Spears adopted more mature and provocative themes and aesthetics for her next two studio albums, Britney (2001) and In the Zone (2003), and made her feature film debut in a starring role in Crossroads (2002). She became the executive producer of her fifth studio album Blackout (2007), which is often critically referred to as her best work. Due to a series of heavily publicized personal struggles in the public eye, promotion for the album was limited and she was later involuntarily placed in a conservatorship. Since then, she released the chart topping albums, Circus (2008) and Femme Fatale (2011), the latter of which became her most successful era of singles in the US charts. She embarked on a four-year concert residency, Britney: Piece of Me, at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to promote her next two albums Britney Jean (2013) and Glory (2016). Since 2019, Spears has been involved in an ongoing court-led investigation into malpractice conducted by her conservatorship team.
Spears has scored six number one albums on the Billboard 200. She also has four solo number one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100: “…Baby One More Time“, “Womanizer“, “3“, and “Hold It Against Me“. As a featured artist, the “S&M” remix also topped the Billboard chart. Other singles, “Oops!… I Did It Again“, “Toxic“, and “Scream & Shout“, topped the charts in most countries. With “3” in 2009 and “Hold It Against Me” in 2011, she became the second artist after Mariah Carey in the Hot 100’s history to debut at number one with two or more songs. Spears’s self-made heavily choreographed videography is considered a focal point to the success of her career, such as the image-redefining video and single “I’m a Slave 4 U“. For this, she has been awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award as praise for her provocative boundaries-pushing art in young female entertainment. She has earned numerous awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award; seven Guinness World Records; six MTV Video Music Awards; seven Billboard Music Awards, including the Millennium Award; the inaugural Radio Disney Icon Award; and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Billboard ranked her as the eighth-biggest artist of the 2000s decade. One of the world’s best-selling music artists, Spears is regarded as a pop icon and has sold 100 million records worldwide, including over 70 million records in the United States. In the United States, Spears is the fourth best-selling female album artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era as well as the best-selling female album artist of the 2000s. In 2004, Spears launched a perfume brand with Elizabeth Arden, Inc.; sales exceeded US$1.5 billion as of 2012. Forbes has reported Spears as the highest paid female musician of 2002 and 2012. She has also topped the list of most searched celebrities seven times in 12 years, a record since the inception of the internet.[