Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Christina Aguilera's fiery comments, reaction to the Madonna, Britney Spears MTV VMAs kiss revealed

 2023 is the 20th anniversary of the iconic moment when Madonna locked lips with both pop starlets — but the "Fighter" singer has a surprising take

Madonna and Britney Spears kiss as Christina Aguilera stands beside them at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards© Kevin Kane
Justin Ravitz
Justin Ravitz - New York
Editorial Director, U.S.New York
August 28, 2023
Share this:

Nobody edits out Xtina and gets away with it! This Monday, August 28 marks 20 years since one of the most enduring pop culture moments of the 21st century: when Madonna passionately kissed Britney Spears at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. In case you forgot, however, Madonna, now 65, actually smooched a second super-famous young woman live on stage at Radio City Music Hall in NYC that night: Christina Aguilera, who wore a wedding dress just like Britney and sang "Like a Virgin" as they ascended down a wedding cake, and were joined by Madonna (and later Missy Elliot) for the electric performance.

Madonna kiss Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera

Casual viewers would be forgiven for missing the "Material Girl" singer's lip-lock with Christina, which immediately followed Madonna's mouth-to-mouth with Britney— because the cameras cut away for most of it. And Christina, now 42, didn't appreciate the slight, or being overlooked in the massive media frenzy over the instantly viral moment involving her pop rival (and former Mickey Mouse Club costar) Britney and idol Madonna. 

Madonna and Christina Aguilera kiss as Britney Spears smiles alongside them at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.© Getty
While Madonna kissed both Britney and Christina, cameras cut away when Madonna and Christina smooched — to show Justin Timberlake's reaction in the audience.

"It was weird," the "Dirrrty" singer told Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM show back in 2018. "And you know why they cut away for it? They cut away to get [Justin's] reaction." That would be Justin Timberlake, Britney's famous ex-boyfriend, from whom she had split the previous year. Justin looked tense and self-conscious as the cameras scrutinized him for a reaction. (Other stars shown reacting to the kiss included Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie, Beyonce, Kelly Osbourne, Mary J. Blige, Avril Lavigne, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and others.)

RELATED: Christina shocks fans as she rides mobility scooter

MORE: Meet Christina's lookalike daughter

"They were exes…it was just a cheap shot," Christina continued. The exclusion felt worse the following morning, she recalled, when headlines all over the world mentioned Madonna and Britney..but no Christina. "I definitely saw the newspaper the next day, and it was like oh, well, I guess I got left out of that."

Ultimately, however, the mom of one said she'd made peace with the situation. "Everything happened so quickly back then. It was a whirlwind," she remembered, adding that she later had her own "kickass performance" of "Fighter" with rocker Dave Navarro. "So I was okay with that. [Britney] could have her kiss."

Britney Spears, Madonna and Christina Aguilera (Photo by Chris Polk/FilmMagic)© Getty
"I definitely saw the newspaper the next day, and it was like 'oh, well, I guess I got left out of that'," Christina said when headlines emphasized Madonna and Britney's kiss but overlooked Christina's moment.
Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, both in sexy bridal lingerie, flank Madonna in a top hot and tuxedo as they perform at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards© Getty
"Everything happened so quickly back then. It was a whirlwind," says Christina, now 42.

According to several MTV executives working that night's show, however, Christina and her team were extremely displeased. Tom Calderone, former executive vice president of music and talent, told Rolling Stone that her team pleaded for Christina's performance (and kiss) to be re-edited into later broadcasts, a request that was denied. 

Christina Aguilera at Pride Live Stonewall Day Concert 2023
Christina is now a mom of two.

Added MTV president Van Toffler to Rolling Stone: "That caused a little bit of grief coming my way,” Toffler told Rolling Stone. “It didn’t make life easier that night. But you have to make choices in a live show. Sometimes you’re wrong and sometimes you’re right, but I think the beauty of the VMAs was the combustibility. You wanted to make it fun and semi-chaotic. That’s what we did."

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More TV and Film

See more