Jamie Lynn Spears may not be the first person who comes to mind when thinking of celebrity mothers, but ten years ago news of her pregnancy dominated the celebrity news media and took the internet by storm. When a woman becomes pregnant everyone feels entitled to share their opinions about this very private situation, this is especially true when the woman in question is still a teenager. This entitlement appears to also increase in direct proportion to how famous the woman is. Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy sparked no lack of commentary from outsiders. Everyone had an opinion they wanted to share.
Some people criticized her behavior and scrutinized her every decision because of her age, religion, southern roots, etc. Others simply hoped for the best for the young mom-to-be. In the intervening years, Jamie Lynn has continued to make a name for herself in the music world, releasing her own original country music and embarking on tours to build her fan base all while maintaining a relatively normal life. Despite what people may think about her, Jamie Lynn has shown that she’s a strong, capable woman. She did and continues to do, the best that she can for herself and her family.
15 She’s Related To Britney Spears
You may know Jamie Lynn Spears from her roles on television shows, or perhaps you are most familiar with her music career, but Jamie is certainly most famous for being the younger sister of Britney Spears. Practically a household name, Britney got her start as a member of The Mickey Mouse Club, in the early 1990s. She signed her first record deal with Jive Records in 1997 after recording a demo and auditioning for four different agencies. Her debut album, …Baby One More Time was released at the beginning of 1999.
Britney’s career really took off, and she released three more albums over the next four years. After a spur-of-the-moment marriage to her childhood friend, Jason Alexander (a marriage that was annulled less than three days later,) Britney began dating Kevin Federline. Britney and Kevin married in late 2004 and welcomed two sons over the next two years. In 2007 Britney suffered from a very public breakdown during which she nearly lost control of everything. Thanks, in no small part, to the support of her family, including younger sister Jamie, Britney is now back on top and better than ever!
14 She Has An Older Brother
Britney is undoubtedly the most famous member of the Spears clan, but did you know that Jamie also has an older brother? Jamie’s older brother Bryan was born in 1977, the first child of Lynne and James Spears. Like his siblings, Bryan went to a private Christian school in Mississippi. After finishing high school Bryan attended Southeastern Louisiana University, majoring in kinesiology. Bryan is credited as a producer on Zoey 101, a Nickelodeon show starring Jamie Lynn.
Bryan married Jamie Lynn’s manager, Graciella Sanchez, on New Year’s Day 2009. Bryan is notoriously private, especially when compared to his younger sister Britney, but he was photographed attending the 2015 Teen Choice Awards with Britney and their children. It is rumored that Bryan served as one of the conservators of Britney’s estate following her famous meltdown. Today, he is occasionally photographed out and about with his sisters and their children.
13 She Got Her Start In Crossroads
While Jamie Lynn is most known for her showing off her acting chops on such classics as All That and Zoey 101, you may be surprised to learn that she got her start in the industry thanks to big sis, Britney Spears. Britney Spears attempted to break into the film industry with the 2012 movie, Crossroads. This movie tells the story of a group of friends embarking on a road trip after graduating from high school. Along the way, they learn more about themselves, and about life, than any of them thought possible.
Crossroads was universally panned by critics, earning a rating of 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. One reviewer said of the movie, “[it was] less a movie than a mind-numbingly dull road trip.” Ouch! Regardless of the less than rave reviews Crossroads is still notable for giving Jamie Lynn her first taste of stardom. She had a small cameo playing a younger version of Britney’s character, Lucy Wagner.
12 She Was On All That
A little-known fact about the youngest member of the Spears clan is that she had a star turn on the hit Nickelodeon comedy skit show All That which ran on the network from 1994 to 2005. All That was a part of Nickelodeon’s SNICK line-up. It featured comedic skits that made fun of contemporary issues ranging from entertainment and celebrity culture to politics. The show earned praise for its diverse cast, fearlessness, and approach to diverse topics.
Jamie Lynn joined the cast as a series regular in its eighth season, which was notable for being the first season back after a hiatus that lasted two years. She played many characters on the show including: Kristen, Zoe, Carlee, and Betty Jo Roughneck. Her performances on the show earned her great reviews from critics who complimented her natural comedic timing. All That spawned a handful of spinoffs during its run, including Zoey 101!
11 She Starred In Zoey 101
Jamie Lynn starred in the Disney Channel original series, Zoey 101, from 2004 to 2008. The show focused on Zoey Brooks, played by Spears, who has just enrolled in a boarding school that historically was for boys only. The show was a hit with the younger demographics! The series finale, “Chasing Zoey,” even beat out American Idol in the ratings for teens age 12-17. Zoey 101 spawned two video games, released to poor reviews in 2007.
Controversy surrounded the show in 2007 when Jamie Lynn announced that she was pregnant. Disney ultimately said that they supported Jamie Lynn’s decision to handle her situation responsibly. The final episode of Zoey 101 aired in 2008. In 2015 a short episode was aired on Nickelodeon answering a 10-year long mystery of what exactly Zoey said to her friend Chase on the time capsule video. It was a welcome surprise for fans of the show, who never expected to get closure on the issue.
10 She Got Pregnant At 16
Jamie Lynn Spears dominated some tabloids and entertainment coverage in 2007 when she announced she was pregnant at age sixteen. The baby’s father is Casey Aldridge, whom Jamie Lynn had been dating for two years before she got pregnant. Tabloids jumped on this new controversy: pregnant at 16, what a scandal! And a scandal it was! Sparking debates about teenage pregnancy, birth control, and statutory rape.
Ultimately, Jamie Lynn decided it was best for her to move forward with the pregnancy. Her daughter Maddie was born without complication in June of 2008. Following Maddie’s birth, Jamie Lynn decided to leave Hollywood for a while to focus on both herself and her daughter. In an interview with ET in 2016, she explained, “I bought a house in the middle of nowhere, put up a big fence and said I was going to stay here in the middle of Mississippi, [and] go grow up. To figure out what kind of future I am going to create for my daughter.” That’s a level of maturity we can all admire!
9 She’s A Proponent Of Birth Control
When the tabloids got word that Jamie Lynn was pregnant with her first child at the young age of 16, they had a field day. The poor girl’s picture was plastered on websites and tabloid magazine covers, a testament to the shame society felt that she should be feeling. But Jamie Lynn did not let them get her down. She even sat down for an interview five years later to reflect on that time in her life.
In the interview with Glamour Jamie Lynn opened up about what it was like to be pregnant, sixteen, and in the public eye. An occurrence that may seem more common now, what with shows like MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, but which was at the time a rarely talked about phenomena. Jamie Lynn said, “I believe in safety and birth control as prevention. But like many young girls…I was really scared to go to the doctor.” What a frank and honest thing to say! Especially in a society that still shies away from most discussions of reproductive health.
8 She Was Accused Of Glamorizing Teen Pregnancy
Jamie Lynn took a lot of criticism from the media and the public when she first announced that she was pregnant. Suddenly all her behaviors, past and present, were under scrutiny. Through the ceaseless coverage of her the media and, by association, Spears herself were accused of glamorizing teen pregnancy. Perhaps in some misguided attempt to justify her seemingly irresponsible actions? Or maybe as an attempt to gain more fame?
In an interview with Glamour Jamie Lynn talks about the message she was afraid she was sending, “I did feel responsible for the young girls and the mothers who I probably confused and let down. I apologize for that. But I wasn’t trying to glamorize teen pregnancy.” It sure sounds like Spears did the best she could to handle the situation appropriately. Regardless of Spears’ reason for being so open about her situation, we should be thankful for the conversations it has started on such a taboo topic.
7 Her Pregnancy Sparked A Debate About Statutory Rape
The poor girl just couldn’t catch a break. As if it wasn’t enough to be dealing with allegations of glamorizing teen pregnancy, profiting off her situation, or just plain being irresponsible, Jamie Lynn also became the subject of a debate about statutory rape. Statutory rape is a charge that can be pressed against someone who is above the age of consent if they engage in a consensual sex act with someone who is below the age of consent. Charges can be pressed even though both parties agree to engage in the act.
In this specific case, a charge of statutory rape could have carried a one-year jail sentence if prosecutors so chose. At the time Casey Aldridge was eighteen while, as we know, Jamie Lynn was only sixteen. However, as in most cases where the couple in question are actually involved in a romantic relationship, no charges were filed against Aldridge. Once again, we have Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy to thank for bringing up a very important, and very under-discussed, topic.
6 She Has Country Music Career
As her daughter Maddie got older Spears’ attention turned from focusing on only mommy-adjacent activities to the music industry. Her relocation to Nashville put her in a prime location to study and learn all she could about the country music industry. And study she did! Her first single was released in 2013 and quickly rose to number 29 on the Billboard charts!
In 2014 she released her first EP, The Journey. Despite being an unsigned artist, The Journey did very well hitting number 193 on the Billboard 200, and number 24 on the Country Albums charts. Jamie Lynn also began performing at state fairs and local music festivals to promote her music and build a fan base. She even appeared on older sister Britney’s album, Britney Jean, which was released in 2013. Her most recent single, “Sleepover,” was released in 2016.
5 She Got Married In 2014
Jamie Lynn ultimately split with Casey Aldridge, the father of her young daughter Maddie. By all accounts the split was amicable. Simply a classic case of two young kids trying to make a go of it before either one was ready. Jamie Lynn began dating Jamie Watson sometime in 2010, after her split from Aldridge. Watson is a businessman who owns a communications service and occasionally does voice-over work.
The couple was married in 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jamie Lynn’s daughter Maddie served as the flower girl for the ceremony. The couple had an outdoor ceremony, took pictures in front of a carousel, and had a five-tier wedding cake! A detail unique to Jamie Lynn’s ceremony is the inclusion of a dime in her shoe, part of an old – and often forgotten – tradition meant to bring good luck to the happy couple. It sounds like Jamie Lynn got her fairytale ending after all!
4 Her Daughter Nearly Died
In early February 2017, Jamie Lynn’s life was temporarily turned upside down as she dealt with every parent’s worst nightmare, her daughter very nearly died right before her eyes. Jamie Lynn’s daughter Maddie had been driving an ATV around a family member’s property in Louisiana when, while attempting to avoid a drainage ditch, she ended up driving into a lake! Maddie was trapped in the ATV, underwater, for several minutes. Paramedics arrived shortly after the accident to help rescue Maddie from the water.
Maddie was flown to the hospital by helicopter. She would remain hospitalized on a ventilator for several days. Maddie regained consciousness two days later and was released from the hospital three days after that. We can’t imagine how hard it must have been for Jamie Lynn to see her little girl go through such an ordeal!
3 She Once Broke Up A Fight With A Huge Knife
“Knife-toting badass” might not be the first phrase that comes to mind when you think of Jamie Lynn Spears. But maybe it should be? The internet was caught completely and totally off-guard in 2015 when Jamie Lynn was reported to have broken up a fight by waving a long bread knife around! The altercation actually took place in December of 2014 at a Pita Pit location in Louisiana.
Reportedly a friend of Jamie Lynn got into a fight with a group of guys during which the friend got knocked to the ground. Jamie Lynn took it upon herself to walk around the counter, grab a bread knife, and start waving it in the direction of the group. Talk about being a mother lion! It seems that Jamie Lynn will go to any length to keep both her friends and family safe!
2 She’s Won Some Awards
Given how few projects Jamie Lynn currently has to her name, it might be surprising to learn that she has won a handful of awards over the years. In 2005 Jamie Lynn won the One to Watch award for up and coming female performers at the Young Hollywood awards. That same year she was also nominated for Choice TV Breakout Performance at the Teen Choice Awards and she shared a nomination for Outstanding Young Performers in a TV Series at the Young Artist Awards, with the cast of Zoey 101. At the time Jamie Lynn was only fourteen years old. Not too shabby!
She went on to win more awards in 2006 when she racked up two more trophies. Jamie Lynn won Favorite TV Actress at the Kids’ Choice Awards for her work on Zoey 101. The cast of Zoey 101 also took home the award for Best Young Ensemble Performance in a TV Series (comedy or drama) at the Young Artist Awards. In 2007 she took home the Favorite Actress award at the Kids’ Choice Awards Germany. And that same year the cast of Zoey 101 repeated their victory in the Best Young Ensemble Performance in a TV Series (comedy or drama) and the Young Artist Awards.
1 She’s Chosen To Step Away From The Spotlight
Perhaps the most surprising and admirable aspect of Jamie Lynn Spears’ life in the spotlight is that she chose to walk away. News of her pregnancy shone brightly the year that Zoey 101 was going off the air. Rumors swirled that the cancelation of her series was because of her pregnancy and the negative press that it was bound to generate. Disney has repeatedly denied these claims. Coming off the success of her time on both Zoey 101 and All That, it may have been expected that she would continue to find work.
As it turns out she didn’t, because she didn’t want to. In her interview with Glamour Jamie Lynn discussed in detail her decision to walk away from the career she had been cultivating at such a young age. Her decision was based on the desire to do what all parents want to do, create the best life possible for their children. In this case, Jamie Lynn was also thinking about herself. Given where she has ended up it’s safe to say she made the right call!
Sources: Wikipedia, MTv, ETOnline, People, USMagazine
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