubt helped Britney land a spot opening for 'N Sync, which she did through January 1999.
The biggest day of young Britney's career thus far is likely Jan. 12, 1999 — the day …Baby, One More Time finally hit store shelves. After the final tallies were in, the former Mouseketeer discovered that her debut had landed at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts, with her buddies 'N Sync coming in at No. 2. Not a bad showing for a 17-year-old.
In a recent interview with MTV, Britney made it clear that she was the one who wanted to get involved in the entertainment world; though she had the full support of her parents once she did, it was entirely her decision. And after breaking away from her small town, in which disapproving tongues would occasionally wag because of her move to New York at such a young age, Britney discovered she'd become a role model of sorts, with other young townswomen following in her creative footsteps. The next year promises to be a busy one for Britney. In addition to a busy schedule promoting her new album, she's planning a return to the small screen as a guest star on Dawson's Creek. And if it's true, as she told MTV, that she admires Madonna's ability to reinvent her public persona, then don't look for Britney to be another one-hit wonder. She's planning to stay in the music world for a long time. "I want music to always be a part of my life," she told the cable channel. "It will always be a part of my life, and I just want to grow as a person each time each album comes out. I want to focus on my music right now and if film or something comes up, I'd go for it. But music will always be my main priority. Just like Madonna. I respect her so much because every time, she has changed, and I just totally admire that."
And for the record, if you're wondering about Britney and 'N Sync's Justin, in her own words: "No, it's not true. No, no, [the 'N Sync guys] are just like big brothers to me."