Madonna speaks up for Britney Spears

Singer says Britney 'didn't get to grow up'

Madonna has defended Britney Spears‘ recent erratic behaviour.

The two duetted on the 2003 track ‘Me Against The Music’, and famously shared a lingering kiss onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards that year.

“She never was allowed to have a childhood, you know, she was a star when she was a child,” said Madonna. “She didn’t get to grow up and make mistakes privately… she’s been under a microscope since she was a teenager, which I think is really tough, it’s hard to evolve that way.”

Speaking to Jo Whiley on Radio 1, Madonna also revealed what it was like to work with artists she admires like Justin Timberlake, who appears on her current UK chart-topper ‘4 Minutes’.

“It’s a little bit awkward,” she said. “You don’t really know them and you feel a little bit nervous and intimidated…Justin admitted to me the other day that he felt the same way. When you write music you’re really exposing something about yourself and if you don’t know somebody you feel a little bit embarrassed.”

Madonna‘s headlining appearance at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Maidstone can be heard on BBC Radio 1 tomorrow (May 10). NME.COM will be bringing you a full report from her set, so stay tuned.