Mississippi Writers and Musicians
MISSISSIPPI MUSICIANS: Britney Spears


Britney Spears Britney Spears

Major Works

  • Baby One More Time
    • ...Baby One More Time
    • (You Drive Me) Crazy
    • Sometimes
    • Soda Pop
    • Born To Make You Happy
    • From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart
    • I Will Be There
    • I Will Still Love You (Duet With Don Philip)
    • Thinkin' About You
    • E-Mail My Heart
    • The Beat Goes On

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Britney Spears: A Biography
By Jay D'Abramo (SHS)

Britney Spears is one of the newest Mississippi musicians on the rise.  This seventeen-year-old phenomenon is one of the fastest rising teenagers in the musical world.  Although she was born in Louisiana, she went to high school in McComb, Mississippi, and she is now fulfilling her childhood dreams.

Britney Jean Spears was born December 2, 1981, in Kentwood, a small town in Louisiana. (All About Britney)  Although technically her first public performance was at the age of four when she sang "What Child Is This" at her local church, (About Britney)  her professional career began at the age of eight, when she traveled to Atlanta to audition for the Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club. (Karger 21).  She was ultimately deemed too young for the show, Jay D'Abramo, SHS researcherbut one of the producers spotted her potential and helped her get an agent in New York.(Rolling Stone)  She spent the next three summers in New York City studying at the off-Broadway Dance Center and at the Professional Performing Arts School.  The education paid off when she landed a part in the off-Broadway production Ruthless in 1991 (Biography, Britney).

When Britney turned eleven, she finally earned her mouse ears and became a regular member of the Mickey Mouse Club for both the 1993 and 1994 seasons (Biography).  Her years with MMC would turn out to be some of the greatest years of her life.  Among the cast members of the children's show was the then twelve-year-old Justin Timberlake and Joshua "JC" Chasez, who would go on to become two-fifths of the teen pinup band 'NSync.  Other talented alumni to emerge from the cast are Keri Russell of Felicity, singer Christian Aguilera, Nita Booth, and Ryan Gosling (Peeps Biography).

Following the cancellation of MMC in 1993, Britney returned home, where she went to regular high school for a year (Daly 62).  But the urge to perform was too strong, so she returned to New York to give singing another shot (All About Britney).  After an executive at Britney SpearsJive heard a demo tape cut by the then fifteen-year-old, he signed her to a development deal and hooked her up with Eric Foster White, a producer who had worked with Boyzone, Hi-Five, and Whitney Houston (Karger 21).   It seemed a perfect fit, given Spears' self-declared musical influences: Madonna, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston (Daly 62).   She also traveled to Sweden to work with Max Martin, whose previous clients included the Backstreet Boys, Ace of Bace, and Robyn (Biography).  By early 1998, Spears' first album for Jive was complete (Karger 21).

In the fall of 1998, Britney set off on a professional tour through the malls of America, much like Tiffany had done a decade before her (About Britney).   Her month in the malls routine consisted of four songs, with two backup dancers, along with promotional copies of her music (Biography, Britney).   October, 1998,  saw the release of Spears' first single, the title track from her album, written by Max Martin (Karger 21).  Given his track record with the Backstreet Boys, it was a complete success.  The warm reception to the single no doubt helped Britney land a spot opening for 'NSync, which she did through January of 1999 (Daly 62).

The biggest day of young Britney's career thus far is likely January 12, 1999, the day ...Baby One More Time finally hit store shelves (Karger 21). After the final tallies were in, the former MMC member discovered that her debut had landed at the number one spot on the Billboard charts, with her buddies 'NSync coming in at number two (Karger 21).

In a recent interview Britney Spearswith MTV, Britney made it clear that she was the one who wanted to get involved in the entertainment world, thought she had the full support of her parents once she did, it was entirely her decision (Lenz 43).  After breaking away from her small town, Britney discovered she had become a role model of sorts, with other young townswomen following in her footsteps (Daly 62).

The next year promises to be a huge one for Britney.  In addition to a busy schedule promoting her new album, she is planning a return to the small screen as a guest star on Dawson's Creek (Lenz 43).   And if it is true, as she told MTV, that she admires Madonna's ability to bring back her public persona, then don't look for Britney to be another one-hit wonder (Lenz 43).   She is planning to stay in the music world for a long time.  "I want music to always be a part of my life," she told a cable channel.  "It will always  be a part of my life, and I just want to grow as a person each time each album comes out.  I want to focus on my music right now and if film or something comes up, I'd go for it.  But music will always be my main priority.  Just like Madonna.  I respect her so much because every time, she has changed, and I just totally admire that (All About Britney). 

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Timeline

1981 - born in Kentwood, Louisiana
1985 - sang "What Child Is This" at her local church
1987 - her first professional gig at Oak Alley Plantation
1989 - first audition for the Mickey Mouse ClubBritney Spears and Minnie Mouse
1991 - appeared in the comedy "Ruthless"
1992 - got her place in the Mickey Mouse Club
1994 - started high school in McComb, Mississippi
1995 - she was the Junior High Beauty
1995 - moved back to Kentwood to try to live a normal life
1995 - went to New York to audition for an all-girl vocal group
1998 - her first album for Jive was complete
1998- went on a tour through the malls of America
1998 - the release of her first single
1999 - opened for 'NSync
1999 - ...Baby One More Time hit stores
1999 - shot the ...Baby One More Time video
1999 - ...Baby One More Time hit the number one charts 

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Related Websites

This excellent site provides you with a complete biography

This excellent site provides you with everything you want to know about Britney Spears

Britney goes to Parklane High in Mississippi.

This site contains many interesting facts about Britney Spears

This site contains a brief biography 

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Bibliography

"Britney Spears: About Britney." n. pag. Online. World Wide Web. March 24, 1999. Available
     http://www.atomixproductions.com/britney/bio.html

"Britney Spears: All About Britney." n. pag. Online. World Wide Web. March 31, 1999. Available
     http://reach.to/Broadway/Wing/3720/aboutbritney.html

"Britney Spears: Bio" n. pag. Online. World Wide Web. March 23, 1999. Available http://www.peeps.com/britney/bio.html

"Britney Spears: Bio." n. pag. Online. World Wide Web. March 24, 1999. Available http://bio.htmlmembers.tripod.com

"Britney Spears: Biography." n. pag. Online. World Wide Web. April 9, 1999. Available
     http://happychappy.freeserve.co.uk/biog.htm

"britney Spears: Britney Spears Online." n. pag. Online. World Wide Web. March 31, 1999. Available
     http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Cabaret/2955/britbio.html

Daly, Steven. "Britney Spears: Inside The Heart And Mind (And Bedroom) Of America's New Teen Queen Britney Spears." Rolling Stone April 15, 1999

Karger, Dave. "Bubble Gum Blows Up! Britney Spears." Entertainment Weekly. March 5, 1999

Lenz, Stephen. "Britney Spears: Who Better Than This Teen Phenom To Dish Prom Tips? Britney Spears." Teen Celebrity Summer 1999

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Last updated in 1999
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