Lil’ Kim on the Making of the ‘Lady Marmalade’ Music Video: ‘There Was a Little Tension’
In 2001, singers Mya, Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Lil’ Kim released a remake of Patti Labelle’s 1974 classic “Lady Marmalade.” The song was one of the most successful collaborations of the decade as it brought together four of music‘s biggest superstars at the time.
With their stunning harmonies and incredible stage presence, one would assume that all four women had amazing chemistry behind the scenes of the award-winning video. But according to Lil’ Kim, things between the musicians were a little tense when the cameras weren’t rolling.
‘Lady Marmalade’ was recorded for the ‘Moulin Rouge!’ soundtrack
In early 2001, newly appointed A&M Records president Ron Fair — who’s best known for producing soundtracks for films such as Pretty Woman and Reality Bites — was assigned to create songs for the musical romantic drama film Moulin Rouge!
Fair joined forces with fellow producer Baz Luhrmann and rapper/ songwriter Missy Elliot to create a smash hit song. He also appointed four female artists to cover the catchy track.
With all four women onboard, recording and filming for the song’s music video commenced.
While the collaboration seemed like a multicultural partnership made in heaven, it turns out that the relationship between the four pop divas on set wasn’t as close as one would expect.
Lil’ Kim says there was ‘tension’ between the women on set
In 2019, Lil’ Kim sat down with Billboard, where she opened up about her time filming the “Lady Marmalade” music video with Mya, Xtina, and Pink.
According to the rapper, she got along with everyone on set. But she noted that there were tense moments between her collaborators while filming the music video.
“We worked really hard that day,” the Brooklyn MC told the outlet. “I remember there was a little tension because, you know, Mya’s my girl … but a lot of the girls didn’t know each other. I knew almost everybody, but it was like everyone was in their own little corner.”
She continued, “Everybody talked to me, but everybody else wasn’t talking to each other. Everybody loved each other, don’t get me wrong, but they didn’t know each other, so it was like, ‘let me talk to Kim, because I know Kim.’ It was hard ‘cuz I had to be the host of ‘Lady Marmalade.'”
By the time the 2002 Grammy Awards rolled around, Lil’ Kim revealed that all the women had grown close and had “so much fun together” there.
“I think I remember rollerskating backstage into everybody’s room,” she added. “I’m dead ass serious. I just roller-skated right up on Christina like, ‘What up, yo?'” and she was like, ‘Girl, are you on roller skates?’ I was like, ‘Yep, bye!'”
Pink confirmed the tension in 2009
Though Lil’ Kim admitted to it being tense while filming the “Lady Marmalade” music video, Pink confirmed that there was, in fact, tension during their time on set.
During a 2009 episode of Behind The Music, the “So What” singer revealed that she and Aguilera didn’t have the best relationship going into the project.
“Ron Fair [label exec] walked in. He didn’t say hi to any of us and said, ‘What’s the high part? What’s the most singing part? Christina’s going to take that part,'” she explained. “And I stood up, and I said ‘Hi. How are you? So nice of you to introduce yourself. I’m Pink. She will not be taking that part. I think that’s what the f*cking meeting’s about.'”
Though they didn’t get off on the best foot, both Aguilera and Pink later claimed to have squashed the beef, with the “Just Give Me a Reason” singer tweeting in 2017 that the two had “made amends.”