Britney Spears: Highs and lows of her career

She dances with snakes, has an aversion to underwear and a penchant for umbrella bashing; if there's one thing Britney Spears is not, it's boring. Which is why, as 'The X Factor USA' auditions kick off around America, all eyes are focused firmly on her. Because you never know what she's going to do next - she's had a more tumultuous career and personal life than Charlie Sheen (well, almost!). Here's a run down of the highs and lows of Britney's career to date.

The Mickey Mouse Club

Young Britters began her career at the age of 11 as a Mouseketeer on Disney's 'Mickey Mouse Club,' where she pranced, danced, sang and just generally looked cute. MMC is where she met Justin Timberlake, who she would one day lose her virginity, and Christina Aguilera, with whom she would one day snog in front of the whole world (and Madonna).

'Baby One More Time'

At the still tender age of sixteen, Britney was signed to Jive Records and released her first single '...Baby One More Time' and the rest, as they say, is history. The song was an instant success as was her debut album and she became the idol of young girls, teenage boys and pervy old men across the world.

Lights, Camera...Meh

In 2002 Britney starred in 'Crossroads'. Whether you consider this a career high or a low depends whether you have watched it or not but I will say this, she won a Razzie award for 'worst actress' and the film won the award for 'Most Flatulent Teen-Targeted Movie'. Impressive.

Britney Gets Married... WHAT?!

Deciding to ditch the 'sweet and wholesome' image, Britney proved to the world that she was a fully-fledged woman with songs such as 'I'm a slave 4 u' and 'Touch of my hand' (a song about masturbation). She then shocked the world by marrying childhood friend, Jason Alexander in 2004, in a marriage that lasted a mere 55 hours. The madness begins.

Britney = Chav

Things then took a trailer-trash turn when Britney started dating Kevin Federline (otherwise known as K-Fed), one of her back-up dancers and a father-to-be. The pair got married in September 2004, Britney started letting herself go, had two of his kids (Sean Preston and Jayden James) and divorced him in 2007. How did she celebrate? By Partying with Paris Hilton wearing no knickers of course. Soo Jeremy Kyle.

"You Drive Me Crazy"

The world changed as we knew it in February 2007 when Britney shaved her head and attacked a car with her umbrella. This signalled the start of the star's breakdown, which included erratic behaviour, numerous trips to rehab and a series of very questionable wigs.

Breakdown NO. 2

Britney lost custody of her children and things start to get weird. Britney dates a married paparazzo and starts talking with a British accent to the press. Events then took a troubling turn when in 2008 she was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and restrained under a mental health act that classed her as being a danger to herself of others.

What Next? Femme Fatale, X Factor and Beyond...

After her meltdown, Spears laid low for a while, presumably to recuperate and grow back some hair, before making her comeback with her Femme Fatale album and tour. And so far, so good! Brit's been on her best behaviour and apart from a slightly morphed face, its almost like having the old Britney back! Being a judge on the X Factor, she will be back under public scrutiny for the first time in years and the question is whether or not she will be able to handle the pressure. She could relaunch her career, or she could flip out and attack Simon. Either way, it's going to make great TV!