Britney Jean Spears is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, she performed acting roles in stage productions and television shows as a child before signing with Jive Records in 1997. Spears's first and second studio albums, ...Baby One More Time and Oops!... I Did It Again, became international successes, with the former becoming the best-selling album by a teenage solo artist. Title tracks "...Baby One More Time" and "Oops!... I Did It Again" broke international sales records. In 2001, Spears released her self-titled third studio album, Britney, and played the starring role in the film Crossroads. She assumed creative control of her fourth studio album, In the Zone, which yielded the worldwide success of the "Toxic" single.
In 2007, Spears's much-publicized personal struggles sent her career into hiatus. Her fifth studio album, Blackout, was released later that year, and spawned hits such as "Gimme More" and "Piece of Me". Her erratic behavior and hospitalizations continued through the following year, at which point she was placed under a still on-going conservatorship.