Dating ke superstar
Of course, the more provocative and revealing her on-stage wardrobe became, the less plausible that claim seemed.
But apart from her ability to tiptoe the line between virginal coquette and brazen tart, Spears had a secret weapon in Swedish pop mastermind Max Martin, who had a hand in the vast majority of her hits as a writer and/or producer.
Although her fellow Mouseketeers included an impressive array of future stars -- *NSYNC's Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez, Christina Aguilera, and Felicity actress Keri Russell -- the show was canceled after Spears' second season.
She returned to New York at age 15 and set about auditioning for pop bands and recording demo tapes, one of which eventually landed her a deal with Jive Records.
Spears spent the next three years studying at the Professional Performing Arts School, and also appeared in several television commercials and off-Broadway plays.
At 11, she returned to The New Mickey Mouse Club for a second audition, and this time made the cut.
Soon, Britney revealed her relationship with her former backup dancer Kevin Federline.
Spears and Federline married in September and were tabloid regulars in the months after the ceremony; some of this relationship was documented in Chaotic, a UPN reality show consisting mostly of their own home videos. She released Greatest Hits: My Prerogative that January, but it was the announcement of her pregnancy that really garnered the headlines.
She had a brief two-day marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander, followed by the controversial Onyx Hotel tour, which was eventually canceled despite positive financial numbers.
With a nationally televised appearance on Star Search already under her belt, Spears auditioned for the Disney Channel's The New Mickey Mouse Club at age eight.
The producers turned her down as too young, but one of them took an interest and introduced her to an agent in New York.
Its success touched off a wave of young pop divas who included Christina Aguilera, P! Spears was a superstar, drooled over in countless magazines, including a Rolling Stone cover that prompted immediate speculation about the still 17-year-old having received breast implants. Baby One More Time finally started to lose steam on the singles and album charts, Spears was ready to release her follow-up. The album itself entered the charts at number one and sold over a million copies in its first week of release, setting a new record for single-week sales by a female artist. For her next album, Spears looked ahead to a not-so-distant future when both she and much of her audience would be growing up.
Follow-up singles included "Lucky," the gold-selling "Stronger," and "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know," which was co-written by country diva Shania Twain and her producer Mutt Lange. Released in late 2001, Britney tried to present the singer as a more mature young woman, and was accompanied by mild hints that her personal life wasn't always completely puritanical.
From the outset, Spears' sex appeal was an important part of her image. Baby One More Time," outfitted her in full Catholic-school regalia and sent her well on the way to becoming an international sex symbol.