The kiss is often cited as one of the most iconic moments in the history of the awards. The carefully stage-managed smooch took place during a joint performance of Madonna’s songs ‘Like A Virgin’ and ‘Hollywood’.
After Madonna kissed Britney the camera quickly cut to catch Justin Timberlake’s response (he and Spears had recently split) rather than catch the full kiss with Aguilera.
Fifteen years later, Aguilera is still being questioned about that editing choice. In an interview with Andy Cohen on SiriusXM, she said: “It was weird. And you know why they cut away for it? They cut away to get Justin [Timberlake]’s reaction.”
Aguilera went on to describe the editing as a “cheap shot.”
Watch the full performance below:
“I definitely saw the newspaper the next day and it was like, ‘Oh, well I guess I got left out of that one’.”
Even less noted was the appearance of Missy Elliot who, dressed in a tracksuit tux, joined the threesome onstage immediately after the kiss.
At the time, Fleetwood Mac icon Stevie Nicks described the kiss as “the most obnoxious moment in television history”.
In June this year, Aguilera released her latest album ‘Liberation’. In a three-star review, NME concluded: “‘Liberation’ may lack the grand ambition and massive pop bangers of her glory days, but by the end, it’s hard to deny that she feels reasonably relevant and contemporary again.”