But on Sunday night, the pop princess was back with a bang!
Mega-fan Kim Kardashian introduced the star as she opened her performance in nothing more than a yellow, sparkling leotard.
The 34-year-old had the whole crowd at Madison Square Garden on their feet while she belted out her new hit, Make Me.
The singer was joined on stage by rapper G-Eazy, who features on the track.
Brit's trademark moves were put on full display as she twirled around the stage.
And after a near decade-long hiatus, fans were going crazy for the blonde beauty!
"That Britney performance was way too short. Ugh. I love her so much! I wanted more of her tonight," one enthusiastic fan shared while another added, "Go Britney!!! Proud of you. Those iconic hair flips."
While there's no denying the mother-of-two delivered an energetic set, many fans took to Twitter to call her out for lip-syncing.
"#BritneySpears aka Queen of lip sync #VMAs," one used penned.
"Yo Britney needs to work on lip syncing if she wants to sound convincible," another disappointed user pointed out.
Over the years, the VMAs have documented Brit's career highs and lows.
In 2001 she slayed with her steamy rendition of smash hit Slave 4 U, complete with an albino snake thrown over her shoulders.
But in 2007, her touted "comeback*, after her highly-publicised meltdown, didn't quite go to plan. The star was criticized for miming and fresh fears were raised over her well-being.
Fast forward nine years, and it's great to see Brit back at it!