In 1998, 17-year-old Britney Spears was born. It happened in the song and clip “Baby One More Time”, which soon became a worldwide sensation. The girl who dances in a school uniform will quickly become one of the most important pop stars in the world, and will embark on a path that will lead to a huge crash and an exciting recovery as well as a legal battle against her father that will end in victory. Today, December 2, Spears celebrates her 40th birthday – a good time to remember the significant stops in her life.
The relationship with Justin Timberlake
For nearly four years, Spears has been part of the most photogenic power couple in the pop world, along with Anne Cinque band member Justin Timberlake. The love blossomed, and the interviewers were not sick of anything, including a question about Britney’s virginity. When the relationship ended, rumors of betrayal by Britney spread. Timberlake did not deny the rumors and even stepped up when he released a farewell song in 2002, “Cry Me A River,” which tells the story of a man whose girlfriend left him after she hurt him. The song kicked off Timberlake’s career, while leaving a stain on Brittany. Just this year, almost 20 years later, Timberlake published a post in which he apologized to Britney for the injustice he had done to her.
The kiss with Madonna
The 2003 MTV Awards opened with a memorable performance by Spears along with sworn rival Christina Aguilera and rapper Missy Elliott, who joined the undisputed queen Madonna. The less common performance is remembered by them. What they do remember is the moment he signed it: a fiery kiss between Madonna and Brittany, in the best tradition of Madonna’s provocations. Jaws around the world dropped at the sight of the kiss, and it became one of the most memorable moments in MTV history and the two’s careers. The cameras immediately cut to a reaction in the audience of Britney’s ex, Justin Timberlake, thus missing Madonna’s extra kiss with Aguilera.
In 2004, when she was only 23, the star married her childhood friend, Jason Alexander (not the actor who plays George Costanza in “Seinfeld”) in a kind of whim – or madness – of the moment. 55 hours later the marriage was annulled. Not long after that, Spears started dating Kevin Federline, another of her backing dancers. In September 2004, three months after they met, they married. They had two sons, and in November 2007 they divorced. Recently, as part of Spears’ legal battle against the guardianship her father received in 2008 (see below), she revealed that her father had forbidden her to remarry or become pregnant. Last September, after her father announced he would be giving up guardianship, Britney was quick to announce on Instagram about her engagement to her partner of the past five years, fitness coach and actor Sam Asgari (27).
In parallel with her divorce battle against Federline, Spears seemed to be losing it. She shaved the hair of her head, attacked a paparazzi photographer’s car with an umbrella and drove her car with her baby son sitting on her lap. In January 2008 she was evacuated on a stretcher from her Beverly Hills mansion for hospitalization and psychiatric supervision. It happened after she locked herself with her son in the bathroom. A day later she was released to her home, but less than a month later she was again forcibly hospitalized. That day, her father, Jamie Spears, submitted to the court the documents intended to grant him guardianship over his daughter. Brittany was 26 when her father received custody of her. As a result, custody of her two children and control of her money and property were taken from her.
After being released from hospital and subordinated to her father’s guardianship, Brittany gradually returned to activity. She recorded new songs, returned to perform and in 2012 also sat on the judge’s chair on the American “X Factor” program, from which she retired after one season. In 2013 she put on a regular show in Las Vegas that ran for four years, 248 times. In July 2017, she even came to Israel and gave a grandiose show in Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv.
Termination of guardianship
After 13 years in which her father ran her life, the struggle for Britney’s release began to gain momentum. It started with a New York Times documentary called “Release Britney” which came out last February, following which the “Release Britney” movement rose to public awareness. Spears, who has been silent for many years, was first heard taking a stand against guardianship and recounting the suffering she experienced. Following all this her father announced that he would give up guardianship, and last month it did happen. “This is the best day ever,” Britney tweeted on the day the court ended her guardianship and released her. Now, at 40, she is free again, and it remains only to wish her good luck and hope that the next decades of her life will be better.
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