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Britney Spears has been one of the most successful—and sometimes controversial—solo acts in popular music. More recently, she began hosting The X Factor.
Britney Spears - Full Episode (45:16)
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Lady Gaga - Mini Biography (4:19)
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The full biography of Britney Spears.
Chris America is one of the world's leading Madonna impersonators. She performs as Madonna at private parties and prides herself for being a spitting image of Madonna.
Lady Gaga, born Stefani Germonatta, is a pop artist and cultural icon whose antics, onstage and in video, and wild fashions have earned her attention worldwide. Her hits, Bad Romance, Poker Face and Love Game have sold millions of copies.
Katy Perry was raised by conservative parents in Santa Barbara, In 2011, 5 of her singles from "Teenage Dream" went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, tying Michael Jackson's record.
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Building upon her meteoric rise, Spears released Oops! I Did It Again in 2000. The recording was an instant No. 1 hit on the album charts, selling more than 1 million copies in the first week. Her personal life was also receiving more media attention,
as rumors circulated that she was dating Justin Timberlake, then part of the hit pop group 'N Sync.
With 2001's Britney, Spears made the first move toward shedding her virginal image, while also taking her sound in a different direction. The track, "I'm a Slave 4 U," sounded more like Prince than her bubble-gum pop of the past. "I'd get bored singing the same type of songs all the time. I still love my old stuff, but you have to extend yourself and grow," she explained to Entertainment Weekly. Performing "I'm a Slave 4 U" at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, Spears made heads turn by dancing with a seven-foot albino python around her neck and wearing a barely-there costume.
Around this same time, Spears took a leading role in the feature film Crossroads. The coming-of-age drama received a drubbing from critics after its February 2002 release, but it ended up netting more than $37 million at the box office. Later that spring, Spears experienced another disappointment. She and Timberlake announced that they had broken up.
The following year, Spears created some headlines for her actions at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. She and fellow former Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera shared a kiss with pop superstar Madonna, during Madonna's performance. Some saw this dramatic stage moment as another way for Spears to present the latest version of her more sexualized public persona. Spears acknowledged around this time that Madonna was an important influence on her. "I remember being in my living room and watching her on TV. I'd dance around in my short tops and sing and dream about being her," Spears told Newsweek.
Spears' next album, In the Zone, hit stores that November, which included an appearance by Madonna on the "Me Against the Music" track. The recording's top single, "Toxic," earned Spears her first Grammy Award win for Best Dance Recording.
By January 2004, Spears appeared to be rebelling again—this time, against her intense work schedule. She married her childhood friend Jason Alexander in Las Vegas, but the union was annulled two days later. She then got involved with backup dancer Kevin Federline. At the time, Federline's girlfriend Shar Jackson was pregnant with their second child. Spears' relationship with Federline only intensified with the media's scrutiny of her private life.
Spears experienced some troubles in her professional life around this time. She had to undergo surgery to correct a knee injury, forcing her to cancel the last part of her tour. Her personal life, however, seemed to be flourishing.
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Madonna unapologetically celebrated and monetized her sexuality when she began her career in the 1980s. Her bold behavior paved the way for other female performers—including Cyndi Lauper, Britney Spears, and Janet Jackson—giving them the freedom to explore previously taboo roles and take control of their image and career.
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In July 2004, after three months of dating, Britney Spears got engaged to backup dancer Kevin Federline. They married in September, and had two sons together. Spears filed for divorce in November 2006. In 2007, Federline was awarded custody of their children, as well as $20,000 a month in child support, after Spears experienced a breakdown. She's since cleaned up her act and has increased visitation rights.
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presented by Britney Spears and Kevin Federline