Madonna originally tapped Jennifer Lopez to kiss her at the 2003 Video Music Awards along with Britney Spears, a former MTV executive said Tuesday in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Ex-MTV President Van Toffler told Rolling Stone in a new interview that the “Like a Prayer” singer invited the “Let’s Get Loud” hitmaker to perform with her during the historic show — but Lopez ended up dropping out because of a scheduling conflict.
The final performance featured Spears, Missy Elliott and Christina Aguilera, who smooched Madonna onstage instead of Lopez. The Aguilera-Madonna kiss immediately followed the Spears-Madonna kiss, which went down as one of the buzziest pop-culture moments of all time.
Rolling Stone reported that Madonna initially handpicked Spears and Lopez because they were “the best young dancers around.”
When the “Marry Me” and “Hustlers” star wasn’t able to do the VMA performance because she had already committed to shooting the movie “Shall We Dance?” that summer, Aguilera stepped in at the last minute to save the day, according to Toffler.
Toffler told Rolling Stone he was “fearful that the performance was in jeopardy” before the “Beautiful” singer agreed to take Lopez’s place.
“It’s just quintessential Madonna,” Toffler told Rolling Stone of the landmark TV event.
“She had a history of pushing us and pushing culture, and that’s what was great about her and what was great about MTV. We pushed culture in provocative ways.”
Christi Carras is an entertainment reporter at the Los Angeles Times. She was previously a Times intern after graduating from UCLA and has also worked at Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and CNN.