Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears began performing as a child, landing acting roles in stage productions and television shows. In 1997, Spears signed a recording contract with Jive and released her debut studio album, “…Baby One More Time,” in January 1999. The album opened at #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and went on to be certified 14x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. It featured the global hit single “…Baby One More Time,” which notably topped the Billboard Hot 100.
Sixteen months later after the release of “...Baby One More Time,” Spears released her second album, “Oops!... I Did It Again,” which became the fastest-selling album ever by a female act in the U.S. with over 1.3 million copies sold in its opening week and was certified 10x platinum by the RIAA . The album produced three hit singles, the title track, "Lucky" and "Stronger.”
In November 2001, Spears released her self-titled album, which opened at the top of the Billboard 200 and produced worldwide hit "I'm a Slave 4 U,” which is notable for her change of style from bubblegum pop to dance-pop and exploring into urban pop.
“In the Zone” was released and produced major #1 hit singles like "Toxic,” which earned Spears her first Grammy Award, "Everytime,” “Me Against the Music” with Madonna and the R. Kelly-produced "Outrageous.” The album was her fourth consecutive #1 on the Billboard 200.
After four studio albums, Spears released her first hits compilation in November 2004.
In October 2007, Spears' highly anticipated fifth studio album, “Blackout,” was released. It opened at #2 on the Billboard 200 and featured the hit songs "Gimme More,” "Piece of Me" and "Break the Ice.”
One year later, “Circus,” her sixth studio album, made Spears the only act in the Nielsen SoundScan era, 1991–present, to have four albums debut with 500,000 or more copies sold in the U.S. It produced worldwide hits "Womanizer,” "Circus,” "If U Seek Amy" and "Radar.”
In late 2009, she released a new single "3" which was followed by her second greatest hits album. "3" became her third #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100.
The lead single from her seventh album, "Hold It Against Me" was released in January 2011, and became her fourth #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, and her second to debut at the top. Spears released her seventh studio album “Femme Fatale” in March 2011. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, marking it her sixth #1 album, and making Spears the first female artist to have six #1 albums before the age of 30.
Spears has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists in the history of contemporary music. In addition, she is ranked as the eighth best-selling female recording artist in the U.S. with 32 million albums sold certified by the RIAA, and is currently the fifth best-selling act, as well as the highest-selling female, of the decade in the country. Spears also is the world's most successful teenager recording artist with over 37 million albums sold worldwide before she turned 20, with only 2 years of releasing music.