[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 07:49 GMT 08:49 UK
Highs and lows of Britney Spears
Britney Spears
Spear's performance at the MTV awards show was panned
After a 10-month public custody battle singer Britney Spears has been ordered to let her two children live with her former husband.

Kevin Federline, who had been sharing joint custody with the star, will now take full responsibility of Sean Preston, two, and Jayden James, one, until further notice given from the court.

Spears's parenting skills were called into question last month when a judge in Los Angeles ordered her to undergo drug and alcohol tests twice a week.

A former bodyguard has also spoken out, claiming the singer is a danger to her children.

It is just the latest disaster to have struck the pop star after a string of public spats, paparazzi run-ins and family feuds.

The 25-year-old was also recently charged with hit-and-run after an incident in an LA car park, and dropped by her management company.

The princess of pop, who shaved her head in front of onlookers in February, appears to be losing control of her empire.

The singer's recent performance at the MTV Video Music Awards definitely helped fuel the scathing headlines.

Britney Spears at LA tattoo parlour
Britney's latest haircut was snapped by paparazzi

Her first major performance in three years had been billed as her big comeback.

But the stumbling dance routine and struggle to lip-sync left many wondering if Spears's much-vaunted return was over before it began.

The singer's troubles began last November, when she filed for divorce from her husband Kevin Federline, citing "irreconcilable differences".

Many fans, who had barely concealed their contempt for Federline, thought the split would mark a re-birth for Spears - whose recording career had been on hold since the 2004 marriage.

Instead, she embarked on a prolonged period of partying with other young celebrities, including heiress Paris Hilton.

She also drew a storm of criticism for paparazzi photographs which seemed to show her without underwear.

In February, several US media outlets reported Spears had checked in to a rehabilitation centre in the Caribbean.

Britney Spears
Britney Spears was only 17 when she made global success

But she left after just 24 hours and the paparazzi tracked her down to a Los Angeles tattoo parlour - where they discovered she was completely bald.


Spears's erratic behaviour is a far cry from the squeaky-clean image she presented on the All New Mickey Mouse Club in 1994.

The show led to a deal with Jive records and she shot to global fame with her debut single, Baby One More Time, in 1998.

Helped by a raunchy video, featuring the 17-year-old dressed in school uniform, the single topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

But Spears was also a regular star of gossip columns, thanks in no small part to her relationship with fellow Mouseketeer and pop star Justin Timberlake.

Britney Spears (August 2006)
A pregnant Britney Spears pictured in August 2006.
They split in 2002, with Timberlake's single Cry Me A River apparently an angry kiss-off to his former partner.

Spears focused on her career, ditching her songwriting team to work with stars such as R Kelly and Moby on her fourth album, In The Zone.

She also courted the tabloids at the 2003 MTV awards, where she locked lips with Madonna during a risque performance of Like A Virgin.

But perhaps more controversial was her union with childhood friend Jason Alexander, who she wed in a Las Vegas wedding chapel in January 2004.

I feel sorry for Britney Spears, she had her childhood stolen from her
King Caracticus

The marriage was annulled after 55 hours, with Spears later explaining: "I really wanted to see what it was like to be married."

In July the same year she got engaged to Federline - three months after meeting him.

Wedding surprises

Their relationship was immediately thrust into gossip columns, as Federline had recently split from actress Shar Jackson, who was pregnant with their second child.

The couple tied the knot on 18 September 2004, before 27 guests at Studio City in California.

Some of the wedding party, including family members, turned up believing they had simply been invited to a night out.

Kevin Federline and Britney Spears
Spears' relationships attract intense media interest

Shortly before her divorce, Spears gave a rambling television interview, in which she tearfully proclaimed her marriage "awesome", and blamed the media for making her an "emotional wreck".

Recent events show the pop star is still struggling with her public image.

Earlier this year, psychologist Linda Papadopoulos told the BBC that Spears' dramatic haircut was sending "a very loud and clear message" to the press.

"She's saying: 'Leave me alone. I won't be who you want me to be.'"

Spears charged with hit-and-run
22 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
Britney to undergo drug testing
19 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
Britney is dropped by management
18 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
Bald new look for Britney Spears
17 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
Britney Spears files for divorce
08 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
Spears 'gives birth to baby son'
13 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
Magazine publishes Spears apology
19 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Namibia welcomes pregnant Spears
19 Jun 06 |  Entertainment
Singer Spears 'emotional wreck'
16 Jun 06 |  Entertainment
Britney expecting another child
10 May 06 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific