Britney Spears started performing when she was very young. At the age of 3, her parents enrolled her in dance classes and right away, it was apparent that Spears was comfortable on the stage.
“Ever since I was 7 or 8 years old, my mom would have company over, and I was always performing for everybody in front of the TV. … Even when I went to school, I was always the weird child; I would go outside and instead of playing, I wanted to have Star Search competitions,” Spears told the Hollywood Reporter, according to Biography.
Since that time, Spears has sold 33.8 million albums, performed all over the globe, and has become a multi-millionaire and a household name.
Here’s how Britney Spears became famous:
She Auditioned for ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ Twice
When she was 8, her mom took her to an audition for Disney Channel’s The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, but Spears didn’t get the part. According to Cheat Sheet, the show’s casting director introduced the Spears family to Nancy Carson, a talent agent in New York City. Carson met Spears and suggested she enroll at the Professional Performing Arts School.
From there, Spears auditioned for a role in the Off-Broadway musical Ruthless! She was cast as an understudy. Around the same time, Spears was cast in several commercials and she even appeared on Star Search, where she performed “Love Can Build a Bridge.” You can see the video here.
Three years later, Spears auditioned for The All-New Mickey Mouse Club again, and, this time, she made the cut. According to Biography, Spears was on the show until 1995, when it was canceled.
Spears Signed With Jive Records in 1997
After ending her time on the MMC, Spears decided to really focus on her singing. She tried out for an all-girl singing group called Innosense and became one of the founding members. It was a family friend named Larry Rudolph, however, who took the ultimate chance on Spears and decided to send a demo tape to various record labels, according to Cheat Sheet. Rudolph, who has been Spears’ longtime manager, believed that Spears was destined for greatness as a solo artist.
While some labels weren’t interested in signing Spears, she ended up getting a call from Jive Records. According to Wired, Spears auditioned live for Jive, singing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” in front of the executives. That’s all it took to make the decision.
Spears inked a deal with the label in 1997. Things moved rather quickly for Spears, who was 16 years old at the time. She teamed up with producer Max Martin and worked with him to make her first single “…Baby One More Time” a worldwide hit. The track was released on October 23, 1998, and quickly climbed the charts. By January 1999, Spears had her first No. 1 song.
Things only went up from there. Spears got an incredible opportunity to tour with NSYNC. She opened for the boyband at 27 concerts in 1998, before headlining her own tour the following year, according to Concert Archives.
Spears Has Performed Hundreds of Times but Hasn’t Been on Stage Since 2018
Spears has released nine studio albums, eight compilation albums, and has a total of 47 singles under her belt. She has performed hundreds of shows all over the world and had a residency in Las Vegas from 2013 through 2017. From there, Spears took her show “Britney: Piece of Me” on the road.
In 2018, Spears announced that she had inked a deal for another Vegas residency, this time at Park MGM. “Domination” was set to kick off in February 2019, however, Spears ended up canceling the deal due to her father’s health. As previously reported by Heavy, Spears made the decision to take an indefinite work hiatus after her father fell ill with a ruptured colon.
“I don’t even know where to start with this, because this is so tough for me to say. I will not be performing my new show Domination. I’ve been looking forward to this show and seeing all of you this year, so doing this breaks my heart. However, it’s important to always put your family first… and that’s the decision I had to make,” Spears posted on social media at the time.
Spears has not performed since 2018. While fans are hopeful that she will make a comeback, her manager has warned that she may never perform again.
“I don’t want her to work again ’till she’s ready, physically, mentally and passionately. If that time never comes again it will never come again. I have no desire or ability to make her work again. I am only here for her when she wants to work. And, if she ever does want to work again, I’m here to tell her if it’s a good idea or a bad idea,” Rudolph told TMZ in May 2019.