"I needed a little guidance at that time. I was confused about my life. She tried to mentor me," Spears writes of Madonna in her memoir 'The Woman in Me'
In pop icon Spears' memoir The Woman in Me, out now, she recalls the infamous kiss she shared with the Queen of Pop, 65, during their 2003 MTV VMAs performance with Christina Aguilera and their time spent working together on the In the Zone hit “Me Against the Music.”
“Every time we rehearsed it, we did an air kiss,” writes Spears, now 41.
In her book, she writes that it wasn’t until “about two minutes before the performance” that she reflected on the spectacle of her 2000 VMAs medley and realized she wanted to do something more. “I thought to myself: I want a moment like that again this year. With the kiss, should I just go for it?” she writes, noting how it became “a huge cultural moment.”
Spears also writes in the memoir how it was her idea to add a featured artist to “Me Against the Music” and says she personally asked the Material Girl to be a part of it.
On the set of the iconic music video for the song, the “Hold Me Closer” singer writes that she learned an “important lesson” when Madonna was adamant about delaying the start time to fix a seam on her suit that had come undone.
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“During our shoot together, I was in awe of the ways Madonna would not compromise her vision. She kept the focus on her,” the pop star writes. “Going along with Madonna’s ideas and being on her time for days was what it meant to collaborate with her. It was an important lesson for me, one that would take a long time for me to absorb: she demanded power, and so she got power.”
The “Lucky” singer notes that she always “tried so hard to please” others because she saw “passiveness” modeled by her mother Lynne Spears. “If I could go back now, I would try to become my own parent, my own partner, my own advocate — the way I knew Madonna did,” she writes.
“Madonna’s supreme confidence helped me see a lot about my situation with fresh eyes. I think she probably had some intuitive sense of what I was going through,” Spears writes. “I needed a little guidance at that time. I was confused about my life. She tried to mentor me.”
Several years after their collaboration, Spears was put under a court-ordered conservatorship in 2008, which lasted until November 2021 after she gave an impassioned public testimony requesting it be terminated.
Now, the superstar is reclaiming her own story with the release of The Woman in Me, released Tuesday via Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
In an exclusive email interview with PEOPLE, the “Toxic” performer spoke about how she’s embracing her newfound freedom.
Spears said, “Learning this new freedom, I’ll admit, is challenging at times.”
“It is finally time for me to raise my voice and speak out, and my fans deserve to hear it directly from me,” she added. “No more conspiracy, no more lies — just me owning my past, present and future.”
Spears also shared a bit of advice to her fans based on what she’s learned in recent years: “Speak up. Be loud. Know your worth. Inspire people and most of all, just be kind.”
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