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MTV VMAs 2023: Megan Thee Stallion and Justin Timberlake set the record straight on their viral encounter


In the fast-paced world of entertainment, viral moments can often be misconstrued. A recent incident at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) involving Megan Thee Stallion and Justin Timberlake raised eyebrows, leading many to believe that the two music icons were embroiled in a heated exchange. However, a closer look reveals a heartwarming interaction that was far from confrontational.

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Viral VMA video: A deceptive first impression

A viral video captured backstage at the 2023 VMAs seemed to depict Megan Thee Stallion and Justin Timberlake in a tense moment. The rapper, aged 28, and the “Mirrors” singer, aged 42, appeared to be engaged in a heated exchange. However, a reliable source has revealed that this initial impression was far from the truth.

According to a source People, “He said, ‘It’s so nice to meet you,’ and she said, ‘No, no, this doesn’t count, this doesn’t count. We gotta meet proper.'”

Megan Thee Stallion and Justin Timberlake’s friendly exchange

In the video, Megan Thee Stallion was seen having her hair touched up backstage when Justin Timberlake, along with his *NSYNC bandmates, walked by. What initially looked like tension turned out to be a friendly interaction. Megan waved an enthusiastic finger at Timberlake, who responded with a warm smile. Joey Fatone, a member of *NSYNC, was also seen sharing a laugh. The insider says that Megan was actually expressing her desire to meet Timberlake in a less chaotic setting, saying, “No, no, this don’t count, this don’t count. We gotta meet proper.'”

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Megan Thee Stallion’s presence at the VMAs was not just for this encounter; she was there to perform her new song, “Bongos,” alongside Cardi B. Justin Timberlake, on the other hand, reunited with his former *NSYNC bandmates, including Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, JC Chasez, and Lance Bass, to present Taylor Swift with the award for Best Pop Video.

Taylor Swift, the recipient of the award, couldn’t contain her excitement upon seeing the *NSYNC reunion. She expressed her joy, saying, “I had your dolls. Like, are you doing something? What’s going to happen now … They’re going to do something, and I need to know what it is.” Swift also thanked the band, saying, “You’re pop personified, so to receive this from your golden pop hands is really … it’s too much. Thank you for the friendship bracelets.”

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.