Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, she began performing as a child, landing acting roles in stage productions and television shows.
She signed with Jive Records in 1997 and released her debut album …Baby One More Time in 1999, which became the best-selling album by a teenage solo artist. During her first decade in the music industry, she became a prominent figure in mainstream popular music and popular culture, followed by a much-publicized personal life. Her first two albums established her as a pop icon and broke sales records, while title tracks “…Baby One More Time” and “Oops!… I Did It Again” became international number-one hits.
Spears’s work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award, 6 MTV Video Music Awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award, 9 Billboard Music Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, Billboard ranked her as the 8th overall Artist of the Decade, and also recognized her as the best-selling female artist of the first decade of the 21st century, as well as the fifth overall. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) also recognized Spears as the seventh top-selling female artist in the United States, with 34 million certified albums.
Rolling Stone recognized her instant success as one of the Top 25 Teen Idol Breakout Moments of all time, while VH1 ranked her eleventh on their “100 Greatest Women in Music” list in 2012, and Billboard named her the sexiest woman in music. Forbes also revealed that Spears was the sixth most powerful celebrity, and the third best paid musician of 2011–12, having topped the list back in 2002.
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