Britney Spears’ latest memoir,
, might be her most freeing project yet. The tell-all — which released on Oct. 24 — takes readers back to the beginning of her career, the height (and eventual end) of her The Woman in Me 13-year conservatorship, and her latest decision to step away from music. She spares no detail, especially when speaking about the celebrities who’ve impacted her life during those years. The singer revisits many of her past complicated relationships in the book, including her friendship with Christina Aguilera.
In the early aughts, Spears and Aguilera were
pitted against each other in the media. It was as though there was only room for one pop icon to thrive, and this narrative breathed life into a years-long rivalry. On the surface, it always seemed their feud began after their legendary team-up with Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. However, according to Spears, it appears their complex tango started a little earlier.
In her book, Spears wrote about how betrayed she felt after Aguilera and her ex, Justin Timberlake, worked together in the summer 2003. For context, the duo hit the road together on their
Justified & Stripped Tour and graced the cover of Rolling Stone. These decisions were particularly notable, as they came one year after Spears and Timberlake’s messy breakup. For an extra dose of mess, Aguilera also spoke about the exes split to Rolling Stone and hinted she wanted them to “reconcile.”
At the time, Spears never publicly addressed their joint projects or Aguilera’s comment. However, she shined a light on it in her memoir. “In that story, she said she thought [Timberlake]
and I should get back together, which was just confusing, given how negative she’d been elsewhere,” she wrote. “Even if they weren’t trying to be cruel, it felt like they were just pouring salt in the wound. Why was it so easy for everyone to forget that I was a human being—vulnerable enough that these headlines could leave a bruise?”
This moment is just a taste of Spears and Aguilera’s on-and-off friendship. From their up-and-coming days on the
All-New Mto Aguilera’s latest comment about Spears’ memoir, here’s a deep dive on their decades-long relationship. ickey Mouse Club
October 1993: Britney Spears & Christina Aguilera First Met On A Disney Variety Show
Before becoming pop royalty, Spears and Aguilera were once Mouseketeers. The two first met in 1993, when they were cast in Disney’s
All-New Malongside Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling (aka, the ickey Mouse Club ultimate Ken), and other future superstars.
The “Toxic” singer revealed she and Aguilera “shared a dressing room” since they were the youngest of the group. At the time, Spears was 11 while Aguilera was 12.
Like most of the cast from their season, Spears and Aguilera left the series in 1994.
September 2000: Spears & Aguilera Appeared At The MTV Video Music Awards Together
Frank Micelotta Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Nearly five years after the
Mickey Mouse Club, Spears and Aguilera were already flaunting their ‘it girl’ pop statuses. In 1999, both singers released their debut albums (Aguilera’s self-titled and Spears’ ...Baby One More Time), and it wasn’t long until critics began comparing the two.
To calm the rumored rivalry, the pop stars appeared at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards and
introduced Whitney Houston together. That was also when Aguilera gave viewers the iconic “uh, anyway” line at Eminem, who she had with at the time. actual drama
August 2003: Spears & Aguilera Joined Madonna For *That* Iconic VMAs Performance
Kevin Kane/WireImage/Getty Images
It was the three-way kiss seen around the world. At the 2003 VMAs, Spears and Aguilera — who impressively released
back-to- back hits since their first appearance at the award show — helped Madonna perform a medley of her songs. During their sing-off of “Hollywood,” the three shared a quick smooch.
Timberlake was in attendance at the show, and cameras made sure to show his deadpan reaction to the kiss. While he seemed to shrug it off, this lip-lock certainly set off a firestorm between Spears and Aguilera.
December 2003: Spears & Aguilera’s Back-And-Forth Begins
In December, three months after their VMAs appearance, Aguilera told
Blender that Spears was “very distant” during the show’s rehearsals. “Every time I tried to start a conversation with her — well, let’s just say she seemed nervous the whole time,” Aguilera said in the issue, per . “She seems to me like a lost little girl, someone who desperately needs guidance.” Entertainment Weekly
This sudden dig surprised Spears, and she responded with her own
Blender interview that following year. “I can’t believe Christina said that about me,” she said in the January 2004 issue.
Entertainment Weekly, Spears then recalled an incident where Aguilera tried to “put her tongue down her throat.” It’s not exactly clear when this moment happened; however, the Blackout singer alleged they had a conversation after the awkward kiss.
“I say, ‘It’s good to see you,’ and she goes, ‘Well, you’re not being real with me.’ I was like, ‘Well, Christina, what’s your definition of real? Going up to girls and kissing them after you haven’t seen them for two years?”’ Spears said at the time, concluding that Aguilera might be the “lost girl” in question.
2004: Aguilera Came After Spears’ Relationship With Kevin Federline
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images
Spears and Aguilera’s beef continued. In a 2004 interview with
Us Weekly, Aguilera threw shade at Spears for proposing to Kevin Federline and buying her own engagement ring. “[Her ring] looks like she got it at QVC,” Aguilera said at the time, adding: “I know Britney. She’s not trailer trash, but she sure acts that way.” Oof.
ICYMI, Federline (who was Timberlake’s background dancer at the time) and Spears met in June 2004 and tied the knot nearly three months later in September. The former couple went on to have two sons together,
Sean Preston and Jayden James, before divorcing in July 2007.
The early days of their romance were filled with drama, as it was rumored that Federline was still in a relationship with actor Shar Jackson when he began dating Spears. After months of speculation, Jackson
confirmed the rumors in November 2005.
January 2005 - December 2006: Spears & Aguilera’s Feud Seemed To Calm Down
After one year of rivalry, it appeared Spears and Aguilera were ready for a clean slate. In January 2005, Spears reportedly claimed on her official website that she
“would love to be close with Christina again.” The Chicago Tribune also reported she sent Aguilera a complimentary letter.
Over a year later, the
Stripped singer also made an attempt to reconnect with Spears. In December 2006, she revealed she sent Spears’ two sons several gifts for Christmas.
September 2018: Aguilera Reflects On How Social Media Could’ve Changed Her & Spears’ Past Feud
Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images
During her Sept. 12 appearance on
, Aguilera shared she believed her feud with Spears would have “ended sooner” if they had social media. “If we had social media back then, we would have probably done a song or something together and squashed it,” Aguilera said. “Back in the day, when people were comparing me to other artists... I would have loved to be able to squash [any beef] before having an interview.” Jimmy Kimmel Live
She then added she would be “down” to collaborate with Spears. While the two icons never recorded a duet, they would later mingle that same year. In Spears’ memoir, the singer revealed that she, Aguilera, and a few of their background dancers went out for drinks while they were on the road.
The singer doesn’t specify what tour she was on; however, Spears and Aguilera’s tours (
Piece of Me and , respectively) kicked off in 2018. According to Liberation , Spears noted she couldn’t drink with the group since she was under her TIME former conservatorship at the time. She shared that Aguilera “seemed pretty messed up” and hinted she would have loved to “get rebellious, sassy, and fun” with her.
June 2021: Aguilera Expressed Support For Spears During Her Conservatorship Case
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
#FreeBritney movement rose to prominence, many celebrities shared their support in Spears’ attempt to overturn her conservatorship in June 2021. Aguilera soon joined that list and penned a heartwarming note to Spears on social media.
“These past few days I’ve been thinking about Britney and everything she is going through,” Aguilera
wrote in a Twitter post, which featured a photo of the two stars during their Mickey Mouse Club years. “It is unacceptable that any woman, or human, wanting to be in control of their own destiny might not be allowed to live life as they wish.”
After months of testimonies, Spears was released of her conservatorship on Nov. 12. The
Blackout singer celebrated the verdict on Instagram, and thanked her fans for their continuous support. While other pop artists such as Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey publicly rejoiced the news, many fans noticed Aguilera didn’t comment on the victorious moment. That would all change a week later.
November 2021: Spears Called Out Aguilera For ‘Refusing To Speak’ About Her Conservatorship
Lester Cohen/BBMA2016/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
On Nov. 19, Aguilera spoke about the singer’s conservatorship at the Latin Grammys. While on the red carpet, an interviewer asked the singer if she had reached out to Spears since the announcement. Aguilera’s publicist quickly denied her a chance to comment; however, the pop star managed to say that she’s “happy for her.”
Aguilera’s approach seemingly didn’t sit right with Spears. That following day, the “Break The Ice” singer
shared her thoughts about the interview on her Instagram Stories.
“I love and adore everyone who supported me… but refusing to speak when you know the truth, is equivalent to a lie! 13 years being in a corrupt abusive system, yet why is it such a hard topic for people to talk about? I’m the one who went through it! All the supporters who spoke up and supported me, thank you… yes I do matter!” Spears wrote.
Aguilera did not publicly respond to Spears’ comment.
October 2023: Aguilera Dodged A Question About Spears’
The Woman In Me Memoir Randy Holmes/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images
On Oct. 17, a week before
The Woman In Me’s release, Aguilera returned to Jimmy Kimmel Live. While there, Kimmel asked Aguilera if she hoped she would be in the highly anticipated book, as several excerpts from the tell-all had already been released. “Dude, I don’t know,” Aguilera responded with light laughter, “Am I hoping? I’m hoping that everything is all good with her and everything’s beautiful. I think the future should be celebrated.” Don't miss a thing
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