Britney Spears‘ tale of fame has been nothing short of a roller coaster. As a teenager, she became one of the biggest pop stars in the country, but her crash and burn was just as fast and stunning as her meteoric ascent. For a long time, it seemed that we had heard the last of Spears’ musical career as a few attempts at a comeback fizzled out without much fanfare.
Now, however, a new lens has been turned on the way Spears was treated — by her own family, by fans, by the media. As we reckon with what Spears’ story says about our collective nature, we are also potentially paving the way for another comeback attempt from the once-celebrated singer, and this one could stick.
As we consider the possibility of Spears’ singing career sputtering back to life, many have been looking back on her past successes. Did the singer ever win a Grammy?
Britney Spears won one Grammy
The singer had several celebrated hits, and many of those earned her Grammy nominations. Spears was nominated a total of eight times:
- 1999 for Best New Artist
- 2000 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album
- 2002 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album
- 2004 for Best Dance Recording
- 2009 for Best Dance Recording
Of those many nominations, Spears has only won one time. As Billboard explains, most of those losses (including being bested by Christina Aguilera in 1999 and Macy Gray in 2001) were likely justified. A few, however, seem like mistakes in retrospect, and Spears’ 2003 loss to Norah Jones seems like a robbery. As Billboard puts it:
“The transition to adulthood that followed Spears’ more kid-friendly first pair of albums –swiveling between potent club tracks designed by the Neptunes, the snappy pop of Max Martin, and stuttering R&B efforts from Rodney Jerkins — was the most striking option in this category.”
Spears did finally win a Grammy win in 2004 when “Toxic” earned her Best Dance Recording.
Britney Spears was a teenage pop sensation
Britney Spears was just a teenager when she burst onto the pop music scene in 1998 with the hit “… Baby One More Time.” She was often lumped in with other rising young pop stars of the time, and the media started using “bubblegum pop” to refer to her, Christina Aguilera, N*SYNC, and The Backstreet Boys — a collective of teens who seemed to be all over the pop charts simultaneously and out of nowhere.
Spears’ relationship with N*SYNC frontman Justin Timberlake sent the media — and the singers’ young fans — into a fervor. The coverage of the duo was constant and intense. Their breakup, in particular, was covered from every possible angle, and Spears found pictures of herself splashed across tabloids on a near-daily basis.
Britney Spears’ mental health struggles were heightened by media coverage
The intense media coverage was often unkind to Spears, and things got even worse when she married Kevin Federline, a former backup dancer for Timberlake. Federline and Spears seemed like an unlikely pair, and Federline had recently broken up with actor Shar Jackson, who was pregnant with their second child.
The media had a heyday with these facts, and Spears’ relationship kicked the already intense scrutiny of her every move into an even higher gear.
The pair married in a surprise ceremony in 2004, and they welcomed two sons over the first two years of their marriage. Then things started to spiral out of control. Spears told Federline she wanted a divorce via text message, and the media coverage of the marriage’s end was all-consuming.
Things were increasingly rocky for Spears, who — under the ever-present eye of the paparazzi cameras — had a series of very public mental health crises that helped shape a cruel narrative about her mental stability and fitness as a mother.
Eventually, Spears lost custody of her children and was placed under a conservatorship where she did not have access or control of her own assets. Spears is currently fighting to be released from her conservatorship.