Christina Aguilera doesn’t want to be in Britney Spears’ upcoming memoir. But she’s worried she might be.
The pop star — who broke out alongside Spears on “The Mickey Mouse Club” and during the late 1990s teen-pop boom — voiced her trepidation at the end of her Monday “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” interview, when the host asked Aguilera if Spears had reached out to her about being mentioned in “The Woman in Me.”
“Dude, I don’t know. I don’t know,” Aguilera said, laughing off Kimmel’s inquiry. “Am I hoping [that I’m in it]? I’m hoping that everything is all good with her. Everything’s beautiful. The future should be celebrated.”
But the comedian wouldn’t let go of the potential for pop synergy in the book, which is the product of a $15-million deal and due to be released Oct. 24.
“If you had to choose between being in it and not being in it,” Kimmel prodded.
“I mean, for real? For real?,” the “Beautiful” singer asked.
“For real, because I would like to be in it,” he said. To which Aguilera replied: “Maybe you will be in it. Listen, I’d rather it be you than me. So hopefully you’ll be in it. You’ll make the book.”
Perhaps he will. The Emmy-nominated host was famously pranked by Spears in 2016 when she and a troupe of dancers woke him up in the middle of the night with an impromptu performance of her single “Make Me.” But given Spears’ extended and overlapping history with the “Genie in Bottle” and “Dirrty” belter, it’s unlikely that that moment of levity will eclipse the contemporaries’ media-fueled rivalry.
Spears, 41, and Aguilera, 42 — who was on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to plug her New Year’s residency at the new Voltaire theater at the Venetian in Las Vegas — have been constantly pitted against one another during their careers. But the Latin Grammy winner backed Spears amid the “Toxic” singer’s protracted conservatorship battle that ended in 2021.
“We’ve been working since we were little kids. We all deserve some happiness. I’ll always be supportive of Britney,” the “Voice” coach told The Times in July 2021, just a month after Spears gave incendiary testimony in court about the legal arrangement’s effects on her as an adult. (The 13-year conservatorship was officially terminated that November.)
Spears’ highly anticipated memoir — expected to shed light on her life and career from her point of view after years of tabloid fodder, dueling documentaries and her sister’s bombshell tell-all — has made headlines for months. Last week, publisher Simon & Schuster and its imprint Gallery Books announced that Oscar-nominated actor Michelle Williams would narrate the bulk of the audio book because “reliving everything” has been “heart-wrenching and emotional” for Spears. The Grammy winner will record only an introduction for “The Woman in Me,” according to Simon & Schuster Audio, and Williams will recite the rest.
On Tuesday, People editor-in-chief Wendy Naugle appeared on “CBS Mornings” to share exclusive excerpts from the autobiography, noting that Spears’ conservatorship, which was long controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, “was soul-crushing” and turned the entertainer into a “child-robot.”
“Becoming an adult is a process and she was really, kind of, denied that process of becoming a woman,” Naugle said on the morning show.
“The conservatorship left her distrustful of the world, but she’s also excited about her freedom,” Naugle wrote in her editor’s letter, which marked Spears’ first People cover in five years — a topless spread shot on a remote beach in Tahiti.
“For the accompanying story, she asked to answer questions via email,” Naugle wrote, quoting Spears as saying: “My fans deserve to hear it directly from me … just me owning my past, present and future.”
The excerpt also includes Spears’ bombshell revelation that she had an abortion while dating ‘NSYNC frontman Justin Timberlake because they “weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives” and “were way too young.” The pair dated between 1999 and 2002, and Timberlake has not yet addressed the allegation.
However, the Louisiana-born singer‘s book is unlikely to include her July separation from her third husband, Sam Asghari. Asghari filed for divorce from the mother of two in August after 14 months of marriage.