Britney Spears went back in time 20 years and reflected on kissing Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards while writing her new memoir. In an except from The Woman in Me published by Time on October 20, the 41-year-old pop star revealed she came up with the idea for the smooch heard ’round the world right before taking the stage with Madonna, 65, and Christina Aguilera, 42, at the award show. Britney explained that she wanted to top the moment when she revealed her sparkling nude suit while performing “Opps!… I Did It Again” at the 2000 VMAs.
“About two minutes before the performance, I was sitting on the side of the stage and thinking about my biggest performance to date at the VMAs, when I’d pulled off a suit to reveal a sparkly outfit,” Britney explained in her book. “I thought to myself: ‘I want a moment like that again this year. With the kiss, should I just go for it?’ ”
And Britney certainly went for it. Britney and Christina both kissed Madonna during their performance to “Like A Virgin,” which is still regarded as one of the most iconic moments in music award show history. Britney acknowledged in The Woman in Me how the kiss was a moment in time in pop culture that people still talk about today.
“A lot was made of that kiss,” she wrote. “Oprah asked Madonna about it. The kiss was treated as a huge cultural moment—’Britney kissing Madonna!’—and it got us both a lot of attention.” Almost two decades later, Britney and Madonna reenacted their kiss at Britney’s wedding to her now-estranged husband Sam Asghari in June 2022.
The Woman in Me, out October 24, is filled with stories throughout Britney’s life that are told in her own words. According to the Time excerpt of the book, the “Me Against the Music” hitmaker “frequently” writes about Madonna and how she was an inspiration to Britney early in her career.
“Going along with Madonna’s ideas and being on her time for days was what it meant to collaborate with her,” Britney wrote. “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. She was the center of attention because she made that the condition of her showing up anywhere. She made that life for herself. I hoped I could find ways to do that while preserving the parts of my nice-girl identity that I wanted to keep.”