Christina Aguilera Opens Up About Kissing Madonna at 2003 MTV VMAs: 'I Never Thought Anything of It'
The "Loyal Brave True" singer, 39, opened up about the famous pop culture moment during a conversation with Apple Music's Zane Lowe on Thursday. While the lip-lock — which also featured Britney Spears — made headlines at the time, Aguilera said she "never thought anything of it."
"Shock value gets more and more extreme or whatever. But honestly, at the time, yeah, I never thought anything of it," she said. "It was like, 'Okay, it's two girls kissing.' "
"It wasn't shocking back then. It's not shocking now, to me. But it's so many things," she continued.
In 2018, Aguilera spoke about the performance and how the press focused more on the kiss between Spears and Madonna, telling SiriusXM’s Radio Andy in 2018 that the media attention "was weird."
"And you know why they cut it? The cut away to get Justin [Timberlake]’s reaction," she said. "I saw the newspaper the next day and it was like, ‘Oh — well I guess I got left out of that one.' "
However, Aguilera said she didn't mind the oversight.
"I mean everything happened so quickly back then and everything was in a whirlwind," she explained. "But I had my own performance that night. It was 'Fighter' and it was with Dave Navarro. It was a kickass performance. So I was okay with that."
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During Thursday's interview, Aguilera also spoke about how Madonna has influenced her musical career.
"Madonna, first of all, the queen of reinventing herself, was a huge inspiration," she shared. "When I was little, I was not allowed to listen to her or watch her videos or anything. It was just like a no-no, but then whenever you grow up, and I discovered her catalog and her videos and the fact that she had such a message."
Aguilera said Madonna's Truth or Dare documentary — which gave the world an intimate look at the pop icon's 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour — made her realize that "you don't have to just, quote unquote, sing a song. You literally can just say so much more and go so much deeper."
"Truly, the way you see her image changed through the albums. I mean, that was a big inspiration for me to want to change it up, to want to keep pushing, to grow, to reinvent myself, to discover more things about me and myself as an artist," Aguilera said.
Having worn many different hats in her career, Aguilera said it's important to find a balance between innovation and staying true to yourself.
"You have to keep it fresh and keep it alive for yourself, and the fans feel that energy," she said. "I think that you have to be careful, too, and not just be so receptive to... things that doesn't feel right with you or doesn't align you, because that can also really disempower you and make you disconnected with yourself."
"Actually, that is what can stray you away from really making music for the reasons of why you got into it in the first place, which is the love," Aguilera added.