Top 10 Britney Spears Performances

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
Script written by Nick Spake

Britney Spears is the queen of performances! For this list, we're taking a look at the Britney's most memorable musical performances. We've included performances like “Me Against the Music” / “(I Got That) Boom Boom”, “Total Request Live” (1998-2008), “Stronger”, “American Music Awards of 2001”, “Toxic”“Britney Spears: In the Zone” (2004) and “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction”/ “Oops!... I Did It Again” “2000 MTV Video Music Awards”.

Top 10 Britney Spears Performances

It’s Britney, y’all. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Britney Spears Performances.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the Britney’s most memorable musical performances.

#10: “Medley”
“23rd Billboard Music Awards” (2016)

Following in the footsteps of Beyoncé and the late Whitney Houston, Britney Spears became the third singer to be honored with the Billboard Millennium Award. In addition to receiving this prestigious accolade, Spears kicked things off at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. Since the Millennium Award commemorates an artist’s influential career, it’s only fitting that Britney sang some of her biggest hits, from “Work Bitch” to “Toxic.” Complete with a flashy set and an army of backup dancers, her performance had all the flair of a Super Bowl halftime show. While Spears has taken her fair share of missteps in recent years, this epic performance put her right back on top of the music world.

#9: “I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman”
“29th Annual American Music Awards” (2002)

While not her biggest commercial hit, “I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” embodied a significant turning point in Britney’s career, as she transitioned from a child star to a teenage diva. A critical success, the song was also the centerpiece of her unforgettable performance at the 29th American Music Awards. After years of building up a glitzy and even risqué image, this appearance exemplified Britney’s subtle, elegant side. Keeping the choreography simple, she allowed her beautiful vocals to take center stage. As backup singers joined Spears towards the end, it was hard not to shed a tear, making it one of Britney’s most heartfelt and graceful performances.

#8: “Make Me...” / “Me, Myself & I”
“MTV Video Music Awards” (2016)

After giving her finest performance in years at the Billboard Music Awards, Spears kept riding the comeback train to the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. It had been almost a decade since Britney’s less than stellar appearance at the 2007 VMAs. That notorious display became a distant memory following this sensational performance, however. Hitting the stage in stylish silhouette, Spears opened her act with “Make Me…” Shortly after G-Eazy joined her on stage, the two closed things out with “Me, Myself & I.” Maintaining a powerful, poised presence throughout, Britney reminded us all who the original Princess of Pop is. It’s no wonder “Make Me…” skyrocketed up the charts following this performance.

#7: “Me Against the Music” / “(I Got That) Boom Boom”
“Total Request Live” (1998-2008)

Long before YouTube was around, people had to catch music videos on MTV’s “Total Request Live.” As one of the show’s most frequently requested artists, Britney Spears was a “TRL” regular. Perhaps her most notable appearance was in 2003 during “Spankin’ New Music Week.” Dawning a fedora and crop top, Spears was the center of attention in Times Square as she performed “Me Against the Music.” With tight choreography and strong vocals, this would go down as one of the best live performances in “TRL” history. As a bonus, the Ying Tang Twins also joined Spears for a performance of “(I Got That) Boom Boom.” Needless to say, they were all in the zone.

#6: “…Baby One More Time”
“MTV Video Music Awards” (1999)

“…Baby One More Time” launched Britney Spears into teen idol territory and is still arguably her most recognizable work. The song earned three nominations at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, where Spears also performed her debut single. Following roll call, Spears stormed onto the stage like a true Queen B. Once the bell finally rang, it felt like an epic party was coming to an end. Fortunately, *NSYNC crashed the classroom to kick off the after-party. This marked Spears’ first appearance at the VMAs, and it certainly wouldn’t be her last. It could also be seen as an early chapter in her relationship with Justin Timberlake, adding another layer of nostalgia to the performance.

#5: “Stronger”
“28th Annual American Music Awards” (2001)

In addition to hosting the 28th Annual American Music Awards with LL Cool J, Spears also performed her empowering single, “Stronger.” The act featured an extravagant set, various backup dances, and even a guitar player with crazy, white hair. Given all the eye candy on display, it would’ve been easy for Britney to get lost in the shuffle. Yet, all eyes remained fixated on the singer, who commanded her audience’s attention with unparalleled confidence. Where Spears is usually described as a pop diva, in this performance, she came off more like a rock star. The rock ‘n’ roll vibes only contributed to the song’s catchy dance beat, making everybody listening feel just a little bit stronger.

#4: “Toxic”
“Britney Spears: In the Zone” (2004)

To promote her fourth studio album, “In the Zone,” Spears headlined her own televised concert on ABC. “Toxic” was easily the highlight of this 2004 special, as well as a standout track from the album. Strutting down the runway, Britney attracts backup dancers like a magnet. Her performance is so addictive that everybody wants a taste, no matter how poisonous. “Toxic” would go on to win Spears her first Grammy Award and remains one of her trademark hits. However, this is quite possibly the definitive version of the song thanks to the inventive visuals, slick choreography, and Britney’s intoxicating presence.

#3: “Like a Virgin”/ “Hollywood” / “Work It”
“MTV Video Music Awards” (2003)

The Princess of Pop has shared the stage with numerous legends, including the King of Pop. While her duet with Michael Jackson was a landmark, Spears took part in an even greater ensemble piece at the 2003 VMAs. Dressed as brides, Spears and Christina Aguilera commenced the act with a rendition of “Like a Virgin.” Of course, that classic tune wouldn’t be complete without Madonna, who eventually emerged from a giant wedding cake. She joined her fellow artists to sing “Hollywood,” sealing the song with an infamous kiss. Throw in Missy Elliott and you’ve got four music icons that know how to work it. Everyone went nuts for this over-the-top performance… except maybe JT.

#2: “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction”/ “Oops!... I Did It Again”
“MTV Video Music Awards” (2000)

Watching this VMA performance, it felt as if we were seeing Britney Spears evolve as an artist right before our eyes. Calling Michael Jackson to mind, Britney began the performance hidden under a black hat and tuxedo, singing her version of “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.” Then, like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, Spears stripped away the tux to reveal a flesh-colored bodysuit. As the performance segued into “Oops!... I Did It Again,” Britney made her message clear: she was becoming a more adult singer with no qualms about showing some skin. The performance might’ve been met with some controversy, but that’s clearly what Brit was going for … and she’d likely do it again.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“From the Bottom of My Broken Heart” / “...Baby One More Time”
“42nd Annual Grammy Awards” (2000)

“...Baby One More Time”/ “(You Drive Me) Crazy”
“10th Billboard Music Awards” (1999)

“Good Morning America” (1975-)

#1: “I’m a Slave 4 U”
“MTV Video Music Awards” (2001)

Britney Spears simply stole the show at the 2001 VMAs, wowing audiences with her sexy and daring rendition of “I’m a Slave 4 U.” The performance flooded the Metropolitan Opera House with a hot, steamy atmosphere. Britney and a horde of live animals were at the center of everything. While it did spark a backlash from PETA, the act wouldn’t have become nearly as iconic without the giant albino python Britney bravely wore on her shoulders like a fashion accessory. Over a decade and a half later, this performance is still referenced and parodied in pop culture. It’s also practically synonymous with Britney’s career.