Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliott & Others Honor The 20th Anniversary Of Smash Hit ‘Lady Marmalade’

Twenty years after Pink, Mya, Lil Kim, Christina Aguilera, and Missy Elliot unleashed ‘Lady Marmalade,’ they celebrated ‘one of the biggest collabs in history.’

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Arguably bigger than the film it appeared in, “Lady Marmalade” – the version featuring Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Mýa, Pink, and Missy Elliott – turned 20 on March 27. The lead single from the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack was a tour de force in 2001, finding the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and staying No. 1 for five weeks. Twenty years later, some of the women who made this collab happened reflected on its success. “20th year Anniversary ‘Lady Marmalade,’ tweeted Missy, 49, who co-produced and emcee’d the track. “One of the BIGGEST Collabs in HISTORY big up to @xtina @LilKim @Pink @MYAPLANET9 ‘The Labelle’ to (sic)”

Mýa, 41, posted an Instagram Gallery – “swipe left for a trip down memory lane!” – featuring scenes from the making of the now-iconic music video, live performances, and the night that the song won the Grammy Award for “Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.” (“Lady Marmalade” also won the MTV Video Music Award for “Best Video of the Year” and “Best Video from a Film.”) Mýa even included a photo of the 2020 Grammys when the group performed the song alongside Patti Labelle (who performed the original recording with her girl group, LaBelle).  Christina, 40, reminisced about that time in her life by posting a glamour shot of her wearing the lingerie outfit from the video. “Happy Anniversary, Lady Marmalade.”

Lil’ Kim, Pink, Mya, and Christina Aguilera, sing “Lady Marmalade” from the film “Moulin Rouge” at the 2001 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles (Mark J Terrill/AP/Shutterstock)

Written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan and first recorded in 1974, “Lady Marmalade” was a cultural landmark before it was picked for Baz Luhrmann’s jukebox musical. “Labelle’s original version was a song we had all loved growing up,” Missy told Cosmopolitan in the publication’s oral history of the song, “and we saw it as a kind of honor to put our own spin on it. We wanted to showcase each of the ‘four badass chicks from the Moulin Rouge,’ bringing together their different skills and personas into a true celebration of diversity, talent, and female unity.”

Christina Aguilera sings “Lady Marmalade” from the film “Moulin Rouge” at the 2001 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles (Mark J Terrill/AP/Shutterstock)

“The message was awesome,” Christina told Cosmopolitan, “because every woman wants to feel good in their own skin. Every woman wants to own their sexuality—whether you want to put on a corset or not. Before, to be sexualized meant that you would be labeled, and to own your sexuality meant you would be slut-shamed. As soon as I heard Missy and Rockwilder’s production, it was just like, “This is going to be something that feels so good and so right.”