August 28, 2003 Madonna performed a rendition of “Like A Virgin” with Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears during the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, kissing them both, making it one, if not, the most iconic VMA performance of all time.
During the infamous performance, both Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears were dressed as brides (referencing Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” look), and were soon joined by Madonna, dressed as the groom, performing her latest single, “Hollywood.” Soon later, Missy Elliot joined them on stage to perform a remix of her hit, “Work It.”
At the time, Britney was fresh off her “I’m a Slave 4 U” era, while Christina was in the midst of her “Dirry” era. Coincidentally, in 2003, Billboard named Aguilera the “Top Female Pop Act of 2003.” The kiss between the trio was interpreted as symbolic, as it has been argued that both Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears (arguably at the time, aside from Madonna, were the biggest pop acts around) are successors to Madonna’s pop throne.
While infamous, much of the crowd was in shock and surprised with the performance, including Spears’ ex, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Avril Lavigne and Kelly Osbourne, as well as Mary J. Blige.
Video of the performance: