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Britney Spears: A Life in Photos

Follow the star’s rise, fall and comeback

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Britney Spears' Life in Photos

Segev

Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2, 1981 in the small town of Kentwood, Louisiana (population 2,200). Her mother, Lynne, devoted herself to nurturing her eldest daughter's talent from the time Britney was three. Her father, Jamie, had a drinking problem that magnified as his construction business faced a downturn.

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Matthew Simmons

Spears Meets Kevin Federline (2004)

In early 2004, the increasingly shiftless Spears met dancer Kevin Federline, a 25-year-old high school dropout from Fresno, California, who had one child with his girlfriend and a second baby on the way. Spears became enamored with the club fixture known as "Meat Pole," and invited him to join her on her Onyx Hotel Tour.

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AFP

Filming ‘Chaotic’ (2004)

While promoting In the Zone in Europe, Spears and her new boyfriend filmed themselves obsessively with video cameras, generating the footage that would later become their reality show Britney & Kevin: Chaotic. Here, she performs in Rotterdam in May 2004.

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Splash News

Knee Injury (2004)

In June 2004, Spears suffered a knee injury during the shoot for her "Outrageous" video and underwent surgery in New York. She was forced to cancel her remaining tour dates, and Jive announced that her doctors had ordered the star to undergo four months of rest. Here, she begins recovery.

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INFPhoto

Second Wedding (2004)

Spears and Federline announced their engagement in the summer of 2004; Spears proposed to Federline, who refused and proposed himself a few minutes later. The two were married in September 2004, and Spears' bridesmaids wore pink Juicy tracksuits for the occasion. After the wedding, Spears fired Larry Rudolph and her mother as her managers and turned to making money from her private life, selling her wedding photos for $1 million.

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Frazer Harrison

Billboard Music Awards (2004)

Spears attends the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on December 8, 2004. Two months prior, she announced on her website that she would take a brief break from the music business to focus on her new family. "My prerogative right now is to just chill and let all of the other overexposed blondes on the cover of Us Weekly be your entertainment," she wrote. "Good luck, girls!"

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Winter

Pregnant (2005)

In April 2005, Spears – seen here with Federline at a movie premiere – announced that she was expecting her first child. Sean Preston was born in September 2005, and his baby pictures were sold to People for $1 million.

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Splash News

Coming Under Fire (2006)

After Spears gave birth to Sean Preston, the paparazzi's attention only heightened and she began to unravel in public. One photographer caught her behind the wheel of her black SUV with her infant son on her lap, rather than secured in a car seat, on February 6, 2006, and the public recoiled with horror at Spears' irresponsible parenting.

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caption: In a surprise appearance, pop superstar Britney Spears tells David Letterman the news that sheÕs pregnant with her second child on the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, Tuesday, May 9 on the CBS Television Network. This will be the second child for Spears and her husband, Kevin Federline, who already have a son, Sean Preston, who was born last September. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS ©2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved copyright:

Jeffrey Neira / /CBS

Breaking News on ‘David Letterman’ (2006)

Here, during a surprise appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman on May 9, 2006, Spears breaks the news that she is pregnant with her second child. Son Jayden James was born in September 2006, but Spears and Federline didn't reveal any baby photos immediately, holding out for a bigger magazine payday that never came. Though the public craved Spears news and gossip, the singer largely abandoned her recording career; a greatest hits collection came out in November.

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Confessing on ‘Dateline’ (2006)

In an emotional and candid interview with Dateline's Matt Lauer in June 2006, Spears addressed the state of her marriage, "mommy mishaps" and how the paparazzi had gone "too far." Despite multiple reports that her marriage to Federline was on the rocks and that he was sleeping in the basement, a pregnant Spears tearfully denied that there was trouble between the pair and asked to be left alone because "we're people." Here, she poses with Lauer.

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With the Manny (2006)

Despite Spears' protests that her marriage was stable, gossip spread that she was on the prowl for a new boyfriend. Some magazines fingered her bodyguard/nanny Perry Taylor (seen here strolling with Spears on May 30, 2006) as her latest love.

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J. Emilio Flores

Filing for Divorce (2006)

In November 2006, Spears informed Federline via text message that she wanted a divorce. Federline responded by scrawling "Today I'm a free man – Fuck a wife, give me my kids, bitch!" on a nightclub bathroom wall.

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Splash News

Clubbing with Paris (2006)

After filing for divorce, Spears rehired manager Larry Rudolph but also wanted to explore her new freedom. She hit Los Angeles hotspots with party girls such as Paris Hilton, and was photographed sans underwear three times. The Britney/Paris friendship didn't last long, and Hilton nicknamed Spears "the Animal" because she didn't think before she acted.

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Shaving Her Head (2007)

As Spears' partying became more frequent and worrysome, her handlers urged her to go to rehab. She spent only one day at Eric Clapton's Crossroads center in Antigua in February 2007 before flying back to Los Angeles. There, she went to Federline's house demanding to see her children but was told that she couldn't unless she checked back into treatment. Spears left in anger and drove around until she found a random hair salon, where she grabbed a pair of clippers and shaved her head.