Britney Spears on Miley Cyrus: 'She Is on Fire Right Now'

09/19/2013 at 03:00 PM EDT

Britney Spears on Miley Cyrus: 'She Is on Fire Right Now'
Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears
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There was a time not so long ago when it was Britney Spears, not Miley Cyrus, who was causing controversy at the MTV Video Music Awards.

While Cyrus's twerking performance has made Spears's 2003 lip lock with Madonna look tame in comparison, the 31-year-old tells Extra's Mario Lopez that she can relate to all of the media attention the "Wrecking Ball" singer, 20, has received since she did unspeakable things with a foam finger.

"I remember that age when I was just transferring into my career and doing more controversial things and the energy that you feel, all this chaos going on, and she is on fire right now, she's just a ball full of energy," says Spears.

She added that the VMAs (where she also memorably gyrated with a 7-foot snake wrapped around her shoulders) is the place to let your imagination run wild. "It's a time to embellish a little bit on the creative side of what you do, bring the artistic side of what you do out."

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