The Untold Truth Of Britney Spears

Britney Spears first took the world by storm in 1998 with the release of her debut single, "...Baby One More Time." The accompanying music video and the release of her full-length album a few months later quickly sent her into the stratosphere. Her success continued long after, and more hits like "I'm a Slave 4 U" and "Toxic" earned her the permanent title of pop princess.

Whether you were a fan of Spears or not, her success permeated pop culture. Throughout the early 2000s, the singer released albums, toured the world, and even starred in movies. But, along with all that attention came some hard times. Many will remember how the tabloids hounded her, and how her personal struggles were often broadcasted in the headlines. But, in recent years, Spears has started to take back control of her own narrative and live life on her own terms.

From her first big break, to life as a mom, to fighting against her family's conservatorship, there's a lot more to Spears than her pop icon status. Whether you're just catching up on her story or have followed her since the beginning, this is the untold truth of Britney Spears.

She screamed when she first heard herself on the radio

Do you remember where you were when you heard "...Baby One More Time" for the very first time? Were you plunked down in front of the television watching MTV, or were you listening to your local Top 40 radio station? Well, Spears remembers exactly where she was when it first hit the airwaves. "I was at home and I had just gotten off the airplane," she recalled in a 1999 interview with Variety. "It was so weird because we'd just got in the car, I'd just shut the door, and it came on." Can you imagine how insane that must have felt?

Spears was so completely blown away that she could barely contain herself. "It was so overwhelming, I just started screaming," she continued. "It was really cool, though." That's a totally understandable reaction, girl. After that, the song was playing literally everywhere, as often as stations could play it without playing only it. And the rest, as they say, was history.

Where did she get her very first start?

Although Spears was catapulted to superstardom upon the release of her debut single, this was not her first rodeo in the entertainment biz. In fact, she was a star on the popular program "The All New Mickey Mouse Club" from 1993 to 1995, alongside other famous alumni like Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, and Justin Timberlake, according to Variety. You can catch Spears and Timberlake singing together on the program, thanks to the wonders of YouTube. That show must have had a little bit of magic to launch so many prolific and successful star careers!

Fans of the show had hoped for a reunion of these former Mouseketeers, now that they were all grown up and killing it on their own. But the closest thing they got was a somewhat lackluster "reunion" on "The Ellen Show," which showed Gosling and Spears together in a photo with Ellen DeGeneres — and that was it. Both stars were also interviewed on the show, but not together. How is that a reunion, exactly?

Becoming a mom calmed her

Spending years and years as an ultra-famous celeb can be exhausting, as everywhere you go and everything you do, you're being watched. Certainly Spears has had to contend with the pressures of fame, which she discussed in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot (via Marie Claire), saying she was often anxious and overwhelmed. But fortunately for Spears, having her two sons was really good for her, and helped her calm down. "Becoming a mother and being with my boys [Jayden and Sean Preston] has made me so much more accepting of myself. I'm their mom, whatever," she confessed in the interview. "That has been a really big thing for me over these last few years." We're glad to hear it, boo!

As for her prognosis, things look good, thanks to her wee ones. "Today I'm at a better place in my life," she shared in that same interview with Yediot Ahronot. "My kids shaped my personality and filled me. They made me not worry about what was happening to me." Motherhood, then, appears to have been a balm to the pop star's soul.

Being famous doesn't make you any different

You would think that Spears, being the ultra-famous, ultra-gorgeous pop star that she is, would have no trouble at all getting a date. She's Britney Spears, for goodness' sake! But as it turns out, even she has had a date go sideways. "I've been single for ages and had a date with a guy I liked. I was getting anxious, worrying he wouldn't like me," she revealed in an interview with Marie Claire. "We went to the movies, but I could tell right away it wasn't working. It was sort of awkward." Ugh, that doesn't sound very pleasant at all. 

So what was it that steered this date into a disaster? "He just wasn't that into me. I liked him. He knew that. But he definitely didn't feel the same," she continued. "It happens to everybody. Being famous doesn't make you any different." How someone couldn't be into Spears is beyond us, but apparently it does happen. Maybe there's hope for the rest of us after all?

She thinks girls should have an ego

Given that Spears has over 40 million followers on Instagram, there are obviously a lot of people who are listening to what she has to say. That's why it was totally refreshing to hear her broadcast a message of female empowerment in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "I feel like it's really, you know, powerful and sexy for girls to have the image of empowerment and to have a little bit of the ego," she explained. "It's okay, you know, toot your own horn, I think that's, kind of, really important these days." In a time when your social media following can misconstrue your words and turn against you at any time, we give that not-so-cookie-cutter advice a solid amen.

That's not the only time Spears has summoned girl power, as a musical with her songs was written, as noted by The New York Times, and might even head to Broadway. The show wasn't about her life, but rather about a book club (comprised of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Cinderella) who are given a copy of "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan, which changes their lives. That sounds amazing!

Men were creepy from the very start

If there's one thing that Spears is probably 100% done with, it has to be dealing with inappropriate attention from men. Given that she's been famous for decades now, you know that stuff has to get exhausting. 

It started early, too, according to Variety magazine. In the 1999 interview, she discussed how she was performing at a show in Philadelphia when she was 17, and there were a ton of older men waiting outside for her. "It was like, 'Oh my goodness, these guys are, like, old,'" she recalled. "I was like, 'Oh my goodness, this is not good.' It was kind of freaky." Um, yikes!

That's not all either — it gets worse. "One guy came to my house when I was home. Thank goodness I wasn't home by myself," she continued. "It was so weird because he parked like half a block away from my house and was snooping up on me. And he asked my mom, 'Can I meet her?'" Of course her mom said no, and the man left, after driving two hours to see her. She understandably freaked out!

She did a wild photoshoot with her ex

Spears' romantic relationship with her ex-husband Kevin Federline may be long dead, but thanks to the god of posterity, the images from a wild photoshoot they did in 2005 will be with us forever. In one photograph, Spears is lounging in a beach chair while Fenderline, dressed as a butler, offers her a drink. And in the other, Spears is dressed as a sexy French maid, draped in the lap of an undershirt-clad Fenderline, accessorized by booze and a cigarette. 

So what was the impetus for staging such a shoot? "I knew we were coming out with our reality show, and I wanted to capture [something about all this] in art form," she revealed in an interview with Interview magazine. "Through photography I wanted me and Kevin to do some kind of character pieces, with a fun essence that didn't really take things too seriously." They certainly don't!

The pair worked with photographer Michelle Kole to achieve their artistic vision. "Instead of trying to deny what the public says or what they think our personas are, we –" Federline finished, "Make fun of it!" 10-4!

My family called me wondering if I'm dead

Spears is no stranger to being the subject of tabloid rumors. So dogged by the paparazzi was she that they captured her shaving her head in 2007, leading people to assume she was experiencing some serious mental health issues. For years, coverage was as relentless as it was constant, and frankly it can be hard to look at, even in retrospect.  

But of all of the wild rumors out there, one especially stood out to Spears when she was asked about it. "The craziest rumor ever I've read about myself is probably that I died," she confessed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "Yeah, it was on the radio that I died." Um, what? Of course, her loved ones were worried about her. "Well, my family called me, and they're wondering if I'm dead," she continued. Fortunately, as we all know Spears was not dead, which she confirmed with her family members. Thank goodness! 

This is what she learned from Madonna

Spears had a very public girlmance with Madonna back in the day, including a now-legendary smooch they shared at the 2003 VMA's. Allegedly the friendship went sour in 2006, according to Today, when Spears publicly shared that she no longer studies Kabbalah, something Madonna had gotten her into. 

But in 2011, Spears only had kind words to say about the pop icon, and shared what she feels Madonna has taught her. "I guess she's really taught me to stay true to myself," she shared in an interview with Harper's Bazaar. "That seems like a simple thing to say, but she taught me through action, not just by saying it." That's a pretty important lesson.

Madonna certainly understands what it is to be a megastar, so it makes sense that Spears would have that as her takeaway. "There are so many people around you that have opinions, but you just have to listen to your instincts," she continued. Girl, those are some wise words.

There were many decisions that were made for me and that I didn't make myself

Spears has come a long way from the schoolgirl that she was in the "...Baby One More Time" days, and even from the woman she was a decade after that. To that end, she opened up about her career in a 2017 interview, and reflected on some of the more difficult times. "I think I had to give myself more breaks through my career and take responsibility for my mental health," she confessed in an interview with Yediot Ahronot (via Marie Claire). "There were many decisions that were made for me and that I didn't make myself." That's not surprising to learn, especially how young she was when it all started.

One of the biggest decisions she regrets was performing "I'm a Slave 4 U" onstage at the VMAs with a very large, yellow Burmese Python wrapped around her. "That was pretty scary. Stupid even," she continued. "I wouldn't do that again." So even though people still talk about it years later, it's not something she remembers all that fondly.

She's a spiritual person

Spears isn't just a one-dimensional person without deep-seated beliefs and convictions, despite the fact that the tabloids have painted her as such in the past. Rather, one thing she's emotionally invested in is her spirituality. "I believe in an afterlife, of course. I'm a very spiritual person," she revealed in an interview with Flaunt magazine. "I believe in heaven. I believe we're all here for a reason." Cultivate that inner life, girl! Everyone needs to hold onto something.

Spears also believes that everyone has their role in life, and should have a positive impact on the world. "I think we're here just as people to pass it on and pass our information on to others, to inspire as much as we can. Inspire every day," she continued. "And just to be good people, you know? And give back and help others." She's certainly done her part inspiring people!

She says she's actually pretty boring

You'd think that Spears would have a super exciting life when she's not performing, given that she's so rich and famous. In fact, she's worth a staggering $70 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Bring on the yacht excursions, shopping sprees in the best boutiques, and the trips around the world, right?

Wrong, actually. Turns out the way Spears describes herself is kind of surprising. "I'm actually a very boring person," she admitted in an interview with Flaunt magazine. "I don't go out. I don't really do anything. I should be Mother Mary, seriously." Sounds like she's a bit of a recluse, honestly. Things may have been different in the past for the pop star, but it sounds like she's totally comfortable where she is now. "I think my life has done a complete 360," she continued. "Things are just different now. It's a different time. It's a different era." But clearly, it's still her era!

How does she want to be remembered?

There are plenty of memorable moments in Spears' long and successful career that stand out: that smooch with Madonna, her sweet schoolgirl persona, her insane and varied music video looks, and yes, declaring, "It's Britney, b***h." 

But when asked, the singer said she wanted to be remembered for something quite surprising. "I would like to be remembered as someone who makes you laugh," she shared in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "I just think laughter is the most like, joyful thing you can do in life, you know? And I think it's really, like, I love being around people who are funny." Who saw that one coming?

As to whether or not she's funny herself, Spears was pretty honest about it. "I'm really not, but I wish I was!" she continued. That's okay girl, you are memorable for so many other amazing reasons! No one's going to be able to forget you.

She spoke up for herself in court

In 2008, a judge placed Britney Spears in a legal conservatorship, giving her father, Jamie Spears, control of her finances, career, and personal life. The conservatorship lasted for 13 years, but during a 2021 case revisiting the issue, Britney gave an impassioned plea for her freedom. In the 23-minute speech, the pop singer said that in the conservatorship, she'd been forced to undergo treatment, work around the clock, and stopped from removing her birth control.

Spears told the judge that she wanted control of her life back. "I want to be able to get married and have a baby," she said. "I wanted to take the [IUD] out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so-called team won't let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don't want me to have children, any more children." Many people were understandably shocked by this revelation. Alexis McGill Johnson, chief executive of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Tweeted in support of Spears, calling her treatment "reproductive coercion."

Spears finished her statement by telling the judge, "I deserve to have a life. I've worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two- to three-year break and just, you know, do what I want to do ... I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone. And I'm tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does ..."

She tried to leave the music industry

Since getting released from her conservatorship in November 2021, Britney Spears has been free to open up about the hardships she's faced. Spears discussed how her music career was out of her hands for years in an Instagram post cited by Glamour. The singer told fans that she'd wanted to release new music and remixes of her old hits for 13 years. She was particularly frustrated that those in control wouldn't let her release remixes because new versions of her songs were being showcased, just not by her. "I knew exactly what I wanted my fans to see and it didn't make sense how network television shows are showcasing my music with remixes of all my music ... yet the person who owns the music is told no. ... They even gave remixes to my sister but why was I always told no?" she wrote.

Spears became so discouraged by the stifling of her vision that she wanted to leave the music industry altogether, and stopped performing her music. "It seems odd to most now why I don't even do my music anymore ... after what I've been through, I'm scared of people and the business!!!! They really hurt me!!!!!! Not doing my music anymore is my way of saying 'F*** You,'" Spears shared. But fans will be happy to know she's starting to see things differently and said, "My goal for this year is to push myself a bit more and do things that scare me."

She was forced into psychiatric care over a dance move

While fighting to get her conservatorship removed, Britney Spears spoke out in court about the specifics of her treatment. Spears told the judge about being put through involuntary medical and psychiatric treatment. In one instance, she spoke up about a piece of choreography during rehearsal. It was just a dance move she didn't want to do, but after saying so, Spears said she was pushed into medical evaluations and rehab. The pop star described her team's reaction saying, "it was as if I planted a huge bomb somewhere ... I'm not here to be anyone's slave. I can say no to a dance move."

Spears was forced to take a psych evaluation, then sent to a 24-hour treatment center against her will. She also had to pay $60,000 a month for the treatment. She described feeling dehumanized by her experience there. "They watched me change every day — naked — morning, noon, and night. My body — I had no privacy door for my room," Spears said. She added that nothing about going to treatment was her choice. "If I didn't do any of my meetings and work from eight to six at night, which is 10 hours a day, seven days a week, no days off, I wouldn't be able to see my kids or my boyfriend. I never had a say in my schedule; they always told me I had to do this," Spears said.

She says fans saved her life

Some of Britney Spears' most loyal fans have been against her conservatorship since it started. They were concerned that their favorite star's voice was being silenced and that her rights were being wrongfully taken away. In the years leading up to the conservatorship finally ending, that view began to gain more traction online as #FreeBritney drew the attention of more and more supporters.

Spears' most dedicated followers turned the internet campaign into a full-blown social movement by speaking out, organizing protests, and seeking media coverage on the issue. One of #FreeBritney's loudest voices, Megan Radford, had been speaking against the conservatorship since 2009. She told CNN, "Some weeks it's a second full-time job. It's definitely a second part-time job."

But, all that work didn't go unnoticed. The #FreeBritney movement got the attention of the media and brought more of the public to the pop singer's side. After Spears was released from the legally-binding conservatorship, she thanked her fans for all their work on her behalf. In an Instagram post quoted by CNN, Spears told them, "The #FreeBritney movement — you guys rock ... Honestly, my voice was muted and threatened for so long, and I wasn't able to speak up or say anything ... I honestly think you guys saved my life, in a way. 100 percent."

She had a public feud with her sister

Britney Spears cut ties with many family members after speaking out against her treatment under the conservatorship. Though her younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears claimed to be the singer's "biggest supporter," Britney has come out to say that's not true. The younger Spears gave an interview with "Good Morning America" to discuss her memoir "Things I Should Have Said." During the interview, she said, "When [the conservatorship] was put into place I was 17 years old, I was about to have a baby, so I didn't understand what was happening, nor was I focused on that." She further distanced herself from Britney's treatment by saying, "I felt like I just didn't want to be a part of [it] ... So there was no me overseeing funds or something like that, and if that was then it's a misunderstanding."

But Britney spoke out against her sister's statements on Twitter. She told her followers that Jamie Lynn was trying to "sell a book at my expense." She said that there was no reason for her sister to say her "behavior was out of control" except to promote her memoir. She added in another slide that Jamie Lynn has always profited off of her work. "I know it may sound like a silly thing to most people but I wrote a lot of my songs and my sister was the baby. She never had to work for anything. Everything was always given to her," Britney wrote.

She met her fiance on a music video shoot

Britney Spears took a big step in taking back control of her life when she announced her engagement to her long-term boyfriend, Sam Asghari. She captioned an Instagram video showing off her new diamond ring, saying, "I can't f***ing believe it." The "Toxic" singer and Iranian actor/fitness enthusiast have been together since 2016. 

Asghari shared his experience meeting the pop icon on the set of her "Slumber Party" music video. It seems their on-screen chemistry was more than acting. Asghari told Men's Health that he was excited to "meet one of the biggest artists of all time" and had "butterflies" going into it. He remembered trying to break the ice by pretending not to know who Spears was: "She said, 'Hi, I'm Britney,' and I said, 'I'm sorry. What's your name again?'" Asghari said. "I tried to be funny. I don't think anybody got it." 

Even though that joke didn't land, the two still hit it off behind the scenes, and they exchanged numbers at the end of the shoot. Asghari said, "I don't think [she or I] had the intention to just be friends." Spears made their relationship official just a few months later with a New Year's Day 2017 Instagram photo of the happy couple out to dinner.

She surprised fans when she announced she was pregnant with her third baby

​​Britney Spears and her fiancé, Sam Asghari, made another announcement on Spears' Instagram on April 11, 2022. The 40-year-old pop star captioned a photo of a pink mug of tea and flowers with the news of her third pregnancy. She shared in the post that at first, she and Asghari thought she was "food pregnant." But, she got a pregnancy test to check. Spears wrote, "uhhhhh well ... I am having a baby."

She also told her fans that she'd be going out less to avoid paparazzi during her pregnancy, and opened up about some difficult aspects of her past pregnancies. "It's hard because when I was pregnant I had perinatal depression ... I have to say it is absolutely horrible," she wrote. "Women didn't talk about it back then ... but now women talk about it everyday ... thank Jesus we don't have to keep that pain a reserved proper secret."

Asghari told BBC News that he wants to have a family with Spears. He added that building their family is something that "should have happened three years ago." But, Spears was still under her conservatorship when their relationship began. After hearing that Spears had been forced to stay on birth control in the past, her friends and fans were overjoyed by the news. Spears' long-time friend Paris Hilton tweeted, "You are an incredible mother and cannot wait for your new baby on the way! Sending all my love and congratulations your way to you and Sam!"