Hard to believe, but 12 years have already passed since MADONNA‘s memorable performance with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott at the 20th Annual MTV Video Music Awards at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on August 28, 2003.
The ‘surprise’ performance was a fitting opening number for the MTV VMAs‘ 20th presentation. To pay tribute to Madonna‘s very 1st VMA performance way back in 1984, which is widely acknowledged as one of (if not) THE most career- and culture-defining moments in MTV’s history, Spears & Aguilera recreated Madge’s premier performance of her classic Like A Virgin dressed in their skimpy wedding outfits and coming out of a huge wedding cake.
Madonna then made her dramatic entrance dressed as their ‘groom’ to perform her then-latest hit Hollywood, much to the audience’s delight who gave her a standing ovation. Rapper Missy Elliott, who earlier that year collaborated with Madonna on a GAP commercial, joined in the fray in what was to be the most talked-about moment of the evening.
While the musical performance was nothing less than amazing, what grabbed the headlines and became the talk of the town (Heck! Make that the entire world) for the next following days (even weeks) was when Madonna, in what she claimed to be an ironic artistic statement, kissed her 2 brides, Britney & Christina, right on the lips.
The immediate reaction from the audience is equal amounts shock, awe, amusement, and admiration. Who could ever forget Britney’s ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake‘s reaction right after the liplocking moment between the Queen and then-Princess of Pop?
It took just one kiss.
THE KISS was more than enough to cement Madonna’s legacy as the premier MTV VMAs provocateur. Hands down. No contest.
With this year’s VMAs set for this weekend (with no Madonna involvement whatsoever, unfortunately), let us look back and enjoy this moment in 2003 when the VMAs still mattered.