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Vintage Photos That Show the Real Britney Spears

Southern Belle

Southern Belle

Spears compared her time at school to Clueless in a 1999 interview with Rolling Stone: “I was so bored. I was the point guard on the basketball team. I had my boyfriend, and I went to homecoming and Christmas formal. But I wanted more.”

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Denim Dreams

Denim Dreams

Spears and Timberlake’s 3-year relationship had the world head over heels until their heartbreaking split in 2002. Not to mention the “he said, she said” that sent paparazzi on an anti-Britney rampage.

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Just A Small Town Girl

Just A Small Town Girl

It’s easy to forget that Spears was a small town girl who was equally as fascinated with “big city” life as the rest of us.

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Girl Next Door

Girl Next Door

During free time between MMC and before ...Baby One More Time, Spears was studious and active in basketball at her Mississippi school Parklane Academy.

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Beginnings

Beginnings

Before each singer’s lucrative careers, Spears and Christina Aguilera starred on MMC as Mickey’s famous Mouseketeers.

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Teen Queen

Teen Queen

Britney’s role as an MMC Mouseketeer might not have lasted for long, but it was a step in the right direction for the young star.

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Family Ties

Family Ties

Felicia Culotta, a long-time friend of the Spears family, spoke about her time as Spears’s assistant in New York Times'  “Framing Britney Spears.” “For a long time they called me her chaperone, and then at one point they wanted to call me her partner, and we didn’t think that sounded right. I definitely was not her mother, and I wasn’t her big sister, so we settled on assistant.”

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One More Time

One More Time

Hype surrounding her debut album ...Baby One More Time began with a shopping mall promotional tour, which led her to eventually star as the opening act for NSYNC.

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Lucky

Lucky

With the release of her second single “Lucky" about a suffering Hollywood starlet, it’s a surprise that no one saw her imminent fight for freedom from paparazzi and conservatorships coming!

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Oops!

Oops!

Spears’s second studio album Oops!... I Did It Again skyrocketed the 2000s charts and has sold over 20 million albums since its release.

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World Traveler

World Traveler

What about this shot in front of the Eiffel Tower? Here, Spears looks like the young and independent woman she always strives to be.

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The Big Leagues

The Big Leagues

In 2001, Spears performed as the opening act to Aerosmith and NSYNC for Super Bowl XXXV’s halftime show. An $8 million promotional deal with Pepsi came swiftly after.

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Crossroads

Crossroads

Spears wasn’t a one-dimensional puppet of Hollywood management, but made her own decisions on what she wears, sings, stars in, and promotes. Take Crossroads, a 2002 acting stint that might not have impressed critics, yet highlighted her multitanlented qualities for fans.

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Spears The Mouseketeer

Spears The Mouseketeer

11-year old Britney Spears’s first acting stint was for Disney’s The All-New Mickey Mouse Club (MMC). Alongside Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling, Spears blew away the studio audience with her impressive vocals.

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Reunions

Reunions

Besties for the restie, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, and Britney Spears were a Mickey-approved trio since their days on MMC that revved fans up for the infamous coupling of Spears and Timberlake.

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Ready To Rock

Ready To Rock

Spears melded personas of innocence and sexual liberation, with many fans pointing to her iconic 2003 MTV Video Music Awards performance where she and Christina Aguilera kissed Madonna during “Like A Virgin.”

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The Happiest Day

The Happiest Day

Spears’s 2004 engagement to Kevin Federline switched gears into a fast-track L.A. wedding that sent the media raging. At least Britney had one day to be completely happy before more tabloid lies about her life.

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Sister, Sister

Sister, Sister

Sibling Jamie Lynn Spears might be Britney’s little sister, but she doesn’t pout about living in the shadow of the “Princess of Pop.” Instead, she went on to star as the titular character for Zoey 101 and get into her own tabloid scandals.

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What The Buzz?

What The Buzz?

If you say “Britney Spears” around anyone, their first thought will probably be a head-shaving joke. She was under a lot of pressure, okay! And look how liberated she looks.

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Keeping Up

Keeping Up

Because Spears isn't on the top of the Billboard charts doesn’t mean she isn’t the focus of tabloid slander. It’s natural to keep up with what’s being said about you, but taking it in moderation is important for mental health.

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