Britney Spears' Biggest Fear Will Surprise You

Let's face it, the MTV Video Music Awards aren't like they used to be. Up until the mid-2000s, it was a right of passage to stay up and watch the world's biggest pop stars wow audiences with incredible set designs, from Madonna's "Vogue" performance in 1990 to Prince's "Gett Off" performance a year later. The trend carried on throughout the 1990s with amazing visuals from the likes of TLC, Janet Jackson, and Nirvana (via ONE37pm).

But it was Britney Spears' performance of "I'm a Slave 4 U" at the 2001 MTV Music Video Awards that truly captivated the nation, thanks to the addition of some very exotic animals. Not only did Spears enter the stage via a cage with an actual tiger, but further on in the performance she was handed a 7-foot albino Burmese python to rest on her shoulders as she danced to the remainder of the track.

Britney Spears had mixed feelings about the MTV VMA snake

As confident as Britney Spears looked carrying the hefty reptile, the singer was actually absolutely terrified of it. "She was extremely, extremely scared at first," the python's wrangler, Mike Hano, told Yahoo! Entertainment. "I was very impressed with the way that she was able to just focus and force herself to do what she needed to do," he said. 

Hano added that the snake's VMA appearance "could have been really risky" if it had started to wrap around Spears' arm. So much so, that he had to get a special permit for it to appear on stage with the singer, per Yahoo! Entertainment.

Speaking to BBC's Radio 1 in 2016 (via Female First), Spears admitted that while she was scared of the yellow-colored snake — aptly named Banana (via MTV) — she was actually super excited about doing it, too. "I think it was great but I wouldn't do that now," the pop star told Radio 1 host Scott Mills. "Never. I'm totally scared of snakes but I was completely fearless. It was cool." Spears went on to add, "I was [scared of snakes back then], but I was just so excited that I was like, 'Whatever!'"