It's not that Britney Spears is back, Ms. Spears never left. Her latest single, “Womanizer," hit the top of the charts in December 2008, proving, once again, that America is home to second, if not third, acts.
Over the last decade Ms. Spears, 27, has made millions of dollars as one of America's biggest pop music, merchandise and endorsement engines. But long ago, in 2007, media and fair-weather fans were busily writing off Ms. Spears because of bizarre behavior -- her public scenes, questionable parenting skills and a shaky comeback performance at the MTV Awards -- and her tortured personal life after divorcing her former backup dancer, Kevin Federline. In January 2008, Ms. Spears was involuntarily admitted for treatment at the U.C.L.A. Medical Center.
Born in the small town of Kentwood, La., on Dec. 2,1981, Ms. Spears spent summers at New York's Off-Broadway Dance Center and the Professional Performing Arts School, and earned a role on the off-Broadway play Ruthless in 1991. A year later, she became a Mouseketeer with The Mickey Mouse Club, participating in the show from age 11 until 13.