The girl group you never knew Britney Spears was in

During her time on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, Britney Spears worked with many young stars she would meet again and again throughout her entertainment career. Spears dated Justin Timberlake long after they pulled back their Mouseketeer ears, and Christina Aguilera became a professional rival as she and Spears began their battle for pop princess supremacy. The “Crossroads” star even auditioned to play Ryan Gosling’s romantic co-lead on “The Notebook,” per E! News.

“After that show, I realized I had a great love for music,” Spears told Entertainment Tonight of her Mouseketeer days. “It really motivated me to keep going and do what I wanted.” Obviously, she wasn’t the only member of the Mickey Mouse Club who wanted to make it big in the music industry, and she has a lesser-known connection to a former Co-star who hoped to achieve the same dream: Nikki DeLoach.

In an interview with MTV News, DeLoach revealed that she became close friends with Timberlake while filming together. When Timberlake’s mother, Lynn Harless, decided to start a girl group, DeLoach was the first prospective member to contact her. Spears also received an invitation to join the quintet inspired by the Spice Girls, according to The New York Times. But instead of being fueled by Spears’ pop power, the group would eventually meet a tragic end.

Why Innosense disbanded

The girl group that Britney Spears briefly joined was called Innosense. In addition to Spears and Nikki DeLoach, the original cast included Amanda Latona, Mandy Ashford and Danay Ferrer.

In a 1999 interview, Spears recalled a successful audition for Innosense. But after speaking to attorney Larry Rudolph, who would become her longtime manager, she decided to leave the group. “You know how girls are,” she said. “It was like, forget that.” According to Think Progress, Innosense was directed by Lou Pearlman, who Rudolph previously dealt with. Pearlman founded NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, but died in prison in 2016 while taking time out to run a Ponzi scheme, according to Billboard. Pearlman’s legal troubles were the reason Innosense disbanded after only marginal success. “The way our group ended was really sad,” DeLoach told Complex. During its six-year existence, Innosense toured with Spears and NSYNC, and Spears had a 1999 Grammy night slumber party with the group. “Britney and I were definitely friends at the time,” DeLoach told MTV News. “She was always so amazing and so untouched by her big fame — just a sweet, amazing person.”

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DeLoach married Take 5 member Ryan Goodell and went on to have a successful television acting career. Notably, she played the mother of lead character Jenna Hamilton (Ashley Rickards) on the MTV series Awkward, and told Tinseltown Mom that she only became a Hallmark star after her grandmother asked her to audition for a Hallmark vacation film.

Britney Spears’ replacement dated Justin Timberlake

Every member of Innosense had a connection to NSYNC. Nikki DeLoach told Lindzi.com that she dated JC Chasez while Mandy Ashford and Lance Bass performed in musicals together, according to Apple Music. Joey Fatone attended the same high school as Danay Ferrer, and Amanda Latona told the New York Times that Fatone suggested that she audition for the girl group. She and Fatone met while working together at Universal Studios, where they both appeared in Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue.

Latona, who once dated Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean, eventually left the group and sought to follow Britney Spears’ blueprint while planning a career as a solo artist. It didn’t work out, but she became a successful fitness model and bodybuilder. Pro Muscle & Fitness Hers, she also appeared in Shark Tank and founded a clothing label called Booty Queen.

The singer who took Latona’s place, Jenny Morris, was the girlfriend of Justin Timberlake’s best friend, according to Lindzi.com, and Spears’ replacement, Veronica Finn, was dating Timberlake herself. Finn told the Mirror that Timberlake used to shower her with gifts, including designer shoes. “Justin is a big ‘I love you’ guy. He falls in love easily,” she recalled. But their hectic lives made it increasingly difficult for the teenage singers to spend time together, and they began to suspect each other of infidelity. Finn confessed to leaving Timberlake via voicemail – and had to watch as he rebounded with Spears.

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