Amid speculation that she is finalising a $15 million contract with The X Factor USA, here are ten fast facts about Brit.
1. Born Britney Jean Spears on December 2 1981, Spears grew up in Louisiana with her older brother Bryan, younger sister Jamie Lynn (of Zoey 101 fame), and parents Jamie and Lynne.
2. By 11 years old Britney was a member of the Mickey Mouse Club with some other destined-to-be stars, including Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera... even Ryan Gosling. She was considered too young for the club when she first applied aged 8, but got a job in musical Ruthless for two years as an understudy for the central role of Tina, alongside Natalie Portman.
3. Her next big break was with Jive Records in the late 1990s. Her classic single '...Baby One More Time' topped the charts in 15 countries and sold 10 million copies by the time Britney was 18. The track shifted an incredible 500,000 copies on its first day alone.
4. Britney was never a completely clean-cut icon with her bare midriff and short skirts, but her Rolling Stone magazine cover shot was still considered too risqué by the American Family Association. The AFA called for "God-loving Americans to boycott stores selling Britney's albums". It didn't work. Oops!... I Did It Again was released in May 2000 and has sold over 25 million copies to date worldwide.
5. Forbes named Spears the world's most powerful celebrity in 2002, perhaps prompting her to dabble in acting. Her first movie Crossroads featured Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd as her dad and SATC-er Kim Catrall as her mum. Despite some reserved praise for the pop sensation, the film was panned by the critics and she has yet to make another go of the big screen. Spears has since had guest roles in a number of hit US shows, including Glee's famous 'Britney/Brittany' episode.
6. Britney is actually brunette but prefers to dye her hair blonde. Well, they do say blondes have more fun, and a certain moment may spring to mind as the young star controversially kissed Queen of Pop Madonna at the 2003 MTV awards.
7. A year later she wed friend Jason Allen Alexander, but it was annulled 55 hours later... making it even shorter than Kim Kardashian's marriage. She stayed quiet on the incident and her management deemed the marriage "a joke taken too far".
8. Spears's second marriage to Kevin Federline, the father of both her children Sean Preston and Jayden, lasted a full two years and was chronicled in part on reality TV show Britney & Kevin: Chaotic. Spears was controversially photographed with Sean Preston on her lap while driving, but her music was still making the headlines when she released her first greatest hits compilation My Prerogative at the age of just 23.
9. Britney bounced back from all the negative headlines with arguably her greatest album Blackout, which won rave reviews despite her shaky performance of lead single 'Gimme More' at the MTV VMAs. Follow-up Circus was released on Britney's 27th birthday and the 2009 'Circus' jaunt was the biggest-grossing tour of the year by a solo artist in North America, racking up $94 million.
10. A US poll in 2011 ranked Spears as the third hottest celebrity mum. That put her just behind Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie, but ahead of Salma Hayek, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba and Kate Beckinsale.