Britney Spears Says Justin Timberlake Gave Her a 5-Minute 'Pep Talk' Before 2001 MTV VMAs

Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake
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Britney Spears looks back on her iconic appearance at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.
On Thursday, the 39-year-old "Toxic" singer shared a series of throwback photos captured from the star-studded awards show, including several shots of herself meeting The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger for an interview at the Putting the red carpet together.
In the caption of her Instagram post, the pop star reflected on the experience and shared that her then boyfriend Justin Timberlake had given her some words of encouragement before the big show.
"I'll tell you this ... before I went any further that night, I felt kind of out of body with nervousness," recalled Spears, who performed her hit "I'm a Slave 4 U" with live animals - including an albino Burmese python - on stage.
Britney Spears performs 2001 MTV Video Music Awards show
Kevin Kane / WireImage
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"... I mean ... I was in a cage with a live lion ?? !!!!!" She wrote. "Justin saw that I could barely speak so he held my hand and held me encouragingly for 5 minutes which obviously worked ?? ‍♀️ ?? ‍♀️ ?? ‍♀️ ?????? !!!!!
In her review post, Spears touched on her chat with Jagger, now 78.
"Gosh ... that's me before my VMA gig with @MickJagger 20 years ago !!!!" She noted before adding that the Dolce & Gabbana dress she wore to the event is one of her all-time favorite looks because "it's plain black lace".
Spears ended her note by joking that she must have "slept? Because my eyes are closed in half of these pictures ??? !!!!"
Britney Spears and Mick Jagger
Kevin Mazur / WireImage
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The 2001 MTV VMAs were sure to be a big night for Spears. The show marked the first time Spears performed "I'm a Slave 4 U" live.
When asked about the performance during her meeting with Jagger that evening, Spears said it was "something else" entirely for her, considering that she involves live animals in her act.
"I'm very brave tonight so it's very interesting," she said at the time.
Earlier this year, Spears took inspiration from her memorable VMAs performance by rocking a lime green and black snakeskin catsuit in one of her Instagram videos and joking with the headline, “I stopped a queue at the @VMAs once, but decided , 20 years later and become a mother myself - snake ??? !!!! "
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In this article:
Britney Spears
American singer, dancer, and foodie
Justin Timberlake
American artist and businessman
Mick Jagger
English songwriter, singer for the Rolling Stones

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