Sisters Britney Spears and Jamie Lynn Spears have been through a lot in the public eye together.
Despite their nearly 10-year age difference, Britney and Jamie Lynn shared a close bond while growing up in their hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana. Though Jamie Lynn was only 7 years old when Britney first shot to fame as a teenager with her debut album …Baby One More Time, she had a front-row seat to the highs and lows of her sister’s burgeoning pop star career. It didn’t deter Jamie Lynn from entering the entertainment industry herself, however.
In 2002, Jamie Lynn began starring on Nickelodeon’s All That, and in 2005, she landed her own show, Zoey 101. Just two years later, however, she made headlines when she shared that she was pregnant at age 16 and took a step back from the spotlight to focus on being a mom.
Throughout most of their lives and careers, Britney and Jamie Lynn supported each other and worked on projects together, including Britney’s film debut Crossroads. But in recent years — as Britney’s 13-year conservatorship was reevaluated in court and by the public — their relationship became strained, and the two publicly feuded over the release of Jamie Lynn’s memoir, Things I Should Have Said: Family, Fame, and Figuring it Out.
Britney Spears’ Relationship with Dad Jamie Spears: What She Has Said Over the Years
“I love and I support my sister, and I always will. It’s very clear that this has been a painful process, and I have to respect however she works through that,” Jamie Lynn told PEOPLE in January 2022, two months after Britney’s conservatorship ended. “This is a complicated situation. It gets to a certain point where you can’t help someone who doesn’t want you to.”
While appearing on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here in 2023, Jamie Lynn hinted that she and Britney are on the path to reconciliation.
“Me and her had a very complicated upbringing. Sometimes we took it out on each other when perhaps we shouldn’t have,” she said. “We just had a really weird life so we can’t explain it to many people, but at the end of the road I know that that’s my family, I love them.”
From their childhood in the South to their ups and downs in Hollywood, here’s everything to know about Britney Spears and Jamie Lynn Spears’ relationship.
They grew up in Louisiana
Britney Spears and sister Jamie Lynn Spears.
Britney was born on Dec. 2, 1981, in McComb, Mississippi; Jamie Lynn was born nearly 10 years later on April 4, 1991. Their parents, James “Jamie” Spears and Lynne Spears, later moved the family to Kentwood, Louisiana, where the Spears kids were raised.
While Britney and Jamie Lynn are both public figures, their older brother Bryan Spears, born on April 19, 1977, is far more private. He has, however, worked with his sisters, including as a producer for Zoey 101. Bryan has one child, daughter Sophia, with his ex-wife Graciella Sanchez.
Jamie Lynn was still a toddler when Britney first entered the entertainment industry. Britney first starred on The Mickey Mouse Club — along with a few other future stars — in 1993. Several years later, teenage Britney got her big break as a pop star with …Baby One More Time and her career took off from there.
Jamie Lynn soon followed Britney’s footsteps into Hollywood with her own Nickelodeon shows, though she maintained her Louisiana roots and credits her home state with keeping her balanced despite her fame.
“I would go and shoot Zoey 101 and then I would come home to Louisiana and I would go to regular school for part of the year,” Jamie Lynn told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020. “That was always really important to me, and it really helped me stay sane and balanced. And I continue that balance in my life now. I go, I do my work, and then when I get a break, I come back home so I can re-center.”
Jamie Lynn appeared in Britney’s movie
Britney Spears and her sister Jamie Lynn Spears at ‘The Teen Choice Awards 2002’ on August 4, 2002 in Los Angeles, California.
In 2002, Britney made her film debut in the road trip movie Crossroads, which also starred Zoë Saldaña and Taryn Manning. Then-10-year-old Jamie Lynn also made an appearance in the movie, playing the younger version of Britney’s character, Lucy.
They collaborated on Zoey 101
Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney Spears and Kevin Federline.
Britney co-wrote the Zoey 101 theme song, “Follow Me.”
“The Zoey theme song was something me and my sister were a part of creating,” Jamie Lynn told Entertainment Tonight in 2020, ahead of her re-release of the song. “I was like 12, I was nervous to go in the studio. Of course, your big sis is like, ‘Get in here and do it!’ She cheered me on and she was a big part of that song in the original version.”
Jamie Lynn also praised Britney for her “brilliance” in writing the song. During a 2020 interview on On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Jamie Lynn explained that she wanted to update some of the lyrics for the new version.
“Obviously, [Britney] and the other co-writers gave it the nod and okay for us to go on and make it something for today’s generation,” she said. “This is all rooted in the brilliance of my sister.”
Jamie Lynn followed in Britney’s musical footsteps
Jamie Lynn Spears and Britney Spears at Toys “R” Us Times Square in New York City.
Britney might be one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide, but she’s not the only singer in the Spears family. After getting her start as an actor, Jamie Lynn launched a country music career, releasing her debut EP, The Journey, in 2014.
In 2016, Jamie Lynn performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and her siblings surprised her with a glowing introduction.
“Thanks to the Opry for letting me introduce this beautiful young lady who is my heart and my soul,” Britney said. “Not only is she beautiful and extremely talented, but she’s my little sister: Jamie Lynn Spears!”
Jamie Lynn teared up and said: “I can’t believe that my whole family kept this secret from me. Well, now I’m gonna try to sing some songs for y’all.”
Jamie Lynn is a “girl mom” to Britney’s “boy mom”
Britney Spears and her sons Sean Federline and Jayden James Federline ; Jamie Lynn Spears with her kids.
Steve Granitz/WireImage ; Jamie Lynn Spears Instagram
Britney and Jamie Lynn are both moms of two. Jamie Lynn and her ex Casey Aldridge welcomed their daughter, Maddie Briann Aldridge, on June 19, 2008. She later gave birth to her second daughter, Ivey Joan Watson, on April 11, 2018, with her husband, Jamie Watson.
Britney and her ex-husband Kevin Federline have two sons: Sean Preston Federline, born on Sept. 14, 2005, and Jayden James Federline, born almost exactly a year later, on Sept. 12, 2006.
In May 2020, Jamie Lynn talked about being aunts to each other’s kids in an interview with Access Hollywood, sharing how it’s “fun to switch roles.”
“I probably am more of the tomboy and she’s more of the girly girl, so it’s funny that I got the two girls and she got the two boys,” she said. “She gets to spoil my girls and I get to be hard on her boys, and so that’s just kind of fun to switch roles a little bit as girl mom [and] boy mom.”
In 2017, Britney supported her niece Maddie after she was in an accident. In February of that year, then-8-year-old Maddie crashed an ATV into a pond on her family’s property and was trapped underwater. Not long after the incident, Britney tweeted a photo of Maddie and wrote: “Need all the wishes and prayers for my niece.” Maddie entered the hospital in critical condition but made a full recovery.
Britney’s conservatorship strained their relationship
Jamie Lynn Spears and Britney Spears.
John Shearer/WireImage; J. Merritt/Getty
In 2008, Britney was placed under conservatorship; the permanent co-conservators were initially her father, Jamie, and attorney Andrew Wallet.
In the decade that followed, Britney’s family faced intense criticism over the legal situation, which put her father in charge of her estate and finances.
Jamie Lynn had defended Britney throughout the years when her sister’s well-being was brought up. In 2019, Jamie Lynn responded to an Instagram comment that said she was afraid of “losing [her] allowance.” She wrote back: “Haha nice try, but I have NEVER been paid a dime from my sister. that is HER hard earned money, and I am NOT entitled to a cent of it.”
In 2020, Jamie Lynn wrote in a different post: “You have no right to assume anything about my sister, and I have NO right to speak about HER health and personal matters … She is a strong, badass, unstoppable woman, and that’s the only thing that is OBVIOUS.”
However, in 2021, after Britney testified in court about wanting to end the conservatorship, Jamie Lynn was moved to weigh in. In a video message shared to her Instagram stories, she explained that she made “a very conscious” decision to “only participate” in Britney’s life as her sister, and responded to critics who felt that she didn’t support Britney.
“Since the day I was born, I’ve only loved, adored and supported my sister,” she said. “I mean this is my freaking big sister, before any of this bulls—. I don’t care if she wants to run away to a rainforest and have zillion babies in the middle of nowhere, or if she wants to come back and dominate the world the way she has done so many times before. … I’m only her sister who’s only concerned about her happiness.”
In July 2021, Britney called out her family and the conservatorship on Instagram, and she specifically mentioned Jamie Lynn. “I don’t like that my sister showed up at an awards show and performed MY SONGS to remixes !!!!!” she wrote (Jamie Lynn performed during a tribute to Britney at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards). “My so-called support system hurt me deeply !!!! This conservatorship killed my dreams … so all I have is hope and hope is the only thing in this world that is very hard to kill … yet people still try !!!!”
Britney’s conservatorship was terminated in November 2021.
They feuded over Jamie Lynn’s book
The cover of Jamie Lynn Spears’ memoir ‘Things I Should Have Said’.
Courtesy Hachette Book Group
In early 2022, the public feud between Britney and Jamie Lynn heated up. In January, Britney unfollowed Jamie Lynn on Instagram. That same month, Jamie Lynn spoke to PEOPLE about her relationship with her sister.
“I’ve only ever tried to be helpful, so any notion that says the contrary is just completely ridiculous,” she said. “It was really important for me to separate myself from my family to focus on the family I’ve created, which is me, my husband and my daughters. Setting those boundaries in place was really important.”
Court documents show that Jamie Lynn was appointed a trustee of Britney’s estate in 2018, but she said she never filled the role and turned down offers to be involved in the conservatorship. “I didn’t have a say when [the conservatorship] happened,” she explained. “My sister was going through a hard time, I was still a child, and that’s what everybody, I think, forgets: I was just a kid going through my own crap.”
That same month, Jamie Lynn released her memoir Things I Should Have Said, and the siblings exchanged words about the book on social media. Britney alleged that Jamie Lynn was trying to “sell a book at my expense” and said that Jamie Lynn “never had to work for anything.”
Jamie Lynn responded by clarifying the purpose of her book. “I hate to burst my sister’s bubble, but my book is not about her,” she wrote on Instagram. “I can’t help that I was born a Spears too and some of my experiences involve my sister.”
In another post, Britney accused Jamie Lynn of sharing “crazy lies,” referring to a story about Britney allegedly locking the two of them in a room with a knife. Britney’s attorney even sent Jamie Lynn a cease-and-desist order.
Britney then clarified some of her previous statements. “All I know is I love you unconditionally!!!” Britney wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “So go ahead and say whatever you want … it’s so tacky for a family to fight publicly like this!!! You say you love me … yet your loyalty is still with the people that hurt me the most!!!”
They have shown support for each other in recent months
Jamie Lynn Spears and Britney Spears at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards.
Image Group LA/Disney Channel/Getty
After their public words in early 2022, the sisters appeared to reconcile to some degree in the months that followed, sharing several peaceful exchanges.
Though Britney’s immediate family didn’t appear at her wedding to Sam Asghari in June 2022, Jamie Lynn and Lynne showed support for the singer on social media. Jamie Lynn Liked an Instagram post that Britney shared about her wedding, while her mother wrote: “You look radiant and so happy! Your wedding is the ‘Dream’ wedding! And having it at your home makes it so sentimental and special! I am soooo happy for you! I love you!”
In December 2022, Britney shared some kind words about Jamie Lynn and her performance on Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias. Alongside two photos of her sister, Britney wrote: “It’s my b-day but you’re my heart so I’m thinking about you … congratulations on being so brave, inspiring, and showing guts and glory in your show 🎉 !!! You ain’t alone … if anybody knows what that feels like … I get it 🤧🤧🤧 My baby sister !!! I love you !!!” Britney later deleted the caption from her post.
Britney spoke about her sister on Instagram again in June 2023 after she seemingly visited Jamie Lynn on the set of Zoey 102. “It was nice to visit my sister on set last week !!! I’ve missed you guys so much !!! Loyal girls stay home but it’s so nice to visit family 😌 !!!” she captioned an Instagram video of herself dancing on a boat.
Though Jamie Lynn wouldn’t confirm or deny if her sister had in fact stopped by, she did share an update on their relationship in an interview with Variety.
“I have nothing but absolute love for every single one of my family members,” she told the outlet in July. “If I learned anything from last year, being so open and feeling like I had to defend myself at times, I don’t feel like there’s anything else that I need to say.”
Following Britney’s separation from Asghari in August 2023, Jamie Lynn seemingly had some thoughts about their breakup. After news of their split was announced on Instagram, the Zoey 101 actress “liked” PEOPLE’s post about the matter.
Jamie Lynn spoke candidly about her relationship with Britney on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here
While appearing on the U.K. reality series, Jamie Lynn’s fellow competitors were eager to learn more about her dynamic with Britney.
“I love her. Me and her throw down. The world’s seen that,” the Sweet Magnolias star shared. “I’ve learned to stop talking about it publicly, but you know what, family’s fight. Listen, we just do it better than most.”