Born to Lynne and James Parnell Spears, it was clear that the child Britney was destined for great things. She took dance lessons aged three and was performing solo in no time at all. Soon there were talent shows and other competitions to show off at. At five, she made her first local stage appearance singing the Christmas carol What Child Is This? An 8 year old Britney was rejected as being too young by TV show The Mickey Mouse Club, and it was off to the Professional Performing Arts School in New York. A Broadway play and a couple of commercials later, she finally joined the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as a Mouseketeer. Her mother's friend, an entertainment lawyer, heard a tape of her singing along to a Whitney Houston number and began to pitch her to record labels. 3 record companies rejected her but finally Jive Records gave her a thumbs up and she became the freshest and the hottest thing in the music scene. Her debut album ...Baby One More Time, released in 1999, turned Britney into a pop-teen sensation overnight. It reached the top 5 in 19 countries and #1 in 15 others. Her single, Hit Me Baby One More Time had her dressed as a school girl exposing her midriff. The other hit tracks included Crazy, Sometimes and Soda Pop. Her early promise made her into a full blown pop star with her coming of age album Oops!... I Did It Again. She was growing up and had songs to prove it - Oops!..., Lucky, Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know and Stronger. Britney was back bolder, stronger and more aggressive with Britney in 2001. Her 'bubblegum' pop days were over with her raunchy track I'm A Slave For You. The now adult Brit was battling personal issues in songs like Over-protected, I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman and Boys, proving her days as teen queen were over.2003's In The Zone, fortunately didn't turn out to be Toxic for the young singer. Her track Me Against The Music featured the starlet's idol Madonna and their onstage liplock completely madeover Brit's image. She was now unrecognizable as the wholesome Britney from 1999.A skimpily dressed Britney experimented with techno and synth-pop with Gimme More and Radar in her 2007 album Blackout. Fed up with living her life in front of the cameras, she took a potshot at the paparazzi in Piece Of Me. Blackout was largely panned by the critics but still sold over 3.1 million copies worldwide.Her last album, released in 2008, Circus saw a burlesque inspired circus backdrop in the title track. But Womanizer was the most daring, and baring, video so far. Circus made Britney Spears the youngest female artist in history to have five number one albums, earning her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.Britney bolstered up her music with a fledgling acting career, starring with future Hollwyood hot propert Zoe Saldana in Crossroads. She's also cameoed on a series of hit TV shows - Glee, How I Met Your Mother and The Simpsons. Ab-tastic Brit loves performing live and her passion for dancing adds to her showmanship. A trademark feature at one of her shows is her bare midriff. With her tracks shooting the music charts, she has been nominated for a number of awards, and won a few. She scored a Grammy for Best Dance Recording in Toxic, American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist, World Music Award for Best Selling Female Pop Artist among many others - including a not-so-welcome Razzie for Worst Actress. Despite a dismal style track record, Britney has managed to pull off a few fashion moments. Mostly an easy target for ridicule, she does come through with a stunning ensemble once in a rare while. We still insist that she get herself a new stylist though. She even has her own range of perfumes created and sold under brand Britney. Given that she has been victim to more than her share of wardrobe malfunctions and has often incurred the wrath of the fashion police, it's ironic that Britney Spears is designing her own clothing line. Marketed through the Candie's brand, the line will be carried by Kohl's. Brit's been the selling point of brands including Pepsi and Candie's. But the usually provocative star turned down an offer to pose nude in a PETA anti-fur campaign ad. Despite all the criticism, Britney bounced back from being in the doghouse to make the 6th position on the 2010 Forbes' Most Powerful Celebs list. But as many avatars that Britney shed over her career in the limelight, there were that many breakdowns. From her rapidly diminishing dresses to the infamous head shaving episode, Britney has done it all, falling apart in the worst and most public way possible. Her life became a textbook example what NOT to do when you're dealing with fame. Britney's teen appeal landed her on the covers of almost all the prestigious covers from glamour to music. After her divorce from Kevin Federline, trainwreck Britney notched up a public and shaven headed meltdown, an arrest for suspected substance abuse, a stint in rehab and being put on suicide watch on her list of misdemeanours. Her life out of the recording studio hasn't been a fairy tale either. She and fellow Mouseketeer Justin Timberlake made a teenaged dream couple. She then married friend Jason Alexander in a whirlwind Las Vegas wedding which was annulled less than 3 days later. But that didn't put her off matrimony and she tried again with Mr Britney Spears the Second, Kevin Federline. 2 sons later, she filed for divorce from K-Fed in 2006 citing irreconciliable differences. Just how out of control she was can be gauged by the fact that she lost custody of her two sons to K-Fed for not having a valid driver's license and failing a random drug and alcohol test. K-Fed has sole custody of the children - Sean Preston, five, and four-year-old Jayden James. Since the divorce, Britney has been fighting for custody of the boys. The kids split their time between both parents, as of now, hence a strained relationship.Britney then dated paparazzo Adnan Ghalib and was rumoured to have enjoyed secret dates with Chase Benz, a dancer on her Circus tour. She is currently dating her agent Jason Trawick.And Brit hasn't been all legit! She graced the first page of many a tabloid with scandalous spottings, including some underwear-less appearances. Her videos, of late, have been brewing up a storm with their questionable content. Most recently, she's been sued for sexual harassment by her former bodyguard Fernando Flores. With all the emotional turmoil in her life, the needle on Britney's weighing scale stayed in the spirit of things and took a roller coaster ride of its own. Her relationship troubles were matched by an on-again off-again battle against the bulge. According to Forbes, Spears is the third highest earning woman in Hollywood, banking $65 million in 2010. This placed her behind Oprah Winfrey and Beyoncé Knowles, but ahead Lady Gaga and Madonna.Britney Speak: "I don't listen to anybody. Nobody can tell me anything. I'm stubborn. If somebody tells me not to do something, I do it. But I do listen to Madonna. For some reason I listen to her. I know that sounds really silly. It's nice to have somebody just to ask questions to. She's a visual artist and a deep artist as well. I like the way she thinks. I wish I could be inside her head. I like Madonna's career, and what she's done with her family." Living life on the edge of controversy is a habit that runs in the Spears' family. Britney's younger sister Jamie Lynn fell pregnant, and had the baby, aged 16. The controversy put Britney's role model capabilities under the scanner. Currently, Jamie Lynn's agent is their brother Bryan.

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