All the rumors were true!
For years now, fans have speculated over the rumors that Jennifer Lopez was supposed to appear alongside Madonna and Britney Spears during their iconic performance of “Like A Virgin” at the 2003 Video Music Awards. However, that slot ended up going to Christina Aguilera.
Now, MTV executives have finally confirmed to Rolling Stone that Lopez was indeed supposed to appear in Aguilera’s spot during that performance, which means that Madonna’s three-way kiss was going to happen with Spears and Lopez – not with Spears and Aguilera.
“Madonna had recruited three peers: Spears, Elliott, and Jennifer Lopez, who was riding the success of ‘Jenny from the Block’ and the no. 1 hit ‘All I Have,’” the report reads. And yet, “Lopez had to drop out because she’d already agreed to shoot the movie Shall We Dance? that summer.”
Britney Spears - Like a Virgin ft Christina Aguilera and Madonna
Madonna’s original idea of recruiting Spears and Lopez was because she reportedly wanted “the best young dancers around” for the performance. Though some dancing was indeed featured in that performance, this wasn’t the most complicated choreography ever, so it’s unclear why Madge felt like she needed two incredible dancers to pull off this stunt.
Nonetheless, fans of 1990s and 2000s pop music will recall that Spears and Aguilera were fiercely pitted against one another in the media at the time. Thus, having those two popstars sharing the stage and each of them getting a kiss from the Queen of Pop was a gag of its own that worked on multiple levels for viewers at home.
The Rolling Stone piece also made note of a statement issued on Billboard that Pink and Gwen Stefani were reportedly invited by Madonna to be a part of that performance. However, this Rolling Stone writer noted that “No one I spoke to for this story recalls that.”
This Madonna performance is not only one of the most memorable VMA moments of all time, but it is also one of the most iconic moments in all of pop music history. To think that JLo was almost featured in this performance – instead of Aguilera – is a gag, but we now have official confirmation that this was indeed the original plan for the number.
Revisiting the history of pop music is always fun, particularly when such a long-standing rumor can be confirmed by the people who were in the room calling all the shots!