Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is an American pop singer and entertainer. Born in Mississippi and raised in Louisiana, Spears first appeared on national television in 1992 as a contestant on the Star Search program. At age 12 she performed as a cast member in Disney Channel's television series The All New Mickey Mouse Club from 1993 to 1994. In 1997, Spears signed a recording contract with Jive, which would lead to the release of her debut album ...Baby One More Time in 1999. The album peaked at number one in Billboard 200 and has since sold over 25 million copies worldwide. Her success continued with the release of her second studio album, Oops!... I Did It Again in 2000, which has sold over 17 million copies worldwide. The release of her first two albums established her as a pop icon and is credited for influencing the revival of teen pop in the late 1990s.
In 2001, she released her third studio album Britney and played as the starring role in the film Crossroads. She assumed creative control of her fourth studio album, In the Zone released in 2003, which made her the only female artist of the Nielsen Soundscan era to have her first four albums debut at number one. After the release of her first greatest hits album Greatest Hits: My Prerogative , Spears experienced personal struggles and her career went under hiatus. This was until her fifth studio album, Blackout was released in 2007. Her sixth studio album, Circus was released in 2008, and also debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the hit single "Womanizer" which became Spears second single to peaked at number one in Billboard Hot 100 since her debut single, nearly 10 years later. In late 2009, Spears released The Singles Collection which includes her third number one hit single in the United States entitled "3".
As of May 2010, Jive stated that Spears has sold over 83 million records worldwide. On December 11, 2009, Billboard named Spears as one of the best selling acts of the 2000s, solely based on album sales as well as the 8th overall best act of the decade based on album sales, chart success, and cultural relativity. She is ranked as the eight best-selling female recording artist in the U.S., having sold more than 32 million copies of her albums and all certified by the Recording Industry Association of America. Spears is currently the 5th best selling artist of the decade and the best selling female artist of the decade.