Centuries from now, 2007 will be remembered as the year of Britney Spears's meltdown. Just 25 years old at the time, the superstar singer had already lived a long life in the spotlight. She was a busy child performer with several stage and commercial credits under her belt when she landed a role on The Mickey Mouse Club at age 11. From there, she focused more on singing, and her debut album, Baby One More Time, was released in 1999. Since then, Spears has been making music and headlining sold-out world tours—except for a period in 2007 when she had one of the biggest celebrity meltdowns since Joan Crawford insisted, "No wire hangers EVER!"
But why did Britney Spears have a breakdown? The pressures of fame at a young age coupled with mounting personal problems and stresses all combined to create the perfect storm that was 2007. But, like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, Spears has not only recovered, she's thriving.
She Lost Custody Of Her Kids
Eventually, the courts began taking action. In September of 2007, Spears lost custody of her two young sons, a move more than likely influenced by the hit and run charges. The attending judge cited what he believed was Spears's "habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol."
She Was Held In A Psychiatric Hospital
In January of 2008, Spears engaged in a three-hour custody standoff, refusing to return her kids to their father at the end of an appointed visitation. Authorities took her to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where a media circus ensued, and she was held in a psychiatric facility at a UCLA hospital. A few days later, a judge granted temporary conservatorship and control of her money and assets to her father and her attorney; the conservatorship was later made permanent.
She Won Visitation Rights
Once her father became a conservator, Spears's life started moving in a healthier direction. Her January 2008 hospitalization caused the courts to revoke all her custody rights, but by July of that year, she regained visitation rights. "Britney’s doing great. She’s very pleased. The kids are with her right now," her lawyer said.
She Resumed Making Chart-Topping Music
Britney's fall from grace was, fortunately, not a permanent one. Her music and performances faltered during her breakdown, but she came back stronger than ever. After back-to-back albums in 2007 and 2008, Spears took some time off from recording. Her 2011 album, Femme Fatale, was a return of sorts, and it showed the world that Brit was still a force with which to be reckoned.