Jamie Lynn Spears broke down in tears filming TLC’s new documentary When The Lights Go Out — as she recalled the emotional first night she spent without her daughter.
The 25-year-old — Britney’s younger sister — had Maddie at age 17 in 2008 and shares custody of her with ex-fiancé Casey Aldridge.
She told how she wrote the song the show is named after on the first night Maddie — now eight — was away from her.
Tears streaming down her face, she said: “When I wrote When The Lights Go Out it was the first night that Maddie was away from me. She was with her dad for the first time, and I was by myself.
“In that moment, I called Daddy, and I was just like, ‘I want to be able to let people into that side of me because that’s the story. That’s why I’m singing and that’s why I’m doing it.
“Because as you can tell, the music moves me — it comes from moments like that, and I want to be able to let people into that.
“That’s a really important song to me because I really felt like when the lights go out you just can’t hide from yourself. The feelings are there. You just can’t hide from that.
“It reminds me of exactly why I’m still driven to do this — for that baby girl.”
When The Lights Go Out, which airs tomorrow at 10/9c on TLC, follows Jamie as she tries to break into the country music scene as a singer after nearly a decade away from the limelight.
She says she wouldn’t describe the move as a “comeback” because when she was previously in the spotlight she was still a child — and it was for being Britney’s sister, starring in Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101, and “being a teen mom”.
She said: “Eight years have passed since any of that happened and I was a child then, so for the first time I’m introducing myself as a woman — as an adult.”
A preview clip of the program shows Jamie discussing her debut performance at the iconic Grand Ole Opry, as she chooses the songs she plans to perform.
Jamie, now married to husband Jamie Watson, suggests she should sing her song How Could I Want More — because it “set the whole tone” of her as an artist — as well as her new song Sleepover.
Her dad, also called Jamie, then adds: “You could always do my favorite: When The Lights Go Out. You would kill it, and your story behind it is from the heart.”
Jamie also reveals her nerves ahead of the performance — viewing it as a make-or-break gig.
She says: “There was no place that I wanted to debut my song more than the Opry, so I just want to make sure that my music is up to par with that — especially if it’s the first time somebody’s hearing it, and in the church of country music.”
She adds: “It’s just nerve-wracking to me. It needs to be perfect. I’ve spent eight years working on this music and I’m finally ready to debut my new sound, so picking the right songs and putting on the perfect performance is critical right now.
“I mean, if I screw this up then all of the time and effort that I have invested into being my family’s future will be for nothing.”
A separate bonus clip also shows Jamie talking about why she chose to sing country music — but explains that the question should really be about why Britney chose to do pop music.
She says: “Everyone always asks why country music, and I get it because my sister’s this huge pop star so I guess from people who don’t really know our history don’t know it’s a part of who I am. I grew up in Louisiana, it’s where I live; it’s where I was raised.
“I got in the writing room and when I started writing music the story organically led itself to the country music genre because that’s where my story’s home is.
“The bigger question is really why did Britney do pop music? I mean, she grew up in Louisiana. Where did she get that idea from?”
Watch Jamie Lynn Spears: When The Lights Go Out tomorrow at 10/9c on TLC.