The Truth About Britney Spears And Christina Aguilera's Tumultuous Relationship

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera are arguably two of the most influential women in pop music. The divas debuted in the late '90s and helped usher in the new millennium with their distinctive voices and endearing personalities. Having launched mega-successful careers at the same time, the pair were often in competition with each other on the charts, at awards shows, and in the public's heart.

Charts-wise, they found plenty of success. Aguilera and Spears notched commercially successful debut singles and albums. That was just the start, too; both landed multiple other hits over the years (via Billboard and Billboard). In terms of awards, Aguilera earned the highly coveted title of Best New Artist at the 2000 Grammys (via YouTube), while Spears picked up other wins along the way. Meanwhile, fans passionately fought for their fave, and the media depicted the two women very differently. In the press, Spears became the doe-eyed sweetheart, while Aguilera's image had more of an edge.

In 2018, the "Genie in a Bottle" singer opened up about the struggles of being compared to Britney during the early days of her career. "I remember being hurt by these commercials on MTV, pitting Britney as the good girl and me as the bad girl," Aguilera confessed to Cosmopolitan. As the media focused on their dueling careers, rumors spread about the competitive nature of their relationship. Whispers of an alleged feud followed. Years later, we're here to provide all the details you need to know about this famous pair's relationship.

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera knew each other before becoming pop stars

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera didn't launch their music careers until the late '90s. But, by then, both pop princesses had work experience in the industry. In fact, they got their big break together. Aguilera and Spears landed gigs alongside other rising superstars like Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling. All four talents appeared on Disney's "The All-New Mickey Mouse Club" in 1993 (via E! Online).

Looking back now, it likely won't surprise you that Spears and Aguilera both found their sweet spots on the all-star cast. Fellow co-star Nikki DeLoach praised Aguilera's impressive pipes. "It was the most incredible thing to see this tiny little person with such an incredible voice," she mused (via E! Online). Spears, meanwhile, was one of the group's best dancers.

In retrospect, Spears described her tenure on the show fondly. "It was a really good time," she told ET in 2018. "It was probably one of the most special times of my life, 'The Mickey Mouse Club.'" So, by the time Spears released "... Baby One More Time" and Aguilera dropped "Genie in a Bottle," the young women were already familiar with one another.

This moment with Madonna fed rumors about a feud

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were pitted against each other from the earliest days of their careers. However, the competitive narrative reached a fever pitch after they performed with Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards (via E! Online). During a provocative performance of the Queen of Pop's songs "Like a Virgin" and "Hollywood," Madonna famously kissed both Spears and Aguilera. However, the camera panned away from Aguilera's moment to focus on Spears' ex, Justin Timberlake, in the audience (via Newsweek).

Years later, Aguilera described the moment as "a cheap shot" in an interview with Andy Cohen (via YouTube): "I definitely saw the newspaper the next day. It was like 'Oh, well, I guess I got left out of that one.'" At the time, the "Dirrty" diva fired off a shot toward her co-star in the now-defunct Blender Magazine. "She seemed very distant, even during rehearsals," Aguilera said (via EW). "She seems to me like a lost little girl, someone who desperately needs guidance."

Spears wasted no time replying. In Blender's next publication, the "Toxic" singer shared her surprised reaction to Aguilera's cutting words and had some things to say about an interaction they had in a club. "I can't believe Christina said that about me," Spears said (via EW). "A lost girl? I think it's probably the other way around."

After the first shots were fired, several others followed.

Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears faced off for years

Christina Aguilera got a couple more digs in against Britney Spears over the years. "I know Britney," the hitmaker said in 2004. "She's not trailer trash, but she sure acts that way" (via Us Weekly). The dragging continued when Spears proposed to Kevin Federline and bought her own engagement ring. Aguilera was, to put it lightly, not impressed. "I've seen it up close. It looks like she got it on QVC," she said (via Us Weekly).

It's safe to say that tensions were high, and comparisons only continued as their careers followed similar trajectories. Spears famously became one of the highest-paid reality TV judges when she joined "X Factor" in 2012. At the time, MTV speculated that Spears banked $5 million more than Aguilera did with her job on "The Voice."

Both women also launched popular residencies in Las Vegas. Spears got the ball rolling in 2013 and went on to net more than $137.7 million over the course of five years (via Billboard). In 2015, Aguilera's manager, Irving Azoff, seemingly shaded Spears and other talents in Vegas by claiming Aguilera wasn't at that point in her career yet for a residency. "Christina's not peaked yet," he said (via VH1). "We'll tour the world, but we're not ready to sit down in Vegas."

Clearly, team Aguilera's perception about Vegas changed, because Aguilera announced her own residency a few years later (via Idolator).

Despite competing, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera tried to make amends

Although they continued to face off in headlines, it seems Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were ready to make up shortly after their alleged feud began. In 2005, Spears opened up about Aguilera on her website (via Chicago Tribune). "Britney would love to be close with Christina again," the website read before stating that Spears had reached out. The following year, People reported that Aguilera sent Spears' sons gifts.

The big-voiced icon also walked back some of the more incendiary things she said in an interview with Daily Mail in 2008. "It must have seemed as if we were competing with each other, but, in reality, Britney is someone that I used to hold hands with," she said. "We were silly little girls together on the Mickey Mouse Club." (via Newsweek).

After that confession, the good vibes continued to flow. Aguilera also was quick to praise Spears for the release of her seventh album, "Femme Fatale," in 2011 (via Twitter) and seemed optimistic about Spears' tenure on "X Factor." "I think she's going to give great advice," the siren — by then a pro on "The Voice" — mused during a press conference (via E Online).

By 2018, Aguilera seemingly put all the rumors to rest by including a photo of herself and Spears in a montage celebrating International Women's Day on Instagram. Since then she's been nothing but supportive.

Christina Aguilera stood in support of Britney Spears and the #FreeBritney movement

Christina Aguilera's response to the #FreeBritney movement further proves that any alleged feud between the pair is truly over. The "Beautiful" singer took to social media to voice her support for Britney Spears after she opened up about the details of her ongoing conservatorship. "These past few days I've been thinking about Britney and everything she is going through," Aguilera wrote at the start of a lengthy statement shared on Twitter. "It is unacceptable that any woman, or human, wanting to be in control of their own destiny might not be allowed to live as they wish."

She finished by sending love toward the other woman. "My heart goes out to Britney," she concluded. "She deserves all the TRUE love and support in the world." In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Aguilera opened up about the throwback photo from their Disney days, which accompanied her statement. "We were 11 or 12, babies in the business together, which is so amazing to come full circle — to both be able to have the success that we've had," she said. 

She also made it clear that she would always be in Spears' corner. "I'll always be supportive of Britney," Aguilera clarified. 

Both have expressed interest in a reunion

It's been years since Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera worked together, but both seem interested in a reunion. The "Lucky" singer said she'd be down to get together with the entire cast of "The All-New Mickey Mouse Club" again. She only had one caveat: "​​They would have to plan it," she told ET. "I would definitely show up. I would go, definitely."

Aguilera shared a similar sentiment when she appeared on MTV's updated version of "TRL." When asked who she'd like to have a castmate reunion with, she mentioned Spears. "I can't lie. It's always good to see Britney," Aguilera announced (via Twitter). "It's always good to see her. I'd love that."

Of course, fans would love a reunion of any sort. Interest is clearly there for a musical collaboration, too. Despite singing together at the VMAs, the duo has never released an official duet. Rumors circulated in 2016 that they were about to change that when fans speculated they may link up for a remix of "Do You Wanna Come Over?" off Spears' album "Glory" (via Idolator). Unfortunately, the alleged song never showed up. However, with any luck, one day the duo will get together and share a musical moment for fans of both to enjoy!