Actress and singer Jamie Lynn Spears’ life dramatically changed in 2007 when she found out that she would become a teen mom at the tender age of 16 — a revelation that shocked the nation, considering her starring role at the time on Nickelodeon kids’ show “Zoey 101.”
Fast forward seven years and Spears — sister of pop phenomenon Britney Spears — is now a country music artist, a wife and a doting mother. The 23-year-old recently told TheBlaze about her entertainment career, fame and motherhood.
It’s no surprise that Spears’ pregnancy ushered some major changes that profoundly transformed her life.
“Obviously, I was 16 years old, so it was not the ideal situation by any means, and it was just something I knew I had to take responsibility for — no matter how old you are and put yourself in an adult situation,” Spears said. “At that time, at that place, I did the best I could with what I had at that age.”
Spears said that she instantly found herself putting the brakes on her entertainment career and preparing to be a mother, as she grappled with the responsibility of sharing the news with the general public.
“I did feel a responsibility, even at 16, that I was in the public eye and I did have young girls watching me,” Spears said. “I did feel a responsibility to share the news.”
Spears made the choice at the time to head back to her home state of Louisiana, where she took steps to prepare for motherhood, while tuning out the swirling media attention surrounding her pregnancy.
“I went back home, bought a house and lived my life. I just separated myself from it,” she said. “I couldn’t be focused on that. I was about to be a mother.”
As for other teenagers who find themselves in similar situations, she said that it’s important to “take responsibility and make the right choices for yourself.”
Spears, whose daughter Maddie is now 6 years old, said that she learned some important lessons from her own experience.
“The main thing I learned was how to be a lot more selfless and to step out of situations and to be able to asses things without being in the middle of it,” she said. “It really humbled me.”
And now Spears, who said she’s been “tucked away” working on music for the past six years, is heading back on the road to perform and share some of her new country music, including a single titled, “How Could I Want More.”
She told TheBlaze that she wrote the song nearly four years ago about her now-husband, whom she married this past March.
“I was living in Nashville and I was trying to focus on being a mom,” she said of her inspiration for penning the country tune. “I knew he was the one, but it just wasn’t the right time.”
Listen to “How Could I Want More” below:
As for anyone surprised that Spears diverged from her sister’s pop path, she would remind them that she grew up in the south, where country music is immensely popular.
“I think that they forget that we were born and raised in Louisiana,” Spears said. “Ultimately, we grew up with this music and that way of life. It’s more of a head-scratcher that she went pop.”
Fame has always been Spears’ “normal,” as her family was thrust into the limelight when she was a young child. Music and the arts have always been a part of her life.