Britney Spears Reveals the Truth Behind Her Iconic 2001 VMAs Snake Performance
Britney Spears has opened up about her scary experience playing with a giant python during her memorable 2001 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) appearance in a recent revelation. In her new biography, The Woman in Me, the pop sensation detailed the behind-the-scenes nervousness and pure horror she felt during the VMA performance that has become famous in VMA history, reports Daily Mail.
Spears was on the VMA stage at the early age of 19 with her performance of I'm a Slave 4 U, during which she was draped in a live amelanistic Burmese python. What looked to be a strong and adventurous performance, however, revealed a deep anxiety within the pop singer. According to Spears, the snake, named Banana, was not as cooperative as it appeared to the audience.
"The plan was for me to sing I'm a Slave 4 U, and we decided I would use a snake as a prop," according to an excerpt obtained by People from her writing. During her performance, however, she claimed the snake began approaching her face and hissing at her. She described the reptile as 'terrifying' after it began 'flicking' its tongue near her face. "It's become an iconic moment in VMAs history, but it was even more terrifying than it appeared," she explained. "All I knew was to look down because I felt if I looked up and caught its eye, it would kill me," she wrote in her memoir.
"In my head, I was saying, "Just perform, just use your legs and perform",' she recollected reassuring herself. "But what nobody knows is that as I was singing, the snake brought its head right around to my face, right up to me, and started hissing," she wrote. "I was thinking, 'Are you f***ing serious right now? The f***ing godd*** snake's tongue is flicking out at me. Right. Now.' Finally, I got to the part where I handed it back, thank God."
Many people remember Spears' 2001 VMAs performance and the entire globe marveled at her boldness as she handled the snake with apparent ease. The truth behind the performance, as revealed by the pop artist herself, offers light on the difficulties and worries she encountered while remaining professional.
Britney Spears on performing with a snake at the VMAs:— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) October 17, 2023
“All I knew was to look down, because I felt if I looked up and caught its eye, it would kill me… what nobody knows is that as I was singing, the snake brought its head right around to my face, right up to me, and started… pic.twitter.com/hIlElevitb
The snake's handler, Michael Hano, told Yahoo! Entertainment in 2021 that Spears' stunt might have been "really risky" because the snake may have mistaken her for prey. "She was very good," Hano told Today. "She was very focused and initially she was scared of the snake, but you could see that she was able to focus and kind of push yourself to be able to work with the thing and look comfortable doing it."
Spears' performance with the snake at the 2001 Video Music Awards made an indelible impression on mainstream culture. The image of her, clad in a glittering costume with the snake curled around her, became an iconic symbol of the early 2000s.
More from Inquisitr