Nowadays, no one can deny that Britney Spears is truly a performer after the many concerts, tours, and live performances she has delivered in her life. After the conservatorship and despite being away from the stage for several years the Princess of Pop will always be mentioned as a pop culture icon no matter the year it is.
Having said this, one of the best performances delivered ever happened more than two decades ago when at the MTV Video Music Awards Britney Spears sang 'I'm A Slave 4 U' with a snake on her shoulders to the astonishment of the viewers.
Considered as Britney Spears' best performance in her music career, in 2001 at only 19 years old the singer cemented his way as a legend at such short age. With blue shiny shorts full of sequins and a green top, her signature blonde hair, and the yellow python, Britney made history.
Over the years after the performance, tidbits of what transpired before and after the show have been unveiled. The funniest one was probably shared by Michael Hano, the snake handler who admitted that before the performance he did not know who Britney Spears was.
“I barely knew who Britney Spears was, I’m not really up on pop culture and stuff at all. I mean, I've worked with some of the most famous models or people in the world and I didn't know who the hell they were until afterward,” he said in an interview with Today.
He also admitted that he heard of her at the supermarket but not because of her music. “I had sort of heard of her because you go to supermarkets back in those days, and you're waiting in the checkout line and they have all those tabloid magazines,” he said. “This was before the internet really was around, so I knew that she was like a teen pop star or something, but like I said, I wouldn't have known any of her songs or anything.”
Often considered to be an albino python, Michael Hano details that such a thing is not true. “It's an amelanistic Burmese python, not albino because albino is lacking all pigments and that type is lacking only the black pigments, so it's amelanistic,”
The fun part came when after the show, Hano returned home with the snake in a cooler and kids were playing outside the building. Because he was known for handling snakes the kids asked him if he watched the show, later revealing that he was holding that snake in his hand.
The kids obviously did not believe a word of it. “They didn't freakin' believe me so I took the snake out and the kids started taking pictures of it.”.
But was Britney Spears scared of the python? The answer is quite sensible. According to Hano she was really nervous but stayed focused. “She was very good,” Hano says. “She was very focused and initially she was scared of the snake, but you could see that she was able to focus and kind of push yourself to be able to work with the thing and look comfortable doing it.”
Years later after the performance during an interview on BBC Radio 1, Britney admitted that she would not do such a thing again because she was scared of snakes and did not know how she handled it so well. "I think it was great but I wouldn't do that now. Never. I'm totally scared of snakes but I was completely fearless," she admitted.
As an interesting side note, in one of the post-conservatorship posts on social media, Britney admitted that she was so nervous that Justin Timberlake held her hand five minutes before the show. will tell you this ... before I went on that night I was feeling kinda out of body with nerves, I mean ... I was in a cage with a live lion !!!!!" she wrote. "Justin saw I could hardly talk so he held my hand and gave me a 5-minute pep talk which obviously worked!!!!"