On Thursday (August 11),
The 30-second promo interlaces Spears' latest hit "I Wanna Go" with her own "Slave 4 U," Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" and Madonna's "Everybody" as dancers dressed in Brit's most-famous outfits crowd around her. There's also a nod to Michael Jackson, with a poster on the wall that says "Billy Jean," in reference to MJ's hit "Billie Jean," and a dancer who mimics the late King of Pop's iconic moves. At the end of the promo, Spears stands in front of a wall that cryptically reads "A Tribute to Britney Spears" before the date of the VMAs — 8.28 — flashes on the screen.
Spears, whose "Till the World Ends" is nominated for Best Pop Video and Best Choreography, filmed the promo last month in Miami, and MTV News was on the set for a behind-the-scenes look.
"The general concept of what we are going for is basically called 'The Muse Factory,' " director Jahai Brightly explained. "It's where all your favorite artists that are going to be at the Video Music Awards this year meet and explore their influences and inspirations."
The promo pulls from Spears' own musical influences from over the years, which is portrayed through the set design, wardrobe and, of course, through Brit herself.
In the promo, Spears pays homage to Madonna, Michael and Janet, whom she calls "the people I've grown up listening to and totally inspire [me]."
The promo doesn't just show the pop star's own musical icons; it also reminds us of what a musical force Spears is as well. "We are going to be exploring her past styles," Brightly said of Spears' classic looks. "In particular, past six styles that represent each of her albums, with the seventh one being the current incarnation."
Spears, whose outfit was designed to represent her current style, is dressed in a custom-made studded leather jacket, a shredded black T-shirt and her signature cutoff jean shorts. The promo begins with Spears paying homage to her latest album, Femme Fatale.
"I did the opening segment, where I'm at the mirror and I'm representing how many albums I've done, which is number seven," Spears said.
Spears then begins her journey down memory lane, where she is surrounded by dancers dressed up in some of her signature video looks, such as the flight-attendant costume in "Toxic" and her infamous red catsuit in "Oops! ... I Did It Again."
"I'm walking down a hallway and I'm seeing memorabilia of all my performances that I've done in the past," Spears said. "All my dancers are dressed up in my old outfits, which it's really cool."
What do you think of Britney's VMA promo? Let us know in the comments!
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live on Sunday, August 28, from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT. See the list of nominees, revisit last year's highlights and vote for your favorites in the general categories by visiting VMA.MTV.com.