8 Things You Never Noticed About the Britney-Madonna Kiss Performance at the 2003 VMAs

Let me take you back to an important moment in our nation’s history: the 2003 MTV VMAs, when Britney Spears infamously kissed Madonna and spawned an entire generation of gay men. Christina Aguilera, another queen of pop, was also there and also kissed Madonna⁠—but MTV panned to Justin Timberlake’s face during her kiss, so she missed her moment. (Remember, J.T. and Britney had just broken up, and MTV was clearly trying to cash in on that drama.) Mary J. Blige closed out the iconic performance with a few lines from her song “Work It”—another thing that’s grossly overlooked.

Also forgotten are the many celebrities in the audience whose reactions to Britney, Christina, Madonna, and Missy deserve to be hung in the Louvre. Ugh, to be a fly in the wall at Radio City Music Hall that night.

Thankfully, MTV just uploaded an HQ version of this crucial VMAs moment to its YouTube page. Now we can relive it over and over—and all the Easter eggs I’m referencing are crystal clear. Here are the greatest ones.

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Bey is a notable big Brit fan. We love legends supporting legends.

Beyonce  at the 2003 MTV VMAs.

The textbook definition of moody goth girls not having any of the cheerleaders’ nonsense. (For context: I’m also a moody goth girl.)

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