Jennifer Lopez is currently on the road promoting her new movie Shotgun Wedding, and she recently dropped a pop culture bomb that’s left fans a little divided.
In case you need a reminder, the wedding-themed performance — in which the trio performed a mashup of Madonna’s hits — solidified itself in pop culture history when Madonna closed the number by kissing both Britney and Christina on stage.
The moment was made all the more iconic when cameras panned right over to capture the live reaction of Britney’s ex Justin Timberlake looking unamused as the audience went wild for the performance.
But now, Jennifer claims that she was originally set to share the stage with Britney and Madonna.
“Yes, that’s actually true,” J.Lo said after being asked to confirm the decades-long rumor.
She revealed that she and Britney had even gone to Madonna’s home to rehearse, but she ultimately wasn’t able to take part on the night due to another work obligation.
“I was filming a movie in Canada, and we had met — me, [Madonna], and Britney — to do it at her home, and then I just couldn’t get off the film,” Jen recalled. “So, we couldn’t do it.”
“They got Christina Aguilera, I think, to do it, and I didn’t wind up doing it,” she added.
It wasn’t long before Jen’s revelation went viral on Twitter and users started chiming in with their thoughts — many feeling that Christina was ultimately the right fit.
“idc if this is true, it makes no sense wrt the narrative of the era. Britney and Xtina were pop rivals and Madonna was the queen of pop they kept foisting upon Britney,” someone tweeted. “Madonna/Brit and anyone else would have just been whatever.”
“Well it made more sense that it was XTINA and Britney because those 2 have more of a Madonna influence in their music and were THE pop girls at the time,” agreed someone else.
Lots of people also had questions about why the singer had chosen to set the record straight now, seemingly unaware that the reporter had asked J.Lo to confirm the rumor.
In fact, hundreds of Twitter users responded to the news by dragging J.Lo and accusing her of straight up lying — one person even branding her “delusional.”
“she dont do nothing but lie,” someone wrote. “I feel like she just made that up. No shade…..,” added another.
“I swear to god all she does is lie,” echoed someone else, while others accused her of just saying “anything.”
But, despite the uproar, there’s actually plenty of evidence to back up Jen’s claim.
First, a number of Twitter users were quick to point out that Jen and Britney were apparently photographed at Madonna’s house shortly before the VMAs, which correlates with J.Lo’s version of events.
“Everyone denying @jlo was supposed to be part of the Britney/Madonna kiss performance….y’all were not on the fan boards in 2003 like I was! I remember there were pap pics of Britney and Jennifer leaving Madonna’s house in separate cars, too,” someone wrote.
Additionally, reports at the time from outlets like Entertainment Tonight and People indicate that the Britney, J.Lo, and Madonna collab was a heavily reported rumor, even up until the night of the show.
But, perhaps the most convincing receipt of all — as pointed out by numerous fans online — is the fact that MTV’s president Van Toffler already went on record with the real story in 2012.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Toffler said that the infamous performance nearly looked very different, revealing that neither Britney nor Christina had been Madonna’s first choices for the number.
“It was a long road to get to that Britney and Christina kiss, because they weren’t necessarily the first couple of people who were on the hit list,” he said. “This may be the first time it’s revealed, but originally J.Lo was in the mix. That didn’t happen.”
Interestingly, an MTV report from 2003 suggests that Pink and J.Lo had been Madonna’s ideal duo, but Pink apparently backed out before rehearsals even began and was swiftly replaced by Britney.
Fortunately, Toffler seemed happy with the final trio, but noted that it was actually difficult to get Britney and Christina together thanks to a fierce rivalry between the two stars.
“The thing about Britney and Christina was they had history, so it was not easy to get them together on the stage,” he said. “Both Britney and Christina obviously respected Madonna, so only she could pull that off. You have to have that kind of pull.”
And on top of all this, another important factor is that J.Lo was in a very high-profile relationship with Ben Affleck at the time. The two were engaged and expected to marry in 2004, but the wedding was ultimately called off — I’m sure you know how the rest of the story goes.
With this detail in mind, it makes even more sense that Madonna would’ve been keen to capitalize on the wedding buzz and have Jen star in the bridal-themed number, aptly centered on the song “Like A Virgin.”
So, there you have it. Let the record state that J.Lo told no lies on this day!