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. She signed with Jive Records in 1997 and released her debut album ...Baby One More Time in 1999. During her first decade within the music industry, she became a prominent figure in mainstream popular music and popular culture, followed by a much-publicized personal life. Her first two albums established her as a pop icon and broke sales records, while title tracks "...Baby One More Time" and "Oops!... I Did It Again" became international number-one hits. Spears was credited with influencing the revival of teen pop during the late 1990s.
In 2001, she released her third studio album Britney and expanded her brand, playing the starring role in the film Crossroads. She assumed creative control of her fourth studio album, In the Zone (2003), which yielded chart-topping singles "Me Against the Music", "Toxic" and "Everytime". After the release of two compilation albums, Spears experienced personal struggles and her career went under hiatus. Her fifth studio album, Blackout, was released in 2007 and despite receiving little promotion, it spawned hits "Gimme More" and "Piece of Me". In 2008, her erratic behavior and hospitalizations caused her to be placed in a conservatorship. The same year, her sixth studio album Circus was released, with the global chart-topping lead single "Womanizer". She embarked on her highest-grossing global concert tour, The Circus Starring Britney Spears, in 2009. Her seventh studio album Femme Fatale, released in 2011, has become the first of her albums to yield three top ten singles in the United States.
Spears has sold over 100 million records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the eighth top-selling female artist in the United States, with 33 million certified albums. Spears is also recognized as the best-selling female artist of the first decade of the 21st century, as well as the fifth overall. She was ranked the 8th Artist of the 2000s by Billboard. In June 2010, Spears was ranked sixth on Forbes list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential celebrities in the world; she is also the third most mentioned musician on the internet, according to Forbes.
On March 4, 2011, Spears announced that she would tour throughout the United States during summer 2011, her first tour in two years. At first, Enrique Iglesias was to be a co-headliner, but he pulled out just hours after the announcement was made. Rapper Nicki Minaj was quickly named as the replacement opening act for the North American leg of the tour. The Femme Fatale Tour opened June 16 at the Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, California to positive reviews. Many critics noted that Spears sang more of the concert live in response to lip-synching accusations during The Circus Starring Britney Spears, and that the dancing is some of her best in years. The first ten US dates of the tour grossed $6.2 million, landing the fift-fifth spot on Pollstar's Top 100 North American Tours list for the half-way point of the year. The tour will travel to Europe and South and Central America later in 2011. Following Minaj's exit as the opening act after the end of the first leg, former teen pop star Joe Jonas will become the main opening act for the European dates. On August 12, Spears announced that her performances at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto will be taped to air on the EPIX television channel and for a DVD release, resulting in the doubling of traffic to EPIX social sites and 'Britney Spears' becoming a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. Her first televised concert since the Onyx Hotel Tour in 2004, the show, Britney Spears: Femme Fatale, was shot in 2D and 3D on August 13 and 14 and will premiere on Epix in November.
On June 15, 2011, it was announced by Billboard that the RCA/Jive Label Group would be splitting, with Jive Records going to a restructured Epic Records, and RCA Records staying intact. Some Jive artists, like Usher, will be moved to Epic Records, while Spears "will likely" stay with RCA Records. In 2011, Spears was sued for $10 million by a licensing firm, Brand Sense Partners, that helped her launch her perfume line. The company claims that Spears promised a thirty-five percent royalty after the deal with Elizabeth Arden was finished, but Spears and her father "secretly made a separate deal with Elizabeth Arden in a sneaky, under-handed effort to circumvent and evade its obligations to Brand Sense" and has not paid Brand Sense any money. Spears later filed a counter-suit that claims the company withheld proceeds from her and failed to pay interest on those proceeds. A new fragrance, Cosmic Radiance, is expected to be released by Spears in August 2011.
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Britney Spears 2011 MTV Video Music Awards