How in the hell did Britney Spears fall this low? Who is she? If you've been living under a rock for the past ten years or, you know, engaging in meaningful discourse and bettering our society, you might not know! But now you need to. At least enough to bluff. Because people will be talking about her graceful swan dive. So, let's get you informed. After the jump you'll find a handy timeline of this troubled chanteuse's glorious supernova of a life.
December 2, 1981: Britney Spears is born in McComb, MS but is raised in scenic Kentwood, LA.
1993-1994: At age 11, Britney becomes a cast member on the Disney Channel's The New Mickey Mouse Club, where she meets other future celebrities Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, and Tony Lucca.
October, 1998: Britney breaks out into the scene with her smash hit single "...Baby One More Time," in which she repeatedly asks a young suitor to "hit" her. The video features Britney gyrating in a series of provocative costumes, most notably a Catholic schoolgirl's uniform. Her same-titled album goes on to sell a mind-boggling 25 million copies worldwide. Jesus Christ!
February, 2002: Britney's first major film, Crossroads is released. It bombs.
December 17, 2002: Former boy-band member Justin Timberlake releases the smash-hit single "Cry Me A River" off of his first solo album. The song is about his recently ended relationship with Britney. Justin has terrific sales and critical acclaim, while Britney seems just the jilted lover.
November, 2003: After a long run on the top of the charts with hit singles such as "Oops...I Did It Again", "Lucky", "I'm A Slave 4 U", Britney releases a traditional dance record, In The Zone. It makes Britney the first woman to have four studio albums debut at number one on the charts. Though, sales drop off considerably after the first week.
Also in 2003: Britney's New York City restaurant, Nyla, closes after poor business and poorer reviews.
January 3, 2004: Britney weds childhood pal Jason Alexander (no, not that that one) in a quickie (read: drunken) ceremony at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. 55 hours later the marriage is annulled. Several months later, Britney cancels her Onyx Hotel Tour, citing a knee injury.
July 2004: Britney announces her engagement to recently divorced father of two and Spears back-up dancer Kevin Federline. Their courtship is documented on the little-watched UPN reality series Britney & Kevin: Chaotic, and features the star eating Cheetos incessantly and making strange bodily function jokes. They are wed on September 18th, 2004.
September 14, 2005: First son, Sean Preston, is born.
February 2006: Photographers catch Britney driving, holding Sean Preston on her lap. Public outcry ensues. Britney says she was simply trying to escape paparazzi.
September 12, 2006: Second son Jayden James is born.
November 7, 2006: Citing Irreconcilable Differences, Britney files for divorce from Kevin, who has been seen partying in Las Vegas with various other ladies.
February 16, 2007: Britney checks into a rehabilitation facility in Antigua. She stays less than 24 hours. The next night, Spears is photographed shaving her head at a Tarzana, CA hair salon. This adds to the list of her increasingly erratic behavior, (which also involved an umbrella and a particularly nosy paparazzo's windshield.) Four days later, Britney checks into another rehab facility in California.
September 2007: Britney and Kevin are awarded joint-custody of their two sons after a bitter court battle in which Britney is accused of various acts of extreme negligence. Britney is ordered to submit to random drug and alcohol tests. Several days later Britney is officially charged with a hit-and-run.
October 1, 2007: Federline is awarded full custody of the two boys.
January 3, 2008: Spears is rushed to the hospital late at night, after appearing intoxicated and refusing to relinquish custody of one of her children.