Best of 2008

She's Back! How Britney Turned Her Year Around

After a rocky time, the birthday girl is making music, winning awards – and spending time with her boys

JUST JOKES

In August, Spears pokes fun at her previous year's disastrous performance of "Gimme More" by filming promotional spots with host Russell Brand – with a giant elephant in the room. Her peers rally around the VMA nominee, with Pharrell Williams telling PEOPLE that "she's super-talented," and Pete Wentz saying, "The fans really want to see Britney win and turn it around."