Britney Spears turned in her mouse ears as a member of Disney’s “The Mickey Mouse Club” and went on to find fame — and controversy — as pop royalty.
The Louisiana-raised diva has sold more than 85 million albums worldwide and has had eight No. 1 singles, including her breakout hit “(Baby) One More Time.” At the peak of Britney-mania, Spears made her acting debut in the film “Crossroads,” sold out arenas with her tours and starred in commercials for Pepsi. She even found time to lock lips with her idol Madonna in a 2003 MTV Video Music Awards performance.
Her personal life also has received plenty of media attention. Spears broke the hearts of teen girls everywhere when news arrived in 2000 that she was dating Justin Timberlake, then part of the hit boy-band 'N Sync. The relationship eventually ended, but the media storm around her life had only just begun. In 2004, a rebellious Spears married her childhood friend Jason Alexander in Las Vegas; the union was later annulled. She then got involved with backup dancer Kevin Federline; the two married in 2004 and later had two children, Sean Preston and Jayden James. The couple divorced in 2007.
Her dating life hasn’t been the only thing in flux for the pop princess. Spears frequented the club scene for a time after her divorce from Federline, partying with socialite Paris Hilton, among others. She reportedly checked in and out rehabilitation and shaved her head in a California beauty salon while the paparazzi took pictures in February 2007. In 2008, she was taken to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation when she refused to return her sons to their father after a court-appointed visit.
These days her private life remains much more private (relatively speaking), and she’s currently working on a new album.