When Britney Spears appeared on the music scene in the late 1990s, she appeared to be the epitome of a shellacked pop princess. Kids and adults both went wild for the virginal Southern girl, and Britney fell in love with boy-band star Justin Timberlake.
By the end of 2002, Britney had three extraordinarily successful albums under her belt, had starred in the (unsuccessful) film "Crossroads" and was fresh from her break-up with Justin. What's a girl to do next? She kissed Madonna. She married a childhood friend -- for less than 55 hours. She became involved with Kevin Federline, one of her backup dancers, while his girlfriend was pregnant. Britney and Kevin married in September 2004. In September 2005, the couple welcomed son Sean Preston, and in September 2006, son Jayden James.
Two months after her second son was born, Britney filed for divorce from Kevin. While Britney's parenting skills were scrutinized after the birth of her first son, her public life began spiraling out of control after the birth of Jayden James. The new mom jumped into the club scene, went in and out of rehab, shaved her head and was in a series of car accidents, including a hit-and-run. She was ordered to take parenting classes and get help for drug and alcohol abuse. She even lost custody of her sons in 2008 after she was removed from her home and hospitalized in a psychiatric ward.
While it's unclear whether Britney suffers from mental illness in addition to substance abuse -- both bipolar disorder and postpartum depression have been cited, but never confirmed -- she's led a calmer life in the last few years.