Exclusive: Britney Spears' Manager Tells the Story Behind the Infamous Madonna VMAs Kiss

Chris Polk/FilmMagic
Britney Spears and Madonna kiss on stage during a performance at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City.

In the middle of performing a medley of hits at the 2003 VMA's, Madonna surprised everyone by kissing Britney Spears onstage. After a quick camera cut to Britney's ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, who looked confused, Madonna then smooched her other performing partner: Christina Aguilera. But it was the Britney-Madonna kiss that made news.

Billboard Cover: Managers of U2, Pharrell, Madonna & More Unite to Revolutionize the Music Industry

Larry Rudolph, Spears' longtime manager, talks about what happened leading up the infamous buss, and how Madonna thanked him after "that kiss happened and the world exploded." Check out the video below:

According to Rudolph, "Madonna had been very, very, very rigid about the rehearsals. She was telling Britney and I every day, 'Be here tomorrow at 10 o'clock,' he tells Billboard. "She would never address me by name, she would just say, 'You make sure Britney's here tomorrow at 10 o'clock.'" Not wanting to upset one of the biggest stars of all time, Rudolph did his part.

Hear Unreleased Britney Spears Demos Written by Blood Orange

All that rigidity paid off. After the performance, Rudolph ended up in an elevator with Madonna, and it turns out she remembered his name. She "wrapped her arms around my waist and gave me a big kiss on the lips," he remembers. "And she said, 'You see Larry, it was all worth it.'"