THEY spent years feuding over the title of Pop Princess and now the battle between Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera has reared up again.
The two became music enemies when they were both titans of pop during the 90s after meeting as teenage cast members of the All New Mickey Mouse Club.
Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling in The Mickey Mouse ClubCredit: Rex
Britney’s first big hit Baby One More Time was released in September 1998 and Christina’s Genie in a Bottle followed eight months later – leading to comparisons between the two girls who took swipes at each other in the press.
During Britney’s controversial conservatorship their battle quietened down as Christina continued her career.
But now Spears appears to have reignited the long-running row by ‘fat-shaming’ Aguilera’s backing dancers.
She posted an Instagram post which partly read: “If I had Christina Aguilera’s dancers I would have looked extremely small.”
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It was posted alongside a quote which read: “I found there was only one way to look thin: hang out with fat people.”
Christina is believed to have quickly unfollowed Britney on the platform.
Britney then quickly apologised for the post after a social media backlash claiming she wasn’t being “critical of Christina’s beautiful body” adding: “It is what it is.”
Britney tried to clear things up on social mediaCredit: Instagram
But the apology will do little to help the relationship between the singers, which started when they fell out over Justin Timberlake.
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Britney dated the Rock Your Body singer for four years from 1998 until she allegedly broke his heart.
He later released his iconic Cry Me a River music video which featured him getting revenge on a woman who had been unfaithful to him – who looked exactly like Britney.
Shortly after the split in 2002, Aguilera went on tour with Timberlake for their Justified and Stripped tour and it soon led the women to take pot shots at each other in the press.
Christina has indicated the rivalry for her started in 2003 when she and Britney were performing with Madonna at the MTV awards.
Britney Spears, Madonna and Christina Aguilera perform onstage during the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards in 2003Credit: Getty Images – Getty
The Like A Virgin singer snogged Britney and the cameras cut away to watch Timberlake’s reaction.
The shot missed Madonna kissing Christina straight after Britney.
In an interview in 2018, Christina said of the moment: “It was weird. They cut away to get Justin’s reaction.
“They were still exes, but it was a cheap shot…I definitely saw the newspaper that next day, and it was like ‘Oh well, I guess I got left out of that one.”
After the music awards Aguilera claimed Spears behaved strangely on the lead up to the event.
She said: “Everytime I started a conversation with her – well, let’s just say she seemed nervous the whole time. She seems like a lost little girl, someone who desperately needs guidance.”
Britney was quick to respond saying: “I think it was the other way around.”
‘Trailer trash’ jibe
In 2004, Aguilera mocked Spears’ engagement ring from fiance Kevin Federline, who she shares two sons with, Preston, 16, and Jayden James, 15.
She told US Weekly: “It looks like she got it at QVC. I know Britney. She’s not trailer trash, but she sure acts that way.”
But four years later Christina expressed remorse claiming it was “a funny time”.
She said: “When we both started releasing records, it was a funny time for me
“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. We were silly little girls together on the Mickey Mouse Club. What a journey it has been for both of us!”
Good vs bad
A year after the MTV’s Britney made a dig at Christina in an interview with Blender magazine.
She said “When someone has been rude to you so many times, it’s like ‘You know what, Christina, I’m really not about the fake anymore.’
Talking about Britney to Cosmopolitan in 2018, Aguilera said she was hurt by being pitted as the ‘bad girl’ against Spear’s wholesome image.
After Britney’s very public breakdown in 2007, during which she shaved her hair off and attacked paparazzi with an umbrella, the women seemed to bury the hatchet.
Britney and Christina introduce Whitney Houston at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2000Credit: Getty
Fanning the flames
But pop mogul Simon Cowell stoked the flames again in a row between his X Factor show and opposing programme, The Voice.
He hired Britney as an X Factor judge and The Voice decided to run a special edition of their show – which featured Christina – at the same time.
Simon blasted: “Christina – who has been a bit of a rival – isn’t allowing Britney to have a night of her own.”
Yet he later slammed Britney’s appearances on the X Factor saying he had “booked someone who couldn’t talk, which is a bit of a problem when you want someone to judge.”
Christina during the live finale of The VoiceCredit: Getty – Contributor
Simon Cowell and Britney Spears at The X Factor Viewing Party in LA in 2012Credit: Rex
Things calmed down again until November 2021 when Britney won control back of her own life from a legal conservatorship, which allowed her dad power over her finances and life.
Days later, Christina was unable to say much about how she felt about Britney’s legal win after her agent pulled her away from questions about it on the red carpet at the Latin Grammy Awards.
Britney once again took to Instagram again to accuse Christina of not supporting her – saying remaining silent was “equivalent to a lie”
And now Britney has been accused of firing up an old conflict again with her ‘body shaming’ post.
It seems the fight to win the crown of pop princess is far from over….