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The Spears years

From pop princess to troubled wife and mom, the ups and downs of Britney Spears.

Britney Spears, left, receives the Video Vanguard award from Lady Gaga, dressed as her male character Jo Calderone, at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday Aug. 28, 2011, in Los Angeles. Matt Sayles / AP
Spears and Rihanna perform onstage during the 2011 Billboard Music Awards on May 22, 2011 in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Spears performs at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards on May 22, 2011 in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Spears performs during her Femme Fatale tour on March 27, 2011 in San Francisco. Max Morse / Getty Images
Heather Morris, left, and Spears on a 2010 episode of the FOX show "Glee." In the episode, the school's glee club tries to convince their director to let them take on a song by Spears, but he worries that it's too racy. Adam Rose / FOX
Britney Spears poses in an advertisement for Candie's. Spears designed a collection of apparel and accessories called "Britney for Candie's," targeted toward juniors and available at Kohl's Department Stores. The pop star has been the spokesmodel for Candie's for several years. AP
Spears arrives at the Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2010. Her black lace dress-bodysuit was by Dolce & Gabbana, and she was escorted by agent and boyfriend Jason Trawick. Christopher Polk / Getty Images
Briney Spears, who celebrated her 28th birthday on Dec. 2, 2009, poses for the cover of the January 2010 issue of ELLE magazine with her two sons, Sean Preston, 4, and Jayden James, 3. In one magazine photo, Spears peeks out from under the covers of a fluffy bed and in another she props herself on the kitchen counter as one of her sons plays in a mess of cupcakes and frosting. Elle
Spears is seen with her boyfriend Jason Trawick and her children Sean Preston and Jayden James as they board the yacht MV Oscar in Woolloomooloo, Sydney, on Nov. 15, 2009. Getty Images
Madame Tussaud's studio team members put the final touches on a wax figure of Spears in London on Tuesday, June 2, 2009, in preparation for the pop star's arrival for the U.K. leg of her Circus world tour. Joel Ryan / AP
Spears and Sean Preston and Jayden James strike a pose at the Candie’s "VIP Sweet Lounge" backstage at her concert in Los Angeles on April 16, 2009 Candies
Spears released her sixth studio album, "Circus," on her 27th birthday, Dec. 2, 2008. She kicked off "The Circus Starring Britney Spears" tour in New Orleans on March 3. Of course, the album hasn't been without controversy: Its third single, "If You Seek Amy," has a profane meaning when the title is said quickly. Jeremy Cowart / Getty Images
In 2009, Spears began promoting Candie's apparel in ads featuring her toned body in pink lingerie. The ad deal was Spears' first since her public meltdown in 2007 and 2008. PR NEWSWIRE
Spears joined Madonna onstage during a 2008 concert at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium while the Material Girl was on her "Sticky & Sweet" tour. The surprise appearance shocked many, but Spears wasn't Madonna's only guest that night. Later she was joined by Spears' ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake. Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
Spears holds a moonman for Best Pop Video for "Piece of Me" at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards on the Paramount Studios lot in Los Angeles on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008. Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Actor Neil Patrick Harris, left, stars as Barney and Spears guest stars as Abby in a scene from CBS's "How I Met Your Mother" in March 2008. CBS
Lynne Spears came to the aid of her daughter in January 2008, after Britney reportedly was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Lynne was also not happy with the role Britney's pal, Sam Lutfi (pictured at rear) was playing in Britney's life. Vwr-bope-mbf/x17online.com / VWR-Bope-MBF/X17online.com
OK! magazine's exclusive photos showing, from left, Britney, her younger sister Jamie Lynn, mom Lynne Spears, Ashley Aldridge, the sister of Jamie Lynn's boyfriend Casey Aldridge, Joyce Aldridge, Casey's mom, at the May 2, 2008, baby shower for Jamie Lynn. OK!
Spears' dramatic life took another bizarre turn on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2008, when police were called to her Beverly Hills home because of a standoff in her ongoing custody battle with Kevin Federline over their two young sons. Spears was reportedly locked in a room for three hours and eventually left the house on a gurney and was loaded into an ambulance. She was taken to L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she was held for psychiatric evaluation. JFXONLINE
Spears performs "Gimme More" at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Palms Hotel and Casino on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007, in Las Vegas. The much-hyped performance was widely criticized for Spears' seeming lack of enthusiasm. Kevork Djansezian / AP
Photographers mob Spears' car as she arrives at family court in Los Angeles for a hearing to work out custody arrangements with Federline for their two young sons on Oct. 26, 2007. The intense pursuit of Spears by the paparazzi would take another bizarre turn as she later was romantically linked to photographer Adnan Ghalib, in hat at lower right. Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images
Spears, left, takes her kids, Sean Preston and Jayden James, for a boat ride in Marina Del Rey, Calif., on Friday, July 20, 2007. Spears has been locked in a battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline over future custody of the children. INFphoto.com
A tearful Britney defiantly shaved her head at a Los Angeles hair salon after the owner refused to take part in the embattled pop star's latest extreme makover on Friday, Feb. 16, 2007. The visit to Esther's Haircutting Studio in the Tarzana district of Los Angeles was followed by a trip to a tattoo parlor where the 25-year-old added two designs to her body. X17online.com
Spears, newly svelte after giving birth to her second child, walks on stage to present the award for "Soul/R&B Favorite Artist" during the 2006 American Music Awards on Tuesday, Nov. 21, in Los Angeles. Just two weeks before, Spears filed for divorce from Federline. Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Spears announced her second pregnancy on "The Late Show with David Letterman," when son Sean Preston was 8 months old. A few days after the announcement, Spears and Sean were in the news again, as she was spotted driving her Mini Cooper convertible with Sean in his infant seat facing the wrong way. Her second child was born on Sept. 12, 2006. INFGoff.com
Six months pregnant with her second son, Spears posed naked on the cover of the August 2006 issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine. A month later she gave birth. Harper's Bazaar via Reuters
Spears and husband Kevin Federline arrive at Sony BMG's Grammy Party on Feb. 8, 2006. In the months after Sean Preston's birth, many consultants suggested she needed to overhaul her image. Vince Bucci / Getty Images
What would the summer of 2005 have been without endless sightings of this image of Britney with her "I have the Golden Ticket" shirt? Even as she neared her September delivery date, reports surfaced of squabbling between Britney and papa-to-be Federline. Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Spears and Federline put the squeeze on a tiny dog and kiss at the Billboard Music Awards in December of 2004. Spears announced four months later on April 12, 2005, that she was pregnant with her first child, ending months of speculation over whether the pop princess was launching a new career as a mother. Spears made the announcement in a posting to fans on her official Web site. Jean Catuffe / Sipa Press
Spears celebrated the global launch of her fragrance Curious from Elizabeth Arden at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans on March 18, 2005. Reuters
An exterior view shows A Little White Chapel where Spears and childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander were married in Las Vegas early in the morning on Jan. 3, 2004. The marriage was later annulled. Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
Spears got a kiss on the mouth from Madonna as they opened the TV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Aug. 28, 2003. Win McNamee / Reuters
Spears, dressed in a wedding gown, sings at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York on Aug. 28, 2003. Win McNamee / Reuters
Spears starred as Lucy in the 2002 film "Crossroads." The movie bombed at the box office. Paramount Pictures
Spears performs with a snake during the finale of the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 6, 2001, at New York's Metropolitan Opera House. Beth A. Keiser / AP
Spears holds a bottle of Pepsi at a news conference on Feb. 6, 2001, where it was announced that she signed a global marketing pact with the Pepsi-Cola Company. Jeff Christensen / Reuters
Spears, left, and Christina Aguilera introduce Whitney Houston at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York on Sept. 7, 2000. Spears and Aguilera previously starred together in the Mickey Mouse Club. Dave Hogan / Getty Images
Justin Timberlake and Spears attend the MTV Music Video Awards at New York's Radio City Music Hall on Sept 7, 2000. Dave Hogan / Getty Images
Spears performs on stage at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 23, 2000. Dave Hogan / Getty Images
Spears holds her Female Artist of the Year award at the 1999 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Dec. 8, 1999. Brenda Chase / Getty Images
As a teen pop sensation, Spears performed at the Universal Ampitheater during her Baby One More Time tour in Universal City, Calif., on July 31, 1999. Brenda Chase / Getty Images