It's quite popular to say that [artist id="501686"]Britney Spears[/artist] has grown up before our very eyes. Primarily because it's true.
From her early days as a pint-size "Star Search" contestant to her rise to fame as a half-shirted pop tartlet, and finally her ascension to global-star status — with brief detours into motherhood and mental instability thrown in for good measure — Britney has lived her entire life in front of the camera. And, more often than not, that camera was ours.
We've got an entire wing of the MTV News' vault dedicated to Ms. Spears, filled with more than 10 years' worth of moments both amazing and embarrassing (and often a little bit of both). And with the double whammy of Brit-itude currently on the horizon — Sunday's premiere of the tell-all documentary "For the Record" and the release of her new album, Circus, the following Tuesday — we decided to dig deep into that vault to bring you a couple of glimpses of Brit at each stage of her career.
Some of the clips you've never seen before; others were just too great not to show you again. So here, for your viewing pleasure, are Britney's five greatest MTV News moments.
[video id="321545"]Moment #5: Brit's First Time (December 18, 1998)[/video]
In her first MTV interview — with MTV Radio — a 17-year-old Britney (who actually looks about 12) talks about recording her debut album in Sweden ("Everyone was so nice!"), her tour with [artist id="500956"]'NSYNC[/artist] ("Girls out in the audience are lifting their shirts up! It's really bad!"), and her favorite Christmas memory ("One year, I got a go-kart!"). Oh, and she says that her New Years' resolution is to stop biting her nails. Scintillating stuff, indeed.
[video id="321544"]Moment #4: Britney's Grammy Slumber Party (February 21, 1999)[/video]
After injuring her knee in rehearsals for the "Sometimes" video, Britney is unable to attend the Grammy Awards. So, instead, she invites some friends over to her place (which looks strangely like every college apartment ever) and throws a slumber party. Those "friends" end up being the pop group [artist id="1212705"]Innosense[/artist], who would subsequently disappear off the face of the Earth soon after this taping. They all change into pajamas ( despite the fact that it's only about 3:30 in the afternoon), gossip about their favorite guys (Paul Walker gets a lot of love here ... remember him?) and sing along to [artist id="150232"]Lauryn Hill[/artist] songs using lollipops as microphones. And, in a moment that would prove to be eerily prescient given the events that would transpire over the following decade, Brit positively houses a bag of Cheetos.
[video id="321543"]Moment #3: Britney Goes Shopping With Serena (September 7, 1999)[/video]
With the 1999 Video Music Awards just a few days away, poor Britney still had nothing to wear. Luckily, MTV News was there — and we brought Serena Altschul, a platinum card and a limousine, of course. Brit gets personalized fittings from Tommy Hilfiger and Todd Oldham (who helps her wrangle a wayward breast at one point) and makes stops at Versace and Bergdorf Goodman. At the end of the day, she still can't decide what outfit to wear, despite Serena's insistence that a furry/sparkly Oldham cloak/half shirt ensemble is "the sexiest." Lo and behold, two days later on the VMA red carpet, Brit is rocking it. More proof that you should always listen to Serena Altschul.
[video id="321542"]Moment #2: Britney Is A Total Liar (May 5, 2000)[/video]
During an SUV ride to a taping of "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," MTV's Brian McFayden makes a point of inquiring about the tattoo of a fairy on Spears' lower back. Taken aback by such a brazen question, Brit first tries to laugh the whole thing off ("That's fake! I don't have a tattoo!"), then attempts to back up her claim by showing off another "fake" tattoo on her shoulder blade, which, bizarrely, isn't there. Clearly reeling, Spears then tells McFayden that "If I was to get a fairy on my back, that would be what I would get, definitely. Because I collect angels and fairies and it would be like she's watching my back." Of course, Spears actually did have the tattoo, which made her decision to lie about it all the more puzzling. Also puzzling, McFayden's decision to share with Spears that he's planning to get a tattoo of a Nebraska Cornhuskers football helmet on his back because "it would be so rad."
[video id="321541"]Moment #1: Britney's Homecoming (January 15, 1999)[/video]
In celebration of Brit's so-called "homecoming" show in nearby Baton Rouge, Louisiana, MTV News' John Norris headed down to her actual hometown of Kentwood, where he talks to her friends, family and gets a tour of her childhood home (which features plenty of wood paneling and floral upholstery). This clip is amazing on about a million levels, from the appearances by Brit's mom, Lynne (pre-tell-all memoir), and sister Jamie-Lynn (pre-prepubescent pregnancy), to the fact that a Kentwood restaurant was selling chili pie for only 99 cents. Also: See Britney perform in what appears to be about two-thirds of a Body Glove wetsuit. Wonder why Norris chose to interview Spears' brother on a bizarrely spray-painted trampoline, and most of all, try not to snicker when Lynne describes the fellas from 'NSYNC as "good, clean-cut guys [who] have good, wholesome fun."
Getting pumped about the Britney Spears documentary? Share your thoughts by uploading a video to YouRHere.MTV.com, or sound off in the comments section below. "For the Record" airs Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.