Let us close our eyes, for a moment, and cast our minds back to the summer of 2003, when Britney Spears appeared at the MTV VMAs to perform the greatest medley of all time with Christina Aguilera, Madonna, and Missy Elliott.
It began with Britney, alone on the stage, singing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” while wearing a wedding dress atop a ginormous wedding cake. She was swiftly joined by Christina, who was wearing an identical dress, before they both began writhing around in unison. Just as the song reached its chorus, the music cut out, and Madonna rose slowly, from inside the cake, head-to-toe in a black suit and top hat, her eyes a sea of calm steel, to the sound of almost hysterical applause. Then they all stuck their tongues in each other's mouths. The point being, Madonna was the queen of pop, while Britney and Christina were her loyal protégées.
Let us now return to 2016, specifically last night, when Britney Spears performed a live medley of her biggest hits at the Billboard Music Awards. Slowly she rose from the glass throne like Madonna had all those years ago, but this time she was wearing the top hat, her face poised with pure assurance, an acknowledgement of the mantel that was passed all those years ago. Really, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande should have been there also, charging around to the sound of “Work Bitch” before engaging in a weird three-way kiss like that Madonna medley, but whatever—they’re probably saving that for a special performance at this year’s VMAs.
In the video, Britney spins her hair around while riding a giant bejewelled guitar. She sings “I Love Rock n Roll” before the camera cuts to a confused looking Young Thug. She also performs a bunch of deep cuts that you, if you're like me, will care about deeply because you would sell your right lung to some weird bloke on gumtree to see Britney perform in Vegas. Watch below: