Seventeen years ago, a baby-faced Britney Spears made her VMA debut with a sizzling performance of her breakthrough hit “. . . Baby One More Time.” The following year, she took the stage by storm, delivering her first truly iconic performances with “Oops! . . . I Did It Again” — all while wearing a controversial nude ensemble. In 2001, she cemented her place as one of pop music’s most daring divas when she belly-danced across the VMA stage with an albino burmese python casually draped around her shoulders for an electrifying performance of “I’m a Slave 4 U.” Then, in 2003, she kissed Madonna while performing “Like a Virgin.” And although she stumbled through her 2007 “comeback” performance of “Gimme More,” Spears showed up to the 2016 VMAs ready to prove the naysayers wrong.
Britney’s back, bitch.
Spears took to the 2016 VMAs stage with rapper G-Eazy to perform the lead single off her latest album (read: masterpiece), Glory, and it was a glorious mix of old Brit (sparkly nude bodysuit!) and new. It’s no easy task to follow Beyoncé, but Britney Spears did what she does best: She served us slinky dance moves and lots of personality. Midway through the performance, Spears even subbed in for Bebe Rexha in a surprise performance of “Me, Myself & I.”
Will it be remembered as her greatest VMA performance of all time? Probably not. But damn, it’s good to see Britney smiling again.