And no one knows that better than her mother, Lynne, as she reveals in this frank interview. There was a point, admits Lynne Spears, mother of Britney, when she toyed with the idea of calling her autobiography It's All My Fault. Yes, I did and, if I'm being totally honest, I still do,' she says. Lynne is referring to her daughter's all-too-public meltdown last year, when she sank from America's sweetheart to public enemy number one, seemingly intent on destroying herself and everything around her.
And when things took a turn for the worse, I was out, because other people - dancers, managers - were closer to her, and with her day and night. Being a mother, you can't help but have regrets about what you did and didn't do for your kids, and I'm no different,' admits Lynne.
Britney Spears and her mother Lynne were pictured shopping together this week. Lynne was banished from her daughter Britney's life for seven months Certainly, there must have been times last year when those regrets seemed almost stifling. For seven long months, during which time Britney lost custody of her two young sons and was ordered to submit to random drugs and alcohol tests, Lynne was banished from her daughter's life completely.
At the time, friends of the star were worried that she might try to kill herself - a fear shared by Lynne. I would have chosen a prince or a state governor for her, but Kevin's worked a lot to help out, and I can't say anything bad about him. Britney as a child with her parents and brother Bryan Lynne, 53, has been painted over the years as the hard-nosed architect of Britney's fame, pushing her off to dancing and singing lessons as a young girl, desperate for superstardom.
It's an image that clearly rankles. What really gets me about that stage mum thing is that, in this business, it's customary for the mother to take five per cent, but I never did, even when times were bad and our family needed the money. Jamie [Britney's father] and I both said that we never wanted to be her managers; we just wanted to be parents. I was never in the driver's seat as far as Britney's career goes. I expect a saccharine answer and am taken aback when she gives the question some consideration before saying, 'I think Britney's happy in most ways - very happy with her kids and ecstatic about work, but there's something missing in her life.
That gut belief she had in herself when she was so young - that's what's missing, and she's got to get that back. She could set the world on fire in those days, and she knew exactly what she wanted. But the hardships she's been through have made her a little hesitant.
She needs one big boost, one plug of energy and she'll be there. She says Britney is still 'missing something' in her life That 'gut belief' in herself was, more than anything, what propelled Britney from Smalltown, USA, to worldwide superstardom at the age of Growing up in Kentwood, Louisiana where Lynne still lives , the middle of three children she has an older brother, Bryan, and younger sister Jamie Lynn , Britney Jean Spears was raised by Lynne, a schoolteacher, and Jamie, a building contractor.
From the age of three, she had jazz, ballet and tap lessons - not, Lynne insists, out of a mother's desire to nudge her daughter on to the stage, but 'because Britney loved it.
She just loved performing and no one could stop her. Many claimed that Britney's escalating fame was a godsend to her parents, who were teetering financially, but Lynne is indignant at the suggestion. But she really wanted to do it and we weren't going to stop her. Even if I had said no to Britney, maybe worse things might have happened because she was frustrated and couldn't fulfil her dreams.
The tale of Britney's fall from grace has been well-documented. A hugely successful international singing star, Britney dated singer Justin Timberlake for four years. When that relationship ended in , she married twice in quick succession - the first to childhood friend Jason Alexander, which was annulled after just 55 hours, and the second to dancer Kevin Federline, with whom she had her two boys. Lynne Spears, with Britney as a child When the couple divorced two years later, Britney fell apart.
A shocked world followed her fall from grace, courtesy of paparazzi shots that showed Britney shaving her head, driving while holding her eldest son on her lap and attacking a crowd of photographers with an umbrella.
She was sectioned in a mental health clinic twice in the space of a month and, worst of all, lost custody of the boys - Sean Preston, three, and Jayden James, two. At this point, at their wits' end, her parents stepped in. In January of this year, Jamie was awarded 'legal conservatorship' over his daughter, giving him control over Britney's personal and business affairs. Lynne and Jamie divorced six years ago after 27 years of marriage, but on this course of action they were united.
Mums always give in to their kids because we're softies, and what Britney needed at the time was the stronger person. He has battled with an addiction to alcohol, though he has now been sober for five years.
But Jamie's really doing well with Britney, and I must give him credit for that. Britney shaving her head in a very public meltdown last year 'Jamie's real gruff sometimes, but he's been a disciplinarian when it was needed. He's always adored his children, but when they were younger, he was so distracted with work and was drinking heavily, so they maybe didn't bond like they should have done. But when I met him, Sam Lufti [Britney's former manager] was also around, and Adnan was definitely the better of the two.
But Adnan's out of her life now,' Lynne adds, with some relief. As terrible as it must have been for Lynne to witness Britney's plight, the most difficult chapters for her to write in her book were those concerning her youngest daughter Jamie Lynn's pregnancy at the age of 16, and the birth of her baby daughter, who is now six months old.
Jamie Lynn followed Britney into showbusiness by starring in children's TV show Zoey , and when the story of her pregnancy broke, the critics were quick to blame Lynne. But with Jamie Lynn it was so different. I couldn't believe that my studious, perfect little girl had got herself pregnant. I just went into shock. But she's doing great now, and is a wonderful mum to Maddie Briann.
Maybe I didn't give her the skills to handle the hard times. Maybe I sheltered her too much from the realities, and sometimes that's not a good thing. When fame hit, it hit hard, 'and that's when everything started slipping away. She was a bird flying on her own, when what she most needed was to have good people around her. She's been through a tough time and look at her now,' she says. In an interview in last month's Rolling Stone magazine, she told how forgoing her partying ways and going to bed early have left her feeling like 'an old person', and in the documentary For The Record, she described how every day feels 'like Groundhog Day Throughout the film, Britney seemed to be slightly disconnected, as if she was on autopilot - the vivacious singer of old was just a faint memory - and I can't help but think back to what her mother said, about there being 'something missing' in her life.
Like Lynne, I sincerely hope she finds it again. Share or comment on this article: I'm to blame for my Britney's meltdown Most watched News videos.