Early life, career debut, and Innosense Britney Spears was born in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana as a Southern Baptist.Her parents are Lynne Irene (née Bridges), a former elementary school teacher, and Jamie Parnell Spears, a former building contractor and chef. Spears has two siblings, Bryan and Jamie Lynn. Bryan Spears is married to Jamie-Lynn's manager, Graciella Rivera. Spears was an accomplished gymnast, attending gymnastics classes until age nine and competing in state-level competitions.She performed in local dance revues and sang in her local Baptist church choir. Spears entered New York City's Professional Performing Arts School when she was eight. Spears's parents would often argue, and they eventually divorced in 2002. At age eight, Spears auditioned for the Disney Channel series The New Mickey panya, kipanya Club. Although she was considered too young to jiunge the series at the time, a producer on the onyesha introduced her to a New York City agent. Spears subsequently spent three summers at NYC's Professional Performing Arts School and also appeared in a number of off-Broadway productions. She was an understudy in the 1991 off-Broadway musical Ruthless!. In 1992, she landed a spot on the maarufu televisheni onyesha nyota Search. She won the first round of competition, but ultimately lost. At age eleven, Spears returned to the Disney Channel for a spot on The New Mickey panya, kipanya Club in Lakeland, Florida.She was featured on the onyesha from 1993 to 1994, until she was 13.After the onyesha ended, Spears returned to Kentwood and attended high school for a year. In 1997, Spears briefly joined the all-female pop group Innosense.Later that same year, she recorded a solo demo and was signed kwa Jive Records.She began a U.S. tamasha tour sponsored kwa American teen magazines, and eventually became an opening act for 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys.