Pop beauty Britney Spears is grateful for Madonna's guidance since their raunchy kiss at last month's (AUG03) MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS - because she's helped her mature as an artist.

The OOPS!...I DID IT AGAIN singer - who sparked a media frenzy after her on-stage smooch with the pop veteran - is desperate to prove to fans she's "grown up", and pals claim Madonna's influence is playing a huge part in Britney's career makeover.

One friend says, "Madonna has become a real mentor to Britney. They spent a lot of time rehearsing for the MTV awards.

"Britney is desperate to prove she's grown up and was delighted with Madonna being her mentor."

17/09/2003 02:33