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Justin Timberlake Defends Miley Cyrus’ VMAs Performance: “It’s Not Like She Did It at the Grammys”

Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus
Justin Timberlake is defending Miley Cyrus' VMAs performance Andrew H. Walker/; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV

Much ado about nothing? Justin Timberlake thinks so. Fans and fellow celebs can't stop talking about Miley Cyrus' raunchy VMAs performance with "Blurred Lines" singer Robin Thicke, but Timberlake, for one, says the uproar is uncalled for.

"Listen, man, you know, it's the VMAs. What did you guys expect?" the "Suit & Tie" singer, 32, told Fresh 102.7 radio host Jim Douglas on Tuesday, Aug. 27, two days after the show. "I like Miley. I like her a lot. I think, you know, she's young. She's letting everybody know that she's growing up." (Timberlake can relate. He's a former Disney star himself.)

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The singer also pointed out that the VMAs have historically been the one awards show where pretty much anything goes. "I just think it's the VMAs. It's not like she did it at the Grammys," he said. "Let her do her thing, you know?"

He then went on to note several other "scandalous" moments in the show's past, including one involving ex-girlfriend Britney Spears, another Disney alum. "Madonna: wedding suit, humping the stage. Britney: strip tease. This is not an uncommon thing," he said. "I actually thought all the bears were really cool." (Cyrus' now-infamous performance featured her twerking with giant teddy bears, a nod to her music video for "We Can't Stop.")

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The 'N Sync alum — who reunited with his former bandmates at the VMAs before accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award — said the best part of the whole spectacle, though, was the audience. "My favorite part of the Miley Cyrus performance is the Smith family reaction," he joked, referring to a viral picture of Will Smith and kids Willow and Jaden looking aghast while watching the action onstage. (In fact, the funny snapshot was part of a widespread mixup; the trio were actually reacting to Lady Gaga's performance, not Cyrus'.)

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"I was late to the game on that," the star said of the photo. "I was just shown that this morning, so it's fresh in my mind."

Incidentally, Timberlake isn't the only one coming to Cyrus' defense. The 20-year-old "We Can't Stop" singer's dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, also spoke out on Aug. 27, telling Entertainment Tonight that he'll "always be here" for her. "She's still my little girl, and I'm still her dad, regardless of how this circus we call show business plays out," he said. "I love her unconditionally and that will never change."

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