Britney Spears went from Mouseketeer to meltdown queen in a few short years punctuated with spectacular breakups–from Justin Timberlake, from husband of 55 hours, Jason Alexander, from Kevin Federline. The "Scream & Shout" hitmaker seems to have cleaned up her act and gone all X Factor.
But Brit-Brit has still not completely lived down the escapades of 2007 and 2008, when the "Oops I Did It Again" chanteuse famously shaved her head, attacked a car with an umbrella, lost custody of her two kids and was put in an involuntary psych hold.
The former Mickey Mouse Club good girl burst on to the music scene in 1999 with a slew of megahits like "…Baby One More Time," and gave us all reason to gossip early on. Shocking the world with a tongue-in-Madonna's-cheek bit at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, the "Toxic" singer hinted there was more to her than her squeaky image belied.
After breaking up with boy band beau ‘N Sync's Justin Timberlake, Britney went to Vegas and married childhood friend Jason Alexander. The two lived happily ever after, for 55 hours, and then had the union annulled.
The "In The Zone" performer didn't let any grass grow under her feet. The pop tart found love again with Kevin Federline, one of her backup dancers (who was still dating his pregnant girlfriend at the time). Spears and Federline were married in 2004 and filmed their antics for a TV show called Britney and Kevin: Chaotic–which is exactly what that period in the X Factor star's life was.
Things unraveled quickly. Sean Preston's mommy drew sharp criticism when photos emerged of her driving with her young son in her lap instead of in a car seat. After Brit gave birth to second son, Jayden, people close to the "Blackout" singer began to seriously worry about the boys' wellbeing. Following Brit and KFed's divorce in 2007 and an emotional meltdown captured nearly minute-by-minute by the paparazzi, the "Circus" singer lost custody of her children in October 2007.
Britney's father stepped in, sending his daughter to rehab, gaining an appointment as her conservator and sweeping the bad influences out of her life (don't let the door hit you on the way out, Sam Lufti!).
The turnaround seems to be working:
In 2008, the Grammy winner appeared on an episode of How I Met Your Mother, earning the sitcom its highest ratings of the year. She then won the MTV Video Music of the Year for "Piece of Me." In 2009, the "Womanizer" singer began dating agent, Jason Trawick. The lovebirds got engaged in 2011, the same year Femme Fatale topped the charts, making it Spears' sixth No. 1 album.
Topping it off, in 2012, Britney signed a $15 million deal with The X Factor in 2012 to sit in one of the judges' chairs–a fitting reward after so many years of the world heaping judgment on her.