Christina Aguilera has insisted her kiss with Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) wasn’t "shocking".
The ‘Loyal Brave True’ hitmaker, along with her chart rival Britney Spears, sparked headlines around the world when she locked lips with the pop legend on stage at the annual ceremony but the 39-year-old singer insisted she "never thought anything of it" in terms of it being a controversial moment.
Speaking to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Christina said: "Shock value gets more and more extreme or whatever. But honestly, at the time, yeah, I never thought anything of it.
"It was like, ‘Okay, it’s two girls kissing.’
"It wasn’t shocking back then. It’s not shocking now, to me. But it’s so many things."
Christina also spoke of how Madonna has been a "huge inspiration" to her own career, even though she didn’t discover her work until she was older.
She said: "Madonna, first of all, the queen of reinventing herself, was a huge inspiration.
"When I was little, I was not allowed to listen to her or watch her videos or anything. It was just like a no-no, but then whenever you grow up, and I discovered her catalog and her videos and the fact that she had such a message."
And the ‘Ray of Light’ singer’s famous 1990 documentary ‘Truth or Dare’ taught Christina that she didn’t have to just "sing a song".
She added: "You literally can just say so much more and go so much deeper.
"Truly, the way you see her image changed through the albums. I mean, that was a big inspiration for me to want to change it up, to want to keep pushing, to grow, to reinvent myself, to discover more things about me and myself as an artist."
The ‘Genie in a Bottle’ hitmaker has previously recalled how there was more of a focus on Madonna and Britney’s kiss than her smooch with the superstar, but she insisted she didn’t mind.
She said in 2018: "And you know why they cut it? The cut away to get Justin [Timberlake]’s reaction.
"I saw the newspaper the next day and it was like, ‘Oh — well I guess I got left out of that one.’
"I mean everything happened so quickly back then and everything was in a whirlwind.
"But I had my own performance that night. It was ‘Fighter’ and it was with Dave Navarro. It was a kicka** performance. So I was okay with that."