Friday’s new promo for the MTV Video Music Awards satisfied by announcing there will be a tribute to Britney Spears at the upcoming show, but left us a little confused as to what exactly would be going down come August 28. How do you recap a career that’s included giant snakes, a Las Vegas wedding, an impromptu buzz cut and one memorable umbrella? After the clip dropped musical and visual hints at possible involvement from Madonna, Janet and Michael Jackson, TV producer and casting director Johnathan “Woody” Woodbeck has added to speculation with a recent tweet that included the tribute’s alleged set list. “If this lineup is legit (which I’m told it is) the tribute to Britney at the VMAs is gonna be insanely EPIC!!,” he tweeted on Friday, along with a photo listing the talent scheduled to perform Spears’ singles. The list reads as follows:
Selena Gomez – “…Baby One More Time”
Katy Perry – “Oops!…I Did It Again”
Janet Jackson – “I’m a Slave 4 U”
Demi Lovato – “Toxic”
Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj – “Gimme More”
Lady Gaga – “Circus”
Britney Spears – “Hold It Against Me/I Wanna Go”
The names are accompanied by an asterisk explaining “Madonna presents Ms. Spears with Lifetime Achievement Award.” Overall this collection of 2011′s biggest stars—seven out of eight artists who are featured on our Popdust 40—makes sense: Gomez has featured a Spears medley in recent live shows, Minaj has been opening for Brit all summer and Ke$ha is responsible for writing “Till The World Ends,” all of which make things slightly more personal rather than simply having the ambiguous younger generation of female pop paying tribute to one of their idols would be able to do. Plus, Madge has always played along with Britney’s doe-eyed worship of her, and there was that infamous VMA kiss. But—and we say this with all due respect, Britney—Janet Jackson and Lady Gaga?! While Gaga likely listened to Britney growing up, her hold on pop music today is rooted in such entirely different things: Britney was the dancing sex symbol while Gaga is the defiant and outrageous provocateur.
This is the Internet, so remember to tread with caution. There has been no official word from MTV as of yet, but Woodbeck’s tweet and photo have not been deleted. We’re skeptical that the network would allow such grandiose plans to leak two full weeks ahead of time, but for someone who has had their highs and lows chronicled on the network for over 10 years, we guess Spears deserves one big party.