Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
There have been fewer stars that have shone as brightly as Britney Spears did in the late part of the 1990s and early part of the 2000s. Emerging as a shining beacon of innocent teenage pop at a time where music was dominated by musicians in their late 20’s whining like a teenager, it was hard not to get behind this go go Southern teen who had all of the winning charm and, yes, a hint of dangerous sexuality. While some people criticized this Lolitaish aspect of Britney Spear’s life, her detractors were proportionally outnumbered by her supporters, as Britney’s devoted fans flocked to buy her albums, watch her epic concerts, and even go see her one foray into the movies. A megastar before the time she turned 20, Britney Spears was America’s princess. So what happened?
Making more news today for her erratic behavior, such as shaving her head and also switching bikinis with random strangers, Britney Spears has gone from headlining act to walking punch line. But how did Britney manage to fall so far? Sure, there’s always a dangerous path that you have to follow when you are a teenage success queen. After all, it has to be hard to have the entire world eyes on you watching you grow into a woman and having strangers forming strong opinions about the way that you are maturing. However, Spears showed a canny savvy when dealing with this issue with the release of songs like, “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.”
Rather oddly enough, the downfall of Britney Spears is really something that everybody can relate to. What took its toll on Britney Spears’ career was love and marriage. Again like many sweet heart teenage girls around the world, it was the case of a good girl (at least in terms of image) falling for a bad boy, a bad boy that would eventually break her heart.
When the world found out about the relationship between celebrity supernova Britney Spears and back-up dancer, Kevin Federline, they really weren’t quiet sure what to think. By this point in time, Britney Spears had become a bit erratic doing such things as marrying a childhood friend for a day in Las Vegas before hastily getting her first marriage annulled and was watching her carefully crafted reputation as America’s sweetheart being ruined by the ruthless tactics of her ex-boyfriend and fellow pop superstar, Justin Timberlake. Still, this nascent relationship seemed a bit ridiculous but also a bit stabilizing. Very few people expected this couple to end up in marriage. After all, wasn’t Kevin Federline a bit too white trash, a bit too low class, and well a bit too much of a loser to be the one who would marry one of the most fantasized about women in the world.
Well, you know kids these days. The couple would get married in a classy secret wedding that involved matching pimp and ho suits. Two babies, one reality TV show, one unfortunate attempt at starting a rap career, and one divorce later and here we are. However, things have got a bit twisted. To pretty much everybody’s surprise it has been Britney Spears whose life has unraveled after the high profile celebrity divorce, while shockingly Kevin Federline has come of as the more stable of the two. One of the biggest celebrity divorces in recent years, it is a fascinating story to examine – the bizarre celebrity marriage and celebrity divorce of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline.
It’s amazing how so many celebrities start their careers so young. Although Britney Spears first made waves as a teenager, she had been hard at work at an early age. Born in McComb, Mississippi on December 2, 1981, Britney Jean Spears lived a very Southern life. She was raised in Kentwood, Louisiana as a Southern Baptist where her building contractor father, James Parnell Spears, and her former grade school teacher mother, Lynne Irene Bridges took great pains to give Britney and her two siblings an All-American life.
Excelling at gymastics and other sports, Britney Spears had always been attracted to the spotlight. From an early age, she would appear at local dance revues and sing in her local Baptist church choirs. Still, this doesn’t really set Britney Spears apart from thousands of children around the world. What does is her tenacity. At the age of eight, Britney Spears auditioned for The New Mickey Mouse Club, a program that was put on by the Disney Channel. Although the show’s producers were impressed by Spears’ talent; they felt that she was too young to appear on the show. However, this early rejection didn’t temper Britney’s enthusiasm. While other kids her age would take the summers off to go play with their friends, Britney Spears was dutilly attending New York City’s prestigious Professional Performing Arts School for three summers. In addition to this extra school, Spears would appear in a number of off-Broadway productions, with the highlight being her appearance in the 1991 production, Ruthless!
The year later, America would get their first glimpse at Britney Spears when she appeared on the famous talent competition, Star Search. Although she would lose in the second round, this increased exposure led her being accepted for a role in the New Mickey Mouse Club series. Spears appeared on the show from the ages of 11 and 13 and was part of a dream team including Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Keri Russell, and Ryan Gosling who would go on to establish popular careers in the future. However, she would enter high school at 14 where she would live her last few years of anonymity. Despite living the regular life of a high school student, Spears was still trying to further her career by briefly becoming a member of the all-female pop group, Innosense, and then recording a solo demo tape that would eventually lead to her building a relationship with Jive Records.
By the time Britney Spears was 17 years old, she had already performed on a tour that was sponsored by American teen magazines and had shot her first music video for the song, “…Baby One More Time.” The video would go on to be a major hit and would launch Britney Spears into the celebrity stratosphere. Her debut album, also titled, “…Baby One More Time” would top the charts all over the world and Britney Spears would quickly become a household name. Although she declared herself as a virtuous teen who was going to remain a virgin until she married, many people were concerned with her image. While virtuous in words, she was not so clean cut in images and she had to deny a number of rumors including that she had breast implants.
Despite all of the controversy, the world couldn’t get enough of Britney. Her sophomore album, “Oops! I Did it Again,” would break the record for the most records sold in the first week of release. Britney Spears would go on to continue to dominate the world, as she won several Billboard Music Awards and a couple of American Music Awards. During this time, Spears launched an elaborate tour that showcased her showmanship. At this time, her romance with fellow teen pop star, Justin Timberlake, meant that Britney Spears’ personal life would begin to be scrutinized. However, the cute couple of Brit and JT captured the hearts of many teens and you can say that this period was the highlight of Britney Spears’ career. Major companies like Pepsi tapped into Spears’ popularity by signing her to lucrative endorsement deals.
At this point in time, Britney Spears decided to take the natural step for celebrity musicians by expanding into the acting world. While working diligently on her third album, “Britney,” Spears was wrapping up a starring role in the low budget coming of age movie, “Crossroads.” Although the movie was a financial success that made nearly five times its budget, “Crossroads” was considered a commercial and critical failure. Spears would “win” the Razzie Award for Worst Actress from this appearance and her “Britney” album didn’t reach the same heights as her prior albums. Although Britney Spears set a record by being the first female artist to have her first three albums debut at the top of the Billboard charts, her ascendancy to celebrity heights was starting to show some cracks.
It was in 2002 that the relationship between Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake ended. It was also in that year that Timberlake would make the near impossible transition from boy band pop star to respected pop musician with his highly personal debut album, “Justified.” On one of the biggest singles from that album, “Cry me a River,” Timberlake highly suggested that Spears had cheated on him and that was responsible for their breakup. Also during that time, Timberlake appeared on the Howard Stern Show and essentially said that Spears’ assertion that she was still a virgin was a lie. These blows may have helped Timberlake’s career but at the expense of Britney Spears’ career.
After a brief hiatus, Britney Spears came back with a boom. Her appearance at the 2003 MTV Music Awards made its way on the national headlines as she kissed Madonna briefly while dueting with her and Christina Aguilera on the song, “Like a Virgin.” With her good teenage girl image behind her, people were eager to hear how Britney would react to her ex-boyfriend’s claims. Britney’s response was not to respond. Many people expected her fourth album “In the Zone” would provide her side of the story. Instead, fans were treated to an undeniably fun party album that included the smash hit and Grammy winning, “Toxic.” The most critically acclaimed album in Britney Spears’ career, it seemed like “In the Zone” was the perfect album to allow Spears to bounce back from her earlier troubles.
Jay-Z once rapped, “They say you can’t turn a bad girl good, but once a good girl’s goin bad, she’s gone forever.” This could be applied to Britney Spears life as ironically her musical triumphs were offset by bizarre personal behavior. On January 3, 2004 the world was greeted with the shocking news that Britney Spears had married her childhood friend, Jason Allen Alexander in Las Vegas. Spears’ first marriage would end as quickly as it begun, as 55 hours into her marriage Spears would have an annulment granted. In an attempt to get her career back on track, Britney Spears embarked on one of the elaborate, extravagant, and ebuillent tours that she was known for. Unfortunately, the Onyx Hotel Tour was cancelled just a few months after it started due to an injury that Spears sustained while filming a music video.
It was during this time that Britney Spears met a charismatic backup dancer named Kevin Federline who had big ambitions that perhaps outmatched his talent. This “chaotic” relationship would become a major source of attention and would overshadow Britney Spears’ music career. Since Spears and Federline started and ended their relationship, Britney Spears has only released a couple of new songs that appeared on her “Greatest Hits” record. While Britney Spears is now more famous for being famous than for her music career, you can’t underestimate her career. Time Magazine has reported that Britney Spears has sold over seventy-six million records throughout the world and Spears is currently the eighth best-selling female artist in American music history with over 31 million albums sold in the country.
So what exactly led to Britney Spears’ dominating music career going off track? Although there are many reasons for this, the first place that you have to look at is the man known as Kevin Federline. Villified by many as a no talent hack that has brazenly lived off the success and reputation of his much more successful ex-wife, the only thing that Kevin Earl Federline is really guilty of is shameless upward mobility, which really is the American Dream.
Born on March 21, 1978 in Fresno, California, Kevin Federline has always been enamored with show business. At an early age, he moved to Orlando, Florida which was quickly becoming the epicenter for youthful poppy acts. An accomplished dancer, Kevin Federline soon found work as a backup dancer for many of the successful pop acts of his time. He danced for such famed artists as Michael Jackson, Destiny’s Child, Christina Milian, LFO, *Nsync, and ironically, Britney’s ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake. It was while on tour that Federline met Britney Spears. Spears was quickly smitten with the grungy charm of Federline and soon asked Federline out on a date. The two hit it off and quickly became a couple in 2004.
However, there was just one problem: Kevin Federline was in a serious relationship. It seems that Britney Spears was not the only person in Hollywood to be swept by the charms of the man who would go on to be known as K-Fed. Actress Shar Jackson, who was a co-star on Brandy’s television show, Moesha, had been dating Federline and the couple had two children: Kori and Kaleb. In fact, Shar Jackson was pregnant with Kaleb at the time that Federline and Spears began to date. An unpopular move, Kevin Federline and Britney Spears didn’t really care. After all, they were just a couple of crazy kids who found love.
The Spears and Federline relationship moved rapidly and the two would marry in a secret ceremony on September 18, 2004. The widely ridiculed marriage reportedly involved the men wearing matching warmup suits adorned with the word, “Pimps.” This somewhat tasteless gesture would foreshadow the strange and chaotic celebrity marriage of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. The two would chronicle the early days of their relationship on the reality show, “Britney & Kevin: Chaotic.” While Britney Spears would take some time off her career so she would be able to start a family, Federline saw his opportunity to make a career out of nothing. What follows is one of the most bizarre sets of incidents in the last two years.
Kevin Federline quickly signed a deal to model for the Five Star Vintage line by the Blue Marlin clothing company and would eventually make guest spots in the movie, “You Got Served,” and the television show, “CSI.” In an effort to increase his fame, he appeared on WWE’s Raw as a wrestling villain. However, the most infamouse part of Kevin Federline’s career was his attempt to enter the rap industry. Partially financed by Spears’ substantial savings, Kevin Federline crafted the album, “Playing with Fire.” His debut television performance on the 2006 Teen Choice Awards was greeted with apathy and the album did terribly. By all accounts, the album is pretty horrible and not even so bad it’s good. It was one of the rare cases of somebody putting out an album that was so bad that it can only be considered bad.
Undeterred, Federline toured the Hollywood party scene, where he developed a reputation for being a notorious playboy. While Kevin Federline was hitting the clubs, Britney Spears was struggling through the demands of being a mother. The couple had their first child, Sean Preston Federline on September 14, 2005. The scrutiny on the couple and their child was overwhelming and reached its aphex when photos emerged in February of the next year of Britney Spears driving with her son sitting on her lap. Spears blamed the increased attention from the paparazzi and claimed that she was in this situation only because she feared for the safety of her child.
As news leaked out about Kevin Federline’s partying ways and his overt attempts of becoming a celebrity in his own right, many people wondered how long this celebrity marriage could last. The couple would prove people’s doubts wrong for a short time as Britney Spears gave birth to the couple’s second son, Jayden James Federline on September 12, 2006. Still public support for the couple was dwindling and many people were openly imploring Britney Spears to divorce Federline. What didn’t help matters was the fact that Federline was in the midst of a highly unsuccessful club tour and he would actually be conducting a television interview with the Canadian music station, Much Music, where he was allegedly paged by Britney Spears, informing him that she was filing for divorce.
November was a hectic month for Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. Britney had filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences. Federline bravely shouldered on with his club tour and although there was talk of an ugly divorce settlement, nobody could have possibly foreseen what was going to occur next. Armed with an iron clad prenuptial agreement that totaled 60 pages, nobody expected Kevin Federline to be able to obtain much of Britney Spears’ assets. People naturally assumed that Britney Spears would go on to reassert her dominance in the pop world. Unfortunately this would not be the case.
After a brief dalliance party hopping with Paris Hilton through Hollywood’s nightlife, Britney began to show there were some cracks in her personal life. Photos of her passed out with no underwear made the tabloids and soon after, Spears dissacoiated herself with Paris Hilton. Still, despite breaking ties with one of Hollywood’s most notorious parties, Britney couldn’t keep herself out of trouble. She relented and entered a drug rehabilation facility in Antigua on February 16, 2007. However, less than a day later, Britney Spears left rehab and went on a bit of a crazy streak. She shaved her own hair at a haircutting studio in California after the hairdresser refused to shave her hair. There was also video footage from a day later of her attacking a paparrazi’s car with an umbrella. In addition, photos entered circulation of Britney Spears allegedly swapping swimsuits with a couple of random strangers.
With trouble brewing in her life and her public reputation at an all time low, Britney Spears would reenter another rehab facility in Malibu. She has since left the treatment and has agreed on a divorce settlement recently with Kevin Federline. Now fully free from her celebrity divorce, the world can only hope that Kevin Federline and Britney Spears will continue to reach new heights in their respective careers.