Both singers — Aguilera, 37, and Lovato, 25 — sounded incredible on the track, their powerhouse vocals making the twosome tune soar.
Aguilera appeared on the stage first, donning a Gareth Pugh leather trench coat and flanked by marching military figures clad in matching black uniforms. The menacing men grab Xtina just as the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer picks up the vocal slack, before the pair begin trading soulful vocal arias.
The song, the latest single off of Aguilera’s upcoming album Liberation, is an inspiring anthem of self-empowerment built for the #TimesUp era — with lyrics that, like Aguilera’s “Fighter” and “Can’t Hold Us Down,” and Lovato’s “Confident” and “Sorry Not Sorry,” remind women to find their inner strength and stand up for themselves.
“It’s just the way it is / And maybe it’s never gonna change / But I got a mind to show my strength / And I got a right to speak my mind,” the two stars sing in the chorus. “And I’m gonna pay for this / They’re gonna burn me at the stake / But I got a fire in my veins / I wasn’t made to fall in line / No I wasn’t made to fall in line.”
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The duet had long been speculated about by fans, considering both singers had long spoken about working together.
Lovato told Billboard late last year that she worked with “one of my biggest idols” but said she couldn’t yet reveal who she had teamed up with. “I can’t wait for the world to hear it. It’s an incredible song,” she teased at the time.
“Christina’s my girl and big things are coming,” the former Disney Channel star added in March during a Dallas stop on her latest tour.
Aguilera had equally vague things to tell TMZ that same month. “I love Demi,” she gushed to the outlet. “She’s my girl, big things are coming!”
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Each seemed excited by the final product.
“To anyone who’s ever felt silenced and repressed, the truth seekers and bold thinkers… may you liberate your voice and break the mold, never back down, and never fall in line,” Aguilera wrote on Twitter.
“BUCKET LIST ITEM 1,” Lovato tweeted. “I hope you love this song as much as I do. It’s such an honor to lend my voice to this anthem for women with one of the most inspiring individuals I’ve ever met.”
Aguilera responded, “I believe our paths were destined to cross & I’m so proud to come together from the pasts we’ve overcome; to the strong women we are today! You’re truly a GEM, I have immense love & respect for you! You are an inspiration for future young girls of your generation. Beautiful work!”
RELATED VIDEO: Christina Aguilera Gets a Makeunder and Poses Completely Barefaced in ‘Liberating’ Photo Shoot
Back in September, Lovato told PEOPLE that Aguilera was a musical inspiration on her latest album, Tell Me You Love Me.
“I grew up listening to Christina Aguilera. She was one of my idols growing up, she still is,” she said. “I think it was her breakout album [2002’s Stripped] that really transformed her into the icon that she is today. So that inspired me … she really inspired this album. I was even inspired by the black and white artwork!”
Liberation is Aguilera’s first album since 2012’s Lotus.
This fall, she’ll embark on her first North American concert tour in 10 years. The 22-date Liberation Tour kicks off Sept. 25 in Hollywood, Florida — one month shy of the 10-year anniversary of Aguilera’s final Back to Basics Tour stop on Oct. 24, 2008.
The 2018 Billboard Music Awards is currently broadcasting live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and airing on NBC.