On December 27 2003, Madonna’s Nothing Fails/Nobody Knows Me single hit #1 and her collaboration with Britney Spears, Me Against The Music hit #2 on Hot Dance Singles Sales chart in US: it was the first time an artist had occupied the top 2 positions on the Singles Sales chart since Puff Daddy in 1997.
On February 7 2004, Nothing Fails lived up to its title when it hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart in the U.S.
Despite being largely ignored by radio programmers, the single nevertheless received strong support from club DJ’s.
The Nothing Fails maxi-single, which also included remixes of Nobody Knows Me, had previously reached the top of the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart in December 2003 before being overtaken by the Britney Spears/Madonna collaboration, Me Against The Music.
Nobody Knows Me reached a separate peak of #4 on the Hot Dance/Club Play chart in 2003 after it was serviced to DJ’s as a promotional single.
On January 24 2004, Madonna received the NRJ Award of Honor during the NRJ awards ceremony in Cannes, France. Madonna accepted the award from Britney Spears and thanked her French fans for two decades of support.
“My ambition may be American, and I may have married a Brit, but my heart belongs to France.”
On January 7 2004, Rolling Stone magazine reviewed Madonna’s Remixed & Revisited EP:
Instead of the twenty-year retrospective originally planned for the holiday season, Madonna fans get a measly half-hour of mishmash marginalia. Of the four remixes from American Life, only one clicks: Headcleanr’s rock mix of Love Profusion, which replaces Mirwais’ electrofolk with Strokes-like guitars and drums that flatter an overlooked but fantastic song. The live medley of Like a Virgin and Hollywood, with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, falls flat without the infamous kisses, and the Gap commercial with Missy Elliott just sounds cheap and nasty. Your Honesty, an outtake from 1994’s Bedtime Stories, recalls the post-disco funkiness of Madonna’s 1983 debut. Bet it would’ve worked better in a box set. – Barry Walters
On August 28 2003, Madonna performed Hollywood with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera as the opening number for the 20th annual MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY and upstaged everyone at the ceremony when she shares a passionate open-mouth kiss with them. Missy Elliott also joined the ladies on stage – post-kiss.
Madonna commented on the uproar surrounding the infamous kiss during an appearance on Oprah several weeks later. “I don’t know why people are making such a big deal about it,” she said. “Hasn’t anyone seen two girls kiss before? It was a friendly kiss – it really was. If Britney looks as though she is kissing me in an aggressive way it was a surprise to me.” She added, “I’m a showgirl. After 20 years in the business, we learn to roll with the punches. If someone’s coming at you with lips slightly parted, you kiss them.”