With a pair of involuntary hospitalizations, run-ins with shady managers and lovers, being done wheelbarrow style by J.R. Rotem, and enduring a long stint in which she eschewed pants, Britney Spears had a rough go of it for a time.
Yet with a successful new album, Circus, and a nationwide tour packing in crowds all across the country, she's definitely back on top. But was she ever gone?
Before and after Britney's Pittsburgh concert on Friday night, most of her ardent fans agreed that, comeback or not, Spears was on top of her game.
"I don't think she ever went away," said 21-year-old Hugh Stumpp. "She's on top of the world right now and she's continued to grow and it's great."
"Her huge tour comeback just shows how great of an artist she really is and shows how she can bounce back from anything," added Steve Delong, 20.
Whether they're wearing custom "It's Britney B!tch" t-shirts or defending her on "jealous" fan sites, it's obvious that many supporters never left Spears' side.
"Everyone just goes through a rough patch," said fan Danielle DeRuschi, 20. "If you like her then you stand up for her and you just follow her through the end."
She's definitely returning the favor, too, right? Well, try telling that to the popular Britney fan site currently in the process of being shut down by her attorneys.
In any case, no matter the obstacles in her path, the blonde singer has once again taken the world by storm and established herself as the icon of a generation.
The crazy stories and odd behavior from her tour and life won't stop the masses from packing her shows. Click to enlarge more photos of Britney in Pittsburgh ...