Britney Spears Reflects On Her Madonna Kiss At The 2003 VMAs

The “huge cultural moment” almost didn’t happen.

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Britney Spears and Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.
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Britney Spears has opened up about her relationship with fellow pop sensation Madonna, including that kiss at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.

In her new memoir The Woman in Me, Spears reveals that while rehearsing the performance with Madonna and Christina Aguilera 20 years ago, the trio had practiced “an air kiss.” But just minutes before taking the stage, Spears changed her mind and wanted to create a spectacle similar to her performance at the 2000 VMAs.

“I thought to myself: I want a moment like that again this year. With the kiss, should I just go for it?” she writes, adding that her VMAs kiss became “a huge cultural moment.”

Britney Learned A Lot From Madonna

Spears also reflects on her “Me Against the Music” collaboration with Madonna in the recently released memoir, sharing that she asked Madonna to join her on the In the Zone track.

Spears also revealed that she learned an “important lesson” from Madonna while filming the music video for the 2003 song, after the singer delayed the shoot in order to fix her outfit.

“During our shoot together, I was in awe of the ways Madonna would not compromise her vision. She kept the focus on her,” Spears writes.

“Going along with Madonna’s ideas and being on her time for days was what it meant to collaborate with her. It was an important lesson for me, one that would take a long time for me to absorb: she demanded power, and so she got power.”

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Madonna Was Britney’s Mentor

Writing in The Woman in Me, Spears also recalls how she experienced “passiveness” from her parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, growing up, adding that she wishes she could’ve “become my own parent, my own partner, my own advocate — the way I knew Madonna did.”

“Madonna’s supreme confidence helped me see a lot about my situation with fresh eyes. I think she probably had some intuitive sense of what I was going through,” Spears writes. “I needed a little guidance at that time. I was confused about my life. She tried to mentor me.”

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Five years after her Madonna collab, Spears was placed in a 13-year conservatorship in 2008. The legal arrangement came to an end in November 2021 after Spears testified in court asking for her conservatorship to be terminated.

On Oct. 24, Spears released her much-anticipated memoir The Woman in Me. “It is finally time for me to raise my voice and speak out,” she told People prior to the book’s release. “No more conspiracy, no more lies — just me owning my past, present, and future.”

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