Spears, Britney (1981–)

views updated

Britney Spears (1981–)

Sultry Britney Spears is a singer and dancer—and a teen icon (teen symbol) and pop-music princess. Born in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears began performing at local dances and in church choirs. After auditioning for The Disney Channel's updated version of the old Mickey Mouse Club (see entry under 1950s—TV and Radio in volume 3) when she was eight and being turned down because of her age, she secured an agent, studied dance and music in New York, and appeared on television (see entry under 1940s—TV and Radio in volume 3) commercials and in Off-Broadway plays. Starting at age eleven, she spent two years as a regular on The Mickey Mouse Club, and at fifteen began developing her solo singing career. Soon, she was a worldwide phenomenon. Her smash-hit debut album, Baby One More Time, came out in 1999. That year, she earned two Grammy Award nominations and four MTV Europe Awards, for Best Pop Act, Best Female Performer, Best Breakthrough Act, and Best Song.

Spears's rise has not come without contradictions. On one level, she has a self-proclaimed good-girl image. On another level, her handlers have allowed her to be marketed not only as a pop singer but also as a scantily clad sex object. For example, she has appeared in a number of provocative Pepsi-Cola advertisements.

—Rob Edelman

For More Information

Britney Spears.http://www.britneyspears.com (accessed April 1, 2002).

Hurley, Joanna. Britney. New York: Scholastic, 2000.

Peters, Beth. True Brit: The Story of Singing Sensation Britney Spears. New York: Ballantine Books, 1999.

Spears, Britney, and Lynne Spears. Britney Spears' Heart to Heart. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000.

About this article

Spears, Britney (1981–)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article