By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
When Britney Spears crashed and burned, we wrote her off as another child star crushed by the weight of celebrity. But then a funny thing happened: Britney fought back, bitch.
By all accounts, she has regained control of her life and career. Now she's returning to Dallas for the second time on the same tour of her awesomely kitschy extravaganza "Circus." Spears has orchestrated—or allowed some very smart people to orchestrate—the greatest comeback in recent memory.
Lest we forget, though, there were plenty of bad moments before this rebirth: In February 2006, paparazzi photographed Spears driving with son Sean Preston in her lap, forcing moms across the globe to go apeshit (a few months later, you may recall, she almost dropped her little bundle of joy while leaving the Ritz-Carlton in New York City); in late 2006, following her break-up with Kevin Federline, Brit hit the club scene with supertramp Paris Hilton, unleashing far too many crotch shots onto the world; in early 2007, Spears checked in for a 24-hour rehab stay, then shaved her head completely (shortly thereafter, she went to town on a photographer's car with an umbrella); at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, a possibly Xanax-filled Spears appeared to perform a Saturday Night Live-style parody of herself; and, in early 2008, Spears lost all visitation rights with her children after locking herself and her son in a bathroom while refusing to allow Federline his visitation rights.
Things started turning around for Spears come late 2008, though: At the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards on September 7, she chose not to perform, but still picked up a couple of Moonmen for her "Piece of Me" video; not long after, she looked stunning in the video for her catchy new ditty, "Womanizer," and finally regained her hottie status. Before long, she was back to her old Rolling Stone covergirl, Billboard-charting self.
And we're all the better for it.