Britney Spears has grown from pop teeny bopper to full-fledged music mogul with an expansive empire. In celebration of the superstar's 38th birthday on Dec. 2, 2019, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at how she's made her fortune. Keep reading to learn more about the business of being Britney…
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Britney Spears was born to a working class family in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in the small town of Kentwood, Louisiana. During her childhood, Britney took dance classes, voice lessons and gymnastics while also competing in local children's talent shows. These early years of performing helped Britney land her first official gig as a cast member on "The All New Mickey Mouse Club." The future superstar made her debut on the TV show in 1992 alongside future A-listers Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell and Christina Aguilera.
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In 1998, Britney Spears signed to Jive Records and released her debut album, "…Baby One More Time," in 1999. The 14-times platinum CD was an international success, selling 25 million copies worldwide. It also became the best selling album ever by a teenage artist and the best selling debut album by any artist ever. The title track sold more than 10 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.
In 1999, Britney Spears embarked on her first tour in support of her debut album. The "Baby One More Time" tour, which consisted of 56 shows in North America, netted Brit a cool $17.5 million. Not bad for an 18 year old, right?
One year later, Britney Spears released her second album, "Oops!… I Did It Again," which has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide to date. The title track reached the top of the charts in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and many other European countries. Britney promoted her second album with another huge money-making tour…
One month after releasing her second album, Britney Spears embarked on the "Oops!… I Did It Again" tour. This one, which was Britney's first international showcase, grossed more than $40.5 million. The concert trek also coincided with the release of Britney's first book, "Britney Spears' Heart to Heart," which was co-written with her mother, Lynne Spears.
In February 2001, Britney Spears became a record-breaking spokesperson. The pop singer signed a $7-to-8 million promotional deal with Pepsi — their biggest entertainment deal at the time. Brit has appeared in a number of Pepsi advertisements and commercials since then including the now-iconic 2004 Pepsi "Gladiators" commercial with Beyoncé, Pink, and Enrique Iglesias.
Britney Spears released her self-titled third album in November 2001. The project debuted at No.1, making Britney the first female artist to have her first three albums debut at the top of the chart (a record she would later break with her fourth album, "In The Zone"). The four-times platinum album sold more than 4.4 million copies in America alone.
Britney Spears promoted her self-titled album with the "Dream Within a Dream" tour, which netted the superstar a nice $43.7 million. It was the second-highest grossing tour of 2002 by a female artist behind only Cher's farewell tour. Brit's worldwide success in 2002 led Forbes to rank her as the world's most powerful celebrity.
That same year, Britney Spears made her feature-film debut in 2002's "Crossroads." The movie was universally panned by critics but was a huge hit with audiences. It raked in more than $61.1 million worldwide on a $12 million budget.
Britney Spears expanded her resume in June 2002 when she opened her first restaurant, Nyla. The New York City eatery had its share of difficulties and Brit "terminated her relationship" with Nyla in November 2002.
Fresh off the closing of her restaurant, Britney Spears hopped back into the studio. Her fourth album, "In The Zone," was released in November 2003. The project sold over 609,000 copies in the United States and debuted at the top of the charts in the U.S., France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. In total, "In The Zone" sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
Britney Spears embarked on her "Onyx Hotel" tour in March 2004. The concert trek was an instant success, grossing nearly $19 million in America with 300,460 tickets sold and $34 million worldwide with 601,040 tickets sold.
In September 2004, Britney Spears married former backup dancer Kevin Federline. The carefree couple featured their relationship on Britney's first reality show, "Britney and Kevin: Chaotic." The five-episode series was a joke to critics but Britney fans supported her regardless, with 3.7 million viewers tuning in.
A few weeks after her wedding, Britney Spears introduced her first fragrance: Curious. The perfume, released in partnership with Elizabeth Arden, earned Brit $52 million. It made $100 million in sales in its first year and broke Elizabeth Arden's first-week gross record for a perfume.
In November 2004, Britney Spears released her first greatest hits compilation album, "Greatest Hits: My Prerogative." The platinum album sold more than five million copies worldwide with over 1.5 million sold in the United States alone.
Britney Spears released her second fragrance just one year after Curious. Fantasy hit shelves everywhere in September 2005 and is currently Brit's top-selling fragrance, according to Elizabeth Arden. Since it's '05 debut, the Fantasy fragrance collection has grown to include seventeen perfumes: Fantasy, Midnight Fantasy, Hidden Fantasy, Circus Fantasy, Fantasy Twist, Island Fantasy, Fantasy Anniversary Edition, Fantasy The Nice Remix, Fantasy The Naughty Remix, Fantasy Stage Edition, Rocker Femme Fantasy, Fantasy Renner Edition, Fantasy Intimate Edition, Maui Fantasy, In Bloom Fantasy, Sunset Fantasy and Fantasy Pride Edition. Talk about a beauty empire!
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline called it quits in November 2006 after years of turmoil. The pop icon forked over $1.3 million in a divorce settlement and started paying K-Fed $20,000 a month in child support. Their harmonious agreement came to halt in February 2018 when Kevin requested an increase for their two sons, Preston and Jayden. Britney fought the request but eventually agreed to pay the former backup dancer "thousands" more a month, claimed The Blast.
In October 2007, Britney Spears released her fifth studio album, "Blackout." Her erratic behavior during this time period — which included famously shaving her head and bombing during her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards that year –overshadowed the release, but the album still sold pretty well. "Blackout" was certified platinum with more than 1 million copies sold.
After months of instability, Britney Spears was committed to a psychiatric ward in January 2008. The court placed her under a conservatorship led by her father, Jamie Spears, and attorney Andrew M. Wallet, giving them control of personal decisions as well as her reported $200 million fortune. The legal arrangement continues to this day.
Britney Spears was back and better than ever by December 2008, which is when she released her sixth album, "Circus." The project debuted at No. 1 in Canada, the Czech Republic and the United States and inside the Top 10 in many European countries. "Circus" sold over 4 million copies worldwide and lead single "Womanizer" was Britney's first No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 since "…Baby One More Time."
Britney Spears solidified her comeback with a super-successful and lucrative worldwide tour. The pop singer embarked on her "The Circus Starring Britney Spears" tour in March 2009. The concert trek grossed over $131.8 million to become the fifth-highest grossing tour of the year.
Britney Spears also became the face of the Candie's clothing brand in March 2009. Candie's Chief Marketing Officer Dari Marde explained why the company chose Brit, saying, "Everybody loves a comeback and nobody's doing it better than Britney. She's just poised for even greater success." Britney also designed a clothing line for Candie's that was released in stores in July 2010. She reportedly racked in some major dough for her work.
Britney Spears made a cameo appearance on a Britney-themed tribute episode of "Glee" in September 2010. Her appearance drew "Glee's" highest ratings ever — 13.5 million viewers.
Another year, another Britney Spears album! The hard-working mother of two released her seventh album, "Femme Fatale," in March 2011. The platinum project peaked at No. 1 in the United States, Canada and Australia and sold more than 1 million copies in the U.S. alone. Britney teamed up with Sony, Make Up For Ever and PlentyofFish to release her music video for the third single from the album, "Hold It Against Me," earning her $500,000 for the product placement.
By June 2011, Britney Spears was touring once again. Her "Femme Fatale" tour was the eleventh-highest grossing tour of 2011, with sales of $68.7 million. A reported 697,957 fans attended her shows worldwide and 423,017 tickets were sold in the States. Impressive!
That same year, Britney Spears reissued the fragrance Cosmic Radiance, which was originally released in 2010. Worldwide, Britney sold over 1 million bottles in the first five years, with gross receipts of $1.5 billion!
In May 2012, Britney Spears joined the second season of "The X Factor," replacing Nicole Scherzinger as a judge. She earned a reported $15 million salary for the gig, becoming the highest paid singing competition judge in television history at the time! Forbes magazine named Britney music's top-earning woman of 2012, with estimated earnings of $58 million.
In December 2013, Britney Spears released her eighth studio album, "Britney Jean." It became her lowest selling record in the United States but was still certified gold with 500,000 copies sold.
"Britney Jean" didn't fair as well as it was supposed to because Britney Spears was preparing for another monumental event: her Las Vegas residency. The singer announced a two-year concert residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Vegas titled "Britney: Piece of Me" in September 2013. The show, which opened in December 2013, was initially set to run for two years but Britney signed a contract extension in 2015, stretching the shows through December 2017.
Britney Spears made the jump from pop singer to lingerie designer in September 2014 when she released an intimate apparel line called The Intimate Britney Spears. The company has grown since its initial launch and now ships to over 200 countries including Australia and New Zealand.
In May 2016, Britney Spears launched her own role-playing mobile game, "Britney Spears: American Dream." The app, which is compatible with Android and iOS, was created by the same minds behind Kim Kardashian West's super-popular game, "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood."
Never one to stray far away from making music, Britney Spears released her ninth studio album, "Glory," in August 2016. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, moving 111,000 copies in its first week.
Britney Spears performed the final show of her inaugural Las Vegas residency on Dec. 31, 2017. "Britney: Piece of Me" grossed nearly $138 million over about 250 performances. Forbes named her the eighth-highest earning female musician with 2017 earnings of an estimated $34 million.
Music isn't the only business Britney Spears was involved with in 2018. She announced her 24th perfume with Elizabeth Arden, Sunset Fantasy, in January. Then she moved into the unisex fragrance market with the July release of Prerogative.
2018 also saw Britney Spears making waves in the fashion world. In March, she teamed up with the fashion house KENZO to serve as the face of its La Collection Memento No. 2 campaign. And in April 2018, Britney got back into fashion herself. That month, Epic Rights announced a new partnership with Britney, who will launch her own line in 2019. It's set to include clothing, fitness apparel, accessories and electronics and will be available on Amazon.
Following the success of her first Las Vegas residency, Britney Spears embarked on the "Britney Spears: Piece of Me" international tour in July 2018. The show largely mirrored her residency and broke records in several countries. Tickets sold out in under 10 minutes for her date in Dublin, Ireland, and her concert in Oslo, Norway, was performed in front of a record 20,000 fans. The concert series was also named the second-best selling female tour in the United Kingdom in 2018.
In October 2018, Britney Spears announced a brand-new Las Vegas residency, "Britney: Domination." Her new show was set to premiere at Park MGM's Park Theatre in February 2019, and Britney was expected to make more than ever, setting a record as the highest paid act on the Las Vegas Strip — earning a reported $507,000 per show. Unfortunately on Jan. 4, 2019, Britney announced she would be postponing her show, citing her father's health problems and a need to focus on her family.