In the hours before Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, fans waited anxiously for a glimpse at the Britney Spears tribute, which would celebrate her induction into the elite group of Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award honorees.
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The Hollywood Reporter was on the red carpet talking Britney with everyone from choreographer Brian Friedman, to Nickelodeon pop sensation Victoria Justice and even the cast of Jersey Shore. Looking back over the past decade, the stars shared their first memories of the pop legend and just what exactly makes her such an iconic performer.
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"I remember I was driving in my car and '…Baby One More Time' came on and I'm like 'Oh, this black girl can sing!'" Frieman recalled. "She had a lot of soul in her voice and then to see the image that went with it, you know the sexy school girl, she just definitely made a stamp really hard in the beginning of her career."
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"She's one of our generation's best entertainers," noted Paris Monroe, who will be opening for the European leg of Spears' Femme Fatale tour along with sister, Destinee.
"I grew up in the '90s listening to her," Justice said. "I bought her first album and I'm gonna buy her last album! I'm definitely a Britney supporter."
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On the eve of the VMAs, THR caught up with longtime Britney fan Perez Hilton, who shared his favorite memory of the "I Wanna Go" singer.
"I remember where I was when I saw her VMA performance with 'Oops!… I Did it Again' and 'Satisfaction.' I was at Weinstein Hall at NYU on Waverly Place watching that and I literally starting squealing," he said. "I was like 'Oh my God! Oh my God, you guys!' and in the middle of it where she like, drops to the floor and then does that look -- and she like looks straight ahead -- I was like 'Oh, this is it.' And at that moment in her career, Britney was it. So it's totally fitting and amazing that she's having a tribute at the VMAs."
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Following her VMA Video Vanguard acceptance, Spears announced to MTV that the next single off her Femme Fatale record will be the slow-tempo "Criminal," for which she already has a video concept in mind.
"Actually the song, when i first heard it, it's really different and it's not like anything I've heard like this before. So I really want to deliver this song," she said. "I was thinking of a really cool concept for the video just to make it interesting… You'll have to see."
In case you missed the tribute, watch below.