Jamie Lynn Spears (born April 4, 1991) is an American actress, singer and songwriter. The younger sister of recording artist Britney Spears, she is known for her role as Zoey Brooks on the Nickelodeon teen sitcom Zoey 101, on which she starred from 2005 to 2008.
Spears became the subject of significant media attention and controversy in 2007, when she announced she was pregnant at age 16, effectively sending her career into hiatus. In 2013, Spears launched a career in country music. She released her debut single, "How Could I Want More", along with her debut EP, The Journey.
Spears was born in McComb, Mississippi to James and Lynne Spears. She has two siblings, Bryan and Britney Spears. She attended Parklane Academy, where she was a cheerleader and point guard of the basketball team. She finished her education via online correspondence and received her GED in February 2008 through Tangipahoa Parish School System Adult Education Center.
In February 2002, Spears made her acting debut in the Paramount Pictures drama film Crossroads which starred her sister, who portrayed the central character Lucy Wagner. Spears made a cameo, playing the younger version of Britney's character. Following Crossroads, Nickelodeon cast Spears as a regular performer in the eighth season of the sketch comedy series All That. The season followed a two-year hiatus of the series. Spears portrayed various roles through the two seasons she appeared in as well as herself. Spears's performance received positive reviews from critics with many complimenting her comedic timing and being a highlight of the show. Spears did not return for the series' tenth and final season to pursue other roles on the network.
In August 2004, Spears signed a development deal with Nickelodeon in which she would star as the protagonist in her own scripted television series that would air on the network. The series went on to be titled Zoey 101. Spears portrayed the role of Zoey Brooks and centered on Zoey and her friends who attend a fictional boarding school, Pacific Coast Academy (PCA). Spears recorded the series theme song, titled "Follow Me", which was written by her sister Britney Spears. Filmed at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, the series premiered on January 9, 2005, the network's highest rated series premiere in over eight years. Spears won a Young Artist Award and a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards for her performance. Nickelodeon announced the fourth season would be the series' last season. The series finale, "PCA Confidential", aired on May 2, 2008.
In December 2007, Variety announced Spears had signed on to guest appear in the ABC comedy sitcom series Miss Guided, in which she played the role of the promiscuous high school student Mandy Fener in the episode "Hot Sub" which aired on March 20, 2008. That same year Spears voiced the role of Goldilocks in the direct-to-DVD animation film Unstable Fables: Goldilocks & 3 Bears Show. The film is the third and final installment of the Unstable Fables trilogy.
Nickelodeon issued a statement shortly after the announcement of her being pregnant at the age of 16 stating that the network respected Spears's decision to take responsibility and noting that its primary concern was for her well-being.
Following Spears's move to Nashville, she began working on a country music album with a number of local music producers. On November 7, 2011, Spears held a small concert at the Rutledge in Nashville in which she performed a set of original songs.
On November 25, 2013, Spears released her first single "How Could I Want More" from her upcoming debut album. The song debuted at number 29 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs. Spears is featured on her older sister, Britney Spears's eighth studio album Britney Jean on the song "Chillin' With You". On May 27, 2014, Spears released an EP called The Journey. Jana Kramer recorded a song Spears co-wrote, "I Got the Boy," which was released as the second single from Thirty One in 2015.
On December 20, 2007, in an interview with OK! magazine, Spears announced that she was pregnant by her then-boyfriend, Casey Aldridge. She was 16 years old at the time. Aldridge, whom she had been dating for two years, was 18. Spears gave birth to a daughter, Maddie Briann Aldridge, on June 19, 2008, at Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in McComb, Mississippi.
Spears confirmed her engagement to Aldridge in March 2008 after it was reported she was seen wearing an engagement ring. In May 2008, the couple moved back to Liberty, Mississippi, and purchased a house, with Spears stating they would raise their child there. Spears and Aldridge called off their engagement in March 2009, and Spears ended the relationship and moved out in February 2010. Spears and Aldridge reconciled in August 2010, but ended their relationship a second time in November 2010. In April 2010, Spears moved from Liberty, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue her long desired music career.
The announcement of Spears's pregnancy generated controversy, as the media was accused of using the story to "glamorize" teenage pregnancy. Some teens were disappointed with the contrast between Spears's on screen personality as a "good girl" and her real life pregnancy.
Controversy surfaced because Spears was two years below the California age of consent, raising questions about her and Aldridge's age difference, and whether Aldridge could or would be charged with statutory rape (although Spears was neither from California nor living there). It was later confirmed that Aldridge was just under two years older than Spears, which meant that he could be charged only with a misdemeanor under California law, since the crime is only charged as a felony if the two people having sex are at least three years apart in age. On June 4, 2008, while in Amite County, Mississippi, the Spears family filed a complaint against Edwin Merrino, a paparazzo who, they believed, was following and stalking the couple. Merrino denied the allegation. He was released later in the day after posting a $1,096 bond.
She subsequently began a relationship with Jamie Watson, a businessman who owns communications service Advanced Media Partners. After two years of off and on dating, they announced their engagement in March 2013. On March 14, 2014, she married Watson in New Orleans.
|2002||Crossroads||Lucy Wagner (Young)|
|2005||A Weekend with Jamie Lynn Spears||Herself||Documentary|
|2008||The Goldilocks and the 3 Bears Show||Goldilocks (voice)||Direct-to-DVD|
|2002–04||All That||Various||Main role (19 episodes in seasons 8 & 9)|
|2005||Britney and Kevin: Chaotic||Herself||Episode: "Veil of Secrecy" (1.5)|
|2005–08||Zoey 101||Zoey Brooks||Lead role (65 episodes)|
|2007||Just Jordan||Krya||Episode: "Spelling Bees" (1.14)|
|2008||Miss Guided||Mandy Ferner||Episode: "Hot Sub" (1.2)|
|2016||Jamie Lynn Spears: When the Lights Go Out||Herself||Documentary|
|Title||EP details||Peak chart positions|
|US||US Country||US Heat||US Indie|
|"—" denotes releases that didn't chart or weren't released in that territory|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"How Could I Want More"||2013||—||29||55||68||27||1||The Journey|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory|
|"(Hey Now) Girls Just Want to Have Fun"||2002||Triple Image||Celebrate|
|"Follow Me"||2005||N/A||Zoey 101: Music Mix|
|"We Are Family"||2008||The Goldilocks and the 3 Bears cast||The Goldilocks and the 3 Bears|
|"Chillin' With You"||2013||Britney Spears||Britney Jean|
|"How Could I Want More"||2013||Matthew Underwood|||