Best American Music Awards Performances, No. 19: Britney Spears Shows Us She's 'Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman' at 2002 AMAs

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Britney Spears performs during the 29th Annual American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium Jan. 9, 2002 in Los Angeles.

In honor of the 2017 American Music Awards, Billboard is counting down the best performances from the awards show’s history. Here's No. 19. 

In the early 2000s, Britney Spears was at the height of her reign as America's greatest pop princess. Her third album Britney showed a different side of her that fans had never previously seen; that included the coming-of-age balled "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman."

The then 20-year-old singer from Kentwood, Louisiana performed her heartfelt song about love, growing up, and healing from hurt at the 2002 American Music Awards. The stripped-down performance featured no more than a pianist, a few backup singers, and live vocals from Britney -- considered by many to be a rarity as her career has progressed. 

At the time, it was one of the most intimate moments that America had ever had with the young star; her public persona up until then was defined by the teenybopper sound (and accompanying sexy performances) that has since cemented her as one of the greatest entertainers of our generation. Relive the captivating performance below.

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The 2017 American Music Awards will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

2017 AMAs