|Born. 2nd December 1981, Kentwood, Louisiana, USA. One of the last teenage superstars of the millennium, Spears enjoyed her breakthrough success at the end of 1998. She appeared in local dance revues and church choirs as a young girl, and at the age of eight auditioned for The Mickey Mouse Club. Although she was too young to join the series, a producer on the show gave her an introduction to a New York agent. She subsequently spent three summers at the Professional Performing Arts School Center. She appeared in a number of off-Broadway productions as a child actor, including Ruthless (1991). She returned to the [ Walt ] Disney Channel for a spot on The Mickey Mouse Club, where she was featured for two years between the ages of 11 and 13. She began to audition for pop bands in the New York area, her demo tapes eventually landing on the desk of Jive Records' Jeff Fenster. ''Her vocal ability and commercial appeal caught me right away,'' he recalls. She was expensively groomed by Jive, who put her in the studio with Eric Foster White (producer and writer for Boyzone, Whitney Houston and others). They employed top R&B writer Max Martin (of Backstreet Boys fame) to produce her debut single, ''... Baby, One More Time'', and an album of the same title. They also set up a promotional free phone number where fans could listen to Spears' music and interviews throughout the summer of 1998. She toured American venues for a series of concerts sponsored by US teen magazines, eventually joining 'N Sync on tour. The careful planning paid off when her debut album and single went on to top the American charts at the start of 1999. The album and single enjoyed similar success in the UK and Europe. The ballad ''Sometimes'' and the funky ''(You Drive Me) Crazy'' were also substantial transatlantic hits. ''Born To Make You Happy'' topped the UK charts in January 2000. The demand for new Spears material was satisfied when her sophomore set, Oops! ... I Did It Again, was released in May. The album contained the expected quota of well-produced, expertly crafted pop songs alongside a risible cover version of (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.