Singers Britney Spears(L), Madonna, and Christina Aguilera perform onstage during the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 28, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

How Justin Timberlake Stole the Attention from Christina Aguilera's Forgotten Kiss with Madonna

Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Twenty years ago this month, Madonna locked lips with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the MTV Video Music Awards and changed the world. But no one remembers the latter kiss because MTV was more interested in being messy.

As if a woman kissing two other women wasn't enough to cause a commotion, the fact that Madonna was, and still is, one of the biggest pop stars on Earth kissing two pop princesses dressed like brides was better.

The Spears and Aguilera came out and performed Madonna's "Like a Virgin" before Madonna made her grand entrance on stage and launched into her contemporary hit, "Hollywood."

Justin Timberlake reacts to Madonna and Britney Spears kissing at the 2003 MTV Music Awards

When the time came for Madonna to lay a kiss on each of the girls, she started with Spears. Then the camera suddenly cut to Justin Timberlake for reaction. If you remember, Timberlake had just had a fresh break up from Spears, so MTV especially wanted to get his reaction.

Well, while cutting to Timberlake for his reaction, which seemed more inquisitive and intrigued, the broadcast missed Madonna's kiss with Aguilera. And so, the headlines became that Madonna kissed Spears, overlooking her kiss with Aguilera.

Well, now Aguilera has apparently been calling to give her kiss justice. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the people pulling the strings behind the scenes revealed that Aguilera's team has been trying to get her kiss restored to the broadcast.

"That caused a little bit of grief coming my way," Van Toffler, former MTV president, 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."

It certainly is a core memory for many, even if Aguilera's part is lesser known.

by Emell Adolphus

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