Now that Britney Spears' mysterious tennis partner has been identified as singer Howie Day, we thought it might be a good time to get to know him a little better - or at least come to a better understanding of just how he came to meet the princess of pop music herself. Howie, as it turns out, has a history of substance use dating back to his late adolescence - we've been sent some candid shots of the soon-to-be singer knocking back a brew at the age of 19. By the time 2006 rolled around, however, Howie's use had turned into abuse, as the singer found himself on the receiving end of a one-year probation following an incident on a plane which saw Day disturbing fellow travelers and smoking a cigarette in the plane's bathroom. The singer eventually entered Promises to sober up, and met Brit while going through the steps.

According to his publicist, however, not only is Howie making exceptional progress in rehab, but he's chomping at the bit to wrap his newest album up as soon as he gets well. But Howie's album might not be his first priority once he gets released - according to Life & Style, Howie and Britney may be making beautiful music together! The magazine reports that Britney's planning on bringing Howie to her cousin Erin's wedding as her date, and makes it pretty clear that they've gone beyond the hand-holding stage - Britney apparently describes him as "a great kisser"!

Britney Spears brithowie.jpgLook! They shared a water -- they must have slept together!