Growing Up Spears

See the path that took Britney's little sister Jamie Lynn from sidekick, to budding star to teenage mother-to-be. By Suzy Byrne

01 of 13

EARLY EXPOSURE

EARLY EXPOSURE
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At just 8 years old, Kentwood, La., native Jamie Lynn Spears had her first taste of fame when older sister Britney Spears debuted big – with 1999's ... Baby One More Time. Her success was a family affair, as parents Jamie and Lynne brought Jamie Lynn along for the Hollywood ride (here at a 2001 Planet Hollywood bash in Las Vegas).

02 of 13

ROLE MODEL

ROLE MODEL
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By 2002, Jamie Lynn was testing stardom herself. She appeared in Crossroads – her sister's unsuccessful foray into movies – as a younger version of Britney's character, Lucy. "She's the little star at school right now," Britney told PEOPLE at the time. "She's just 'Miss Everything' and lovin' every minute of it." The fresh-faced Jamie Lynn also walked the runway as a model for Kids R Us.

03 of 13

SISTER ACT

SISTER ACT
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At the 2002 Teen Choice Awards, Jamie Lynn, who had recently been cast in Nickelodeon's sketch comedy show All That, took center stage with Britney to close the kid-friendly extravaganza.

04 of 13

ALL THAT ... AND THEN SOME

ALL THAT ... AND THEN SOME
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During her run on All That, Jamie Lynn worked with famous faces like her sister's ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, Aaron Carter and Nick Cannon. The show's director Virgil Fabian, who worked with both Spears sisters, told PEOPLE, "I see the same drive in her as in Britney." At 13, Jamie Lynn was named to TEEN PEOPLE's Young Hollywood/Hot List, and noted that she didn't have a boyfriend. "No, and I don't like anybody," she said. "If there was a cute boy on earth maybe, but there isn't!"

05 of 13

TV STARDOM 101

TV STARDOM 101
Nickelodeon/ AP

Jamie Lynn landed Zoey 101, her own Nickelodeon series, in 2005. In it, she plays a popular girl at a co-ed boarding school. Jamie Lynn tapped Britney to help her with the show's theme song – the younger Spears sang lead vocals while Britney provided backup vocals. The rising star even started making the talk-show rounds on her own, sitting with David Letterman and appearing on MTV's TRL.

06 of 13

SISTER IN LAW

SISTER IN LAW
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Jamie Lynn was front and center during Britney's whirlwind courtship and eventual marriage to Kevin Federline. The girls remained tight and were often seen shopping together. When Britney arrived at the hospital to give birth to her first son, Sean Preston, now 2, Jamie Lynn and their mother were in tow.

07 of 13

FROM TWEEN TO TEEN

FROM TWEEN TO TEEN
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While Britney took a pause for motherhood, Jamie Lynn kept acting. In 2006, she underwent a makeover prior to the Kids' Choice Awards, which she attended with her brother, Bryan, and Lynne. "I used to be a tomboy – all baggy shorts and T-shirts," she told Teen People of her new look. "But I've changed a little bit." That night, she took home the award for favorite teen actress.

08 of 13

RED-CARPET DEBUT

RED-CARPET DEBUT
Alex Berliner/ Berliner Studio/BEImages

After quietly dating, Jamie Lynn and boyfriend Casey Aldridge made their red-carpet debut in June 2007 at the premiere of Nancy Drew. Aldridge, who is believed to be 18 or 19, grew up in Liberty, Miss., about 30 miles from the Spears family home in Kentwood, and played baseball and football in high school. He was often seen at the Southern California condo where Jamie Lynn stayed with her mother, Lynne, while filming Zoey 101, and would visit the actress on the set.

09 of 13

HOLLYWOOD TEEN SCENE

HOLLYWOOD TEEN SCENE
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In September at a Teen Vogue bash, Jamie Lynn rubbed elbows with Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus, who also faced pregnancy rumors – which, in her case, turned out to be untrue and vehemently denied by her publicist.

10 of 13

GIRL TIME

GIRL TIME
Fame Pictures

With a custody battle raging between Britney and her now-ex-husband Federline, 2007 was a difficult year for the Spears clan. Britney and Lynne were briefly estranged, with Britney banning her mother from seeing her grandsons. But in October, all three Spears women reunited in California. They had family meals and played with the boys, and Britney and Jamie Lynn had lots of sister bonding time, tooling around Malibu in Britney's Mercedes.

11 of 13

FIGHTING WORDS

FIGHTING WORDS
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A loyal protector of her big sister, Jamie Lynn jumped to Britney's defense outside Sushi House Unico. When a woman yelled for Britney to move out of the neighborhood, it was Jamie Lynn who got between the woman and the pop star – and yelled a few choice words of her own. A video of the encounter promptly made the YouTube rounds.

12 of 13

BABY NEWS

BABY NEWS
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Shortly before Thanksgiving, Jamie Lynne broke the news to her parents that she was pregnant. "I didn't believe it because Jamie Lynn's always been so conscientious," Lynne told OK! magazine. "She's never late for her curfew. I was in shock. I mean, this is my 16-year-old baby." Aldridge, the father of the baby, is said to be adored by Jamie Lynn's parents, while Nickelodeon released a statement saying they "respect Jamie Lynn's decision to take responsibility."

13 of 13
Image
Fame

More recently Jamie-Lynn (with Aldridge on Feb. 10) has been back in Louisiana and moving forward with big plans: talking college since passing her GED and sporting an engagement ring. "She's not wasting any time," a friend told PEOPLE. "People don't know her. When she gets something in her head, she'll make it happen. Everybody is so supportive of her."

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