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Christina Aguilera, born as "Christina María Aguilera" (born December 18, 1980), is an American singer-songwriter and television personality. Born in Staten Island, New York and raised in Wexford, Pennsylvania, she appeared in television shows as a child before signing with RCA Records in 1998. During her first decade in the music industry, she became a prominent figure in mainstream popular music and popular culture. Aguilera's first three studio albums, Christina Aguilera (1999), Mi Reflejo (2000) and My Kind of Christmas (2000) achieved international success; the former spawned the number-one US Billboard Hot 100 singles, "Genie in a Bottle", "What a Girl Wants" and "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)".Read Full Bio >>
Displeased with her lack of input, Aguilera parted ways with her management and assumed creative control for her fourth album, Stripped (2002). The album was a commercial success and was influenced by R&B, pop rock, hip hop and soul, in contrast to her teen pop and dance-pop influenced debut. Its second single "Beautiful" helped the album's commercial performance amidst controversy over her image. While Aguilera's soul, blues and jazz-inspired fifth album, Back to Basics (2006), was met with positive critical and commercial feedback, her sixth album, Bionic (2010), had trouble maintaining commercial success. Later that year, she made her feature film debut in the musical Burlesque (2010). Aguilera served as the soundtrack's executive producer earning positive reviews and substantial sales. Aguilera's seventh album, Lotus (2012), became her lowest selling studio album to date. Since 2011, Aguilera serves as a coach for the American version of The Voice, although she temporarily left the series during the fourth season.
Aguilera has been noted for her vocals, music videos and constant reinvention of her image. Her music discusses themes of her childhood, public scrutiny, and female empowerment. Her work has earned numerous awards and accolades, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Golden Globe Award nomination, four Grammy Awards, and one Latin Grammy Award. Aguilera has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and has five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100; "Genie in a Bottle" and the collaborations "Lady Marmalade" and "Moves like Jagger" are among the best-selling singles of all time. As one of the top-selling artists of the early 2000s, Billboard named Aguilera as the top female artist of 2000 and 2003. Rolling Stone ranked her number fifty-eight on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, ranking as the youngest and only artist on the list under the age of thirty. She was ranked the 20th Artist of the 2000–09 decade by Billboard and is the second top selling single artist of the 2000s, behind Madonna. Aguilera was ranked number eight in VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music and was one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2013. Outside of her work in the entertainment industry, Aguilera is involved in charitable activities through human rights, world issues, and her work as a UN ambassador for the World Food Programme.
Early life and career
Aguilera was born in Staten Island, New York, to Fausto Wagner Xavier Aguilera, a Sergeant in the U.S. Army at the time and Shelly Loraine Fidler, a teacher of Spanish language. Aguilera's father was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, while her mother is of Irish descent (Christina's maternal grandmother emigrated from County Clare.) Her father, Fausto, was stationed at Earnest Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada and Japan. Aguilera lived with her father and mother until she was seven years old. When Aguilera's parents divorced, her mother took her, and her younger sister Rachel, to her grandmother's home in Rochester, Pennsylvania, a suburb outside of Pittsburgh. According to both Aguilera and Fidler, her father was very controlling, as well as physically and emotionally abusive. She later wrote about her difficult childhood in the songs 'I'm OK' in "Stripped", and 'Oh Mother' in "Back to Basics." Although her father has written to Aguilera, she has ruled out any chance to reunite with him. Since then, Fidler has married a paramedic named Jim Kearns, and changed her name.
As a child, Aguilera aspired to be a singer. She was known locally as 'the little girl with the big voice,' singing in local talent shows and competitions. According to VH1's "Driven", whenever competitors learned they would be up against her in any given week, they would immediately withdraw, prompting insiders to claim it was 'like sending a lamb to the slaughter.' Her peers soon became jealous of her and would frequently subject her to ridicule, ostracism, and, in one gym class, attempted assault. Acts of vandalism around her house included the slashing of the tires on the family car. Eventually, the family relocated to another suburb in the Pittsburgh area (this time, Wexford) and took to secrecy about Aguilera's talent lest another backlash occur. She attended, Marshall Middle School near Wexford and North Allegheny Senior High School until she was later home-schooled.
On March 15, 1990, she appeared on "Star Search" singing Etta James' 'A Sunday Kind of Love', but lost the competition. Soon after losing on "Star Search", she returned home and appeared on Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV's "Wake Up with Larry Richert" to perform the same song. People remarked that the then ten-year-old 'sounded 20.'
Throughout her youth in Pittsburgh, Aguilera sang 'The Star-Spangled Banner' before Pittsburgh Penguins hockey, Pittsburgh Steelers football and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games. Her first major role in entertainment came in 1993 when she joined the Disney Channel's variety show "The New Mickey Mouse Club". Her co-stars included Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling, and Keri Russell, the show lasted another year until its cancellation. According to the documentary "Driven", Aguilera's co-stars called her 'the Diva'. One of her most notable performances was of Whitney Houston's 'I Have Nothing'.
At the age of fourteen, Aguilera recorded her first song, 'All I Wanna Do', a hit duet with Japanese singer Keizo Nakanishi. In 1997, she represented the United States at the 'Golden Stag' International Festival with a two-song set.
In 1998, Aguilera sang the High 'E' in full voice (E5) on a cover of Whitney Houston's 'Run to You' which she recorded with a tape recorder in her bathroom. She was then selected to record the song 'Reflection' for the Disney production of "Mulan" (1998). Recording 'Reflection' led to Aguilera earning a contract with RCA Records the same week. 'Reflection' peaked within the top twenty on the Adult Contemporary Singles Chart, and it was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for 'Best Original Song' in 1998.
Under the exclusive representation of Steve Kurtz, Aguilera's self-titled debut album "Christina Aguilera" was released on August 24, 1999. It reached the top of the "Billboard" 200 and Canadian album charts, selling eight million copies in the U.S. and over twelve million copies worldwide. The album is also included in the Top 100 Albums of All Time list of The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) based on US sales.
Her singles 'Genie in a Bottle', 'What a Girl Wants' and 'Come on Over Baby (All I Want Is You)' topped the "Billboard" Hot 100 during 1999 and 2000, and 'I Turn to You' reached #3. According to the album's songwriters, Aguilera wanted to display the range and audacity in her voice during the promotion of the album, and performed acoustic sets and appeared on television shows accompanied only by a piano. She ended the year on MTV's New Year's Special, as she performed and was MTV's first artist of the millennium. At the 2000 Grammys Aguilera received a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance nomination for 'Genie in a Bottle' and despite earlier predictions, she won the award for Best New Artist.
Later in 2000, Aguilera first emphasized her Latin heritage by releasing her first Spanish album, "Mi Reflejo" on September 12, 2000. This album contained Spanish versions of songs from her English debut as well as new Spanish tracks. Though some criticized Aguilera for trying to cash in on the Latin music boom at the time. The album still managed to peak at #27 on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Latin album charts. In 2001, it won Aguilera a Latin Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Album. The album went Gold in the US and sold 3 million worldwide. She also won the World Music Award as the best selling Latin artist that year. Aguilera also released a Christmas album on October 24, 2000 called "My Kind of Christmas". It peaked at #28 on the Billboard 200, and has been certified Platinum in the US.
Ricky Martin asked Aguilera to duet with him on the track 'Nobody Wants to Be Lonely' from his album "Sound Loaded"; released in 2001 as the album's second single, which reached #1 on the World Chart.
In 2001, Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink were chosen to remake Labelle's 1975 single 'Lady Marmalade' for the film "Moulin Rouge!" and its soundtrack. The single Missy Elliott produced hit number one on the Hot 100 for five weeks and was the most successful airplay-only single in history. It also reached number one in eleven other countries amd earned all four performers a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Aguilera's appearance in the music video was compared to that of Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider. The video won two MTV Video Music Awards including Video of the Year in 2001, where Aguilera accepted the award saying, 'I guess the big hair paid off.'
That year a single emerged into record stores called 'Just Be Free', one of the demos Aguilera recorded when she was around fifteen years old. When RCA Records discovered the single, they advised fans not to purchase it. Months later, Warlock Records was set to release "Just Be Free", an album which contains the demo tracks. Aguilera filed a breach of contract and unfair-competition suit against Warlock and the album's producers to block the release. Instead, the two parties came to a settlement to release the album. Aguilera lent out her name, likeness and image for an unspecified amount of damages. Many of the details of the lawsuit remain confidential. When the album was released in August 2001, it had a photograph of Aguilera when she was fifteen years old.
Although Aguilera's debut album was very well received, she was dissatisfied with the music and image her management had created for her. Aguilera was marketed as a bubblegum pop singer because of the genre's upward financial trend. She mentioned plans of her next album to have much more depth, both musically and lyrically. Aguilera's views of Steve Kurtz's influence in matters of the singer's creative direction, the role of being her exclusive personal manager and overscheduling had in part caused her to seek legal means of terminating their management contract.
In October 2000, Aguilera filed a Breach of Fiduciary Duty lawsuit against Kurtz for improper, undue and inappropriate influence over her professional activities, as well as fraud. According to legal documents, Kurtz did not protect her rights and interests. Instead, he took action that was for his own interest, at the cost of hers. The lawsuit came about when Aguilera discovered Kurtz used more of her commissionable income than he was allotted, and had paid other managers to assist him. She also petitioned the California State Labor Commission to nullify the contract. After terminating Kurtz's services, Irving Azoff was hired as her new manager.
Kurtz countersued later that month for breach of contract, claiming that the singer violated the same agreement she had sued to void. In the lawsuit, he included others close to Aguilera, alleging their intent to sabotage his business relationship with her. He also singled out Azoff for being in violation of the terms of Kurtz's contract. During this time, while she was also working on her second album, she later revealed that she was betrayed by several friends, and hit rock bottom. She used her then-upcoming album as therapy, saying 'this record saved me from insanity.'
On October 29, 2002, after much delay, Aguilera's second full-length English album, "Stripped", was released, selling more than 330,000 copies in the first week and peaking at #2 on the Billboard 200. Unlike previous work, the album showcased Aguilera's raunchier side. The majority of "Stripped" was co-written by Aguilera (who had recently signed a global music publishing contract with BMG Music Publishing), and was influenced by many different subjects and music styles, including rhythm and blues, gospel, soul, balladry, pop rock, and hip hop. The majority of the album was produced by Scott Storch and singer-songwriter Linda Perry who produced her more personal records. Rockwilder and singer Alicia Keys also contributed a track each. Upon initial release, the album was very well-received by critics, although Aguilera's vocals were overlooked as she began to cultivate a more sexually provocative image. After the release of the album, she took part in photoshoots for magazines, many of these photographs featured her nude or semi-nude. Her cover for "Rolling Stone", featured the singer only wearing boots and a well-placed electric guitar. It was during this time Aguilera referred to herself as "Xtina", even getting a tattoo of her nickname on the back of her neck and several piercings.
Initially, the raunchy image had a negative effect on Aguilera in the U.S., especially after the release of her controversial 'Dirrty' music video. She denied that this change was a matter of publicity, claiming that the image better reflected her true personality than did the image she cultivated back in 1999. While the video for 'Dirrty' became very popular on MTV, it disappointed on the U.S. singles chart. However, the single was a hit worldwide, reaching number one in the UK and Ireland. The album reached the top five on the U.K., U.S. and Canadian album charts, though it was initially considered a 'sophomore slump'. The second single, 'Beautiful' received critical praise. The classically influenced ballad reached number one in several countries and peaked at #2 in the US. 'Beautiful' earned Aguilera the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Three more singles ('Fighter', 'Can't Hold Us Down' featuring Lil' Kim, 'The Voice Within') were released in the following two years and were hits that helped the album stay on the charts for the next two years. "Stripped" stayed on the U.S. and UK album charts well into 2004, and went on to be certified four-times platinum in the U.S. with over nine million copies sold worldwide. It appeared at number ten on Billboard's year-end album chart. Kelly Clarkson's second single 'Miss Independent' was co-written by Aguilera, having been half-finished for "Stripped".
Aguilera joined Justin Timberlake that June on the final leg of his international "Justified" tour, held in the U.S. This portion of the tour became a co-headliner called the 'Justified & Stripped Tour'. In August, an overhead lighting grid collapsed from the ceiling of the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, causing major damage to the sound and video equipment below. Because the collapse occurred hours before the show, only a few stagehands were injured, but a few shows were cancelled or postponed. In the fourth quarter of that year, Aguilera continued to tour internationally without Timberlake, and changed the name of the tour to the 'Stripped World Tour'. She also dyed her hair black. It was one of the top-grossing tours of that year, and sold out most of its venues. "Rolling Stone" readers named it the best tour of the year. She was a special guest performer with the Pussycat Doll's dance troupe and appeared on a "Maxim" spread alongside them. Her second "Maxim" cover that year set record sales for the issue, by the end of the year she topped the annual "Hot 100" list later saying, 'We had fun working with certain clothes, or the lack thereof.' After much delay, Aguilera's first DVD live-recording from a concert tour, "Stripped Live in the UK", was released in November 2004.
In light of the tour's success, another U.S. tour was scheduled to begin in mid-2004 with a new theme. The tour however was scrapped because of the vocal cord injuries Aguilera suffered shortly before the tour's opening date. In a tribute to Madonna's performance at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards, Aguilera performed a kiss with the singer-actress at the 2003 edition of the ceremony in August. The incident occurred during the opening performance of Madonna's songs 'Like a Virgin' and 'Hollywood' with fellow popstar Britney Spears.
Aguilera later decided to embrace a more mature image; this move was met with more praise than criticism, with articles using punch lines such as 'From Crass to Class.' She eventually dyed her hair cherry blonde and recorded a jingle, 'Hello', for a Mercedes-Benz ad. Shortly after, she dyed her hair blonde and cut it short, and took on a Marilyn Monroe look; many of her fans believe she is one of the main proponents (along with Dita Von Teese, Gwen Stefani, and Ashley Judd) in bringing back the 1920s-1940s Hollywood glamour look.
In late summer 2004, Aguilera released two singles. The first, 'Car Wash', was a remake of the Rose Royce disco song recorded as a collaboration with rapper Missy Elliott for the soundtrack to the film "Shark Tale". The second song was also a collaboration, but this time as a second single from one of Nelly's double-release albums, "Sweat", titled 'Tilt Ya Head Back'. Both singles failed commercially in the U.S., but did considerably better in other parts of the world.
Aguilera collaborated with jazz artist Herbie Hancock on a cover of Leon Russell's 'A Song for You' recorded for Hancock's album "Possibilities", released in August 2005. Aguilera and Hancock were later nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. She helped open the 50th Anniversary for Disneyland performing 'When You Wish upon a Star', and she also collaborated with Andrea Bocelli on the song 'Somos Novios' for his album "Amore".
Aguilera's third English studio album, "Back to Basics", released August 15, 2006, debuted at #1 in the U.S., the U.K. and eleven other countries. Aguilera described the double CD as 'a throwback to the 20s, 30s, and 40s-style jazz, blues, and feel-good soul music, but with a modern twist.' Although critics commented on the album's length saying, 'At one disc, this would have been nothing short of masterful.' The critically-acclaimed lead single 'Ain't No Other Man' was a substantial success, reaching #2 on the World Chart, #6 in the U.S., and #2 in U.K. Producers on the album included DJ Premier, Kwamé, Linda Perry, and Mark Ronson. One track, 'F.U.S.S.', was written as a response to the animosity between Aguilera and her former producer Scott Storch. In an interview she said, 'That's a way of burying my experience with him. When I tried to work with him again, he made uncalled-for demands. It was disappointing that someone would get affected like that.' She received writing credit for the album and was the executive producer. The follow-up singles did very well in different regions, 'Hurt' in Europe and 'Candyman' in the Pacific. She co-directed both music videos, the former with Floria Sigismondi who directed her 'Fighter' video, and the latter, 'Candyman', with director/photographer Matthew Rolston which was inspired by The Andrews Sisters. "Back to Basics" has sold over 4 million copies worldwide.
In late 2006 Aguilera collaborated with Sean 'Diddy' Combs on a track, titled 'Tell Me', from his album "Press Play." She also began the 'Back to Basics Tour' in Europe followed by a 41-date North American tour in early 2007. After this, she toured Asia and Australia, where it was supposed to end on August 3, however she canceled her dates in Melbourne and her final two in Auckland due to an illness. Her extravagant arena tour included cabaret, three-ring circus and juke joint sets and 10 piece costumes designed by Roberto Cavalli. It was the most successful US tour by a female in 2007. In early 2008, she released her concert DVD "Back to Basics: Live and Down Under".
At the 49th Grammy Awards, Aguilera again won the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for 'Ain't No Other Man'. She made a noteworthy performance at the ceremony paying tribute to James Brown with her rendition of his song 'It's a Man's Man's Man's World'. In January 2007, she was named the 19th richest woman in entertainment by "Forbes", with a net worth of US$60 million.
Aguilera performed 'Steppin' Out With My Baby' with Tony Bennett on his NBC special "Tony Bennett: An American Classic" and on "Saturday Night Live". They performed at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards where both specials received Emmys. 'Steppin' Out' was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards.
To commemorate Aguilera's ten years in the music industry, she will release, "Keeps Gettin' Better - A Decade of Hits" on November 11, 2008 exclusively at Target stores. The greatest hits will include her four number one singles, as well as other songs released from her previous three albums. The album's lead single, 'Keeps Gettin' Better' was premiered at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. After being digitally released on September 30, 2008, 'Keeps Gettin' Better' sold 143,895 legal downloads in its first week, enough for a #5 debut on the Hot Digital Tracks and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, her highest debut ever on the chart.
She described her forthcoming album as 'short, sweet and completely different' from "Back to Basics". In a July 2008 interview Aguilera revealed several details about her album saying, 'I can tell you that this record is all about fun. I'll be referencing Pop art, Andy Warhol's art. So it will sound fun and fast-paced, and visually, it will be full of color'. She also added, 'there's also going to be a modern element to it that comes from my love of Tokyo'. Australian singer-songwriter Sia, will contribute her songwriting skills for Aguilera's album saying, 'I'm going to write with Christina in mid-September - It might not work, she might not like any of the stuff I write, and it may not make the cut, but I'm pretty excited about it.' She was featured on the soundtrack to the film "Shine a Light" from a live recording of her performance with the Rolling Stones. The film's soundtrack was released on April 1, 2008.
Following the greatest hits, Aguilera took over a year hiatus in 2009 to work on her then-upcoming album and film. She was one of Billboard's Top 20 Artists of the Decade in their year-end charts.
Aguilera's sixth studio album, Bionic, was released on June 8, 2010. The album's producers included Tricky Stewart, Samuel Dixon, Polow da Don, Le Tigre, Switch, Ester Dean, songwriters Sam Endicott, Sia Furler, Claude Kelly, Linda Perry and collaborations with M.I.A., Santigold, Nicki Minaj, and Peaches. Bionic's material consisted of many mainstream and pop records along with electronic and dance music. The album's singles, "Not Myself Tonight" and "You Lost Me" peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Charts but were unsuccessful elsewhere. Bionic marked her foray into the electropop genre, and received mixed reviews from critics. Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote that the singer's new music direction "makes her sound as peer-pressured as a pop singer can be." Allison Stewart of The Washington Post described the album as being "noisy, robotic and overstuffed" adding that the disc's "greatest disappointments" is its "virtual abandonment" of Aguilera's voice. She concluded that Aguilera attempts "to do it all," which was to try to "revel in her newfound domesticity, to wrest her crown from Gaga and to reestablish her sex kitten bona fides." Sales of Bionic were underwhelming in the US compared to her previous releases selling 110,000 copies in its first week landing at No.3. It has since sold 310,000 copies in the US. Shortly after the album's release, further promotion ended and a scheduled summer tour for the album was canceled due to "inadequate rehearsal time". Responding to the album's performance, Aguilera says, "I was really proud of that record. I think there was a lot of promotion issues, coming from a standpoint of how everything resulted. Nothing is ever a setback. If anything, it just motivates you for what’s next."
In November 2010, Aguilera appeared in her first feature film, the musical Burlesque and received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Aguilera portrayed a small town girl, Ali Rose, who finds love and success in a Los Angeles neo-burlesque club. The film was written and directed by Steve Antin who wrote the part of Ali specifically with Aguilera in mind. Aguilera performed eight of the musical numbers on the film's soundtrack released on November 22, 2010, and co-wrote a number of the tracks working with producers and writers including Tricky Stewart, Sia Furler, Samuel Dixon, Linda Perry, Claude Kelly, Danja, and Ron Fair. The remaining two tracks were sung by Cher, who co-starred alongside Aguilera. The soundtrack debuted in the top 20 and was certified Gold selling over 600,000 copies in the US. Aguilera's co-stars also included Cam Gigandet, Eric Dane, Kristen Bell and Stanley Tucci. Several critics praised Aguilera's performance. A review in Time states, "Aguilera might not be to your taste, or mine, but in terms of sheer power, she's impressive. If Ali were real, she'd have already been discovered on American Idol." While Variety wrote, "Aguilera, while undeniably entertaining when her character is onstage, cannot spin the slight backstory into anything resembling a full-blooded person." Though Burlesque was released to mixed reviews from critics, the film received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy and earned Aguilera, writer/producer Sia Furler and Samuel Dixon, a nomination for Best Original Song for the track "Bound to You". The soundtrack also earned Aguilera a Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack. Burlesque grossed $90 million worldwide.
Aguilera collaborated with rapper T.I. on the track "Castle Walls" from his album No Mercy and appeared as herself on an episode of Entourage. Having separated on September 14, Aguilera filed for divorce from Bratman on October 14, 2010, requesting joint legal and physical custody of their son. They later reached a private settlement agreement and custody deal, and the divorce was finalized on April 15, 2011. Aguilera began dating musician and production assistant Matt Rutler, whom she met during the filming of Burlesque. Her appearance and personal life were the subject of scrutiny; with reports over out of control behavior, excessive drinking, and a reported confrontation with her co-star Julianne Hough. On March 1, 2011, Aguilera was arrested for public intoxication in West Hollywood as her boyfriend was arrested for driving while intoxicated. She was later released on bail and no charges were filed. Rutler's DWI charge was dismissed due to insufficient evidence, after his BAC was determined as below the legal limit. During Super Bowl XLV, Aguilera performed the U.S. national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", and created embarrassment when she omitted a line of the anthem and messed up the song's lyrics. She later apologized saying, "I got so caught up in the moment of the song that I lost my place. I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through." The following week, Aguilera, alongside Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, Yolanda Adams, and Florence Welch opened the 2011 Grammy Awards paying tribute to Aretha Franklin.
Aguilera signed to be a judge on The Voice, which debuted on NBC in April 2011. Aguilera, alongside other musicians Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green serve as judges and coaches, with Carson Daly as the show's host. The show's first episode was well-received, and delivered the strongest ratings for a series premiere on a major network since Undercover Boss debuted after the Super Bowl in February 2010. The show's first season was a ratings success for NBC following its debut. Aguilera performed "Moves like Jagger" on The Voice – the single with Maroon 5 on which she is featured, from their album Hands All Over. The song was an instant hit reaching number two in the UK, and earned Aguilera her fifth number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, a decade after her last number one single, "Lady Marmalade". It also made Aguilera the second female artist to achieve number one hits in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. The song sold over 8 million copies worldwide, establishing itself among the best-selling singles of all time. "Moves like Jagger" marks the first time two former Best New Artist Grammy Award winners have collaborated on a Hot 100 hit. It was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2012 Grammy Awards.
Aguilera's seventh studio album, Lotus, was released on November 13, 2012. Producers on the album included Alex da Kid, Max Martin, Lucas Secon, Steve Robson and Shellback, among others and incorporated elements of electropop that Aguilera experimented with on Bionic. The album received mixed reviews from critics. MTV News commented that Lotus "was supposed to signify her return to prominence, a high-powered collection of songs penned by the biggest hitmakers in the business", adding, "it wasn't a triumphant comeback album". The New York Times called the album's direction its "biggest crime, more than its musical unadventurousness or its emphasis on bland self-help lyrics or its reluctance to lean on Ms. Aguilera’s voice, the thing that makes her special." The album debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200 selling just under on 73,000 copies making it her lowest first-week sales in the US and was less successful worldwide. Lotus has since sold 182,000 copies in the US and less worldwide making it her lowest selling album to date. The lead single, "Your Body", debuted and peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a moderate hit worldwide. "Just a Fool", a country pop duet with Blake Shelton, was released as the second single and was less successful due to lack of promotion.
At the 2012 ALMA Awards, Aguilera was honored with a Special Achievement Award for her career and charity work. She also recorded her first Spanish-language track in over a decade titled "Casa de Mi Padre", which was released as the title song for the soundtrack and film of the same name. Aguilera collaborated with Cee Lo Green on the classic Christmas song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from his album Cee Lo's Magic Moment, and with rapper Pitbull on the track "Feel This Moment" from his album Global Warming. "Feel This Moment" reached the top ten in several countries and peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Aguilera's tenth top ten in the US. Aguilera collaborated with Mexican singer Alejandro Fernández on a cover of the song "Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti", released as main theme song for the soap opera La tempestad. Following the second season and third season of The Voice, Usher and Shakira joined the show as new coaches for the fourth season replacing Aguilera and Green who took a break to focus on their albums. It was announced that Aguilera will return for the show's fifth season.
Aguilera, a soprano, is known for her prominent singing style, strong vocals, and powerful voice. She has also been noted for her ability to sing in the whistle register. She has rivaled many of her other contemporaries and has been referred to as the 'voice of her generation' and a blue eyed soul singer. In the MTV special "All Eyes on Christina", John Norris said that Aguilera 'has a four-octave vocal range'. Aguilera also topped COVE's list of the 100 Best Pop Vocalists with a score of 50 and came fifth in MTV's 22 Greatest Voices in Music. A review in an "Entertainment Weekly" article mentions her 'tackling that dog-whistle high note' at the 3:20 mark in the song 'Soar' from her album "Stripped". Her rendition of 'It's A Man's Man's Man's World' at the 49th Grammy Awards ranked 3rd in the Grammy's Greatest Moments List behind Celine Dion's performance of 'My Heart Will Go On'. In an interview Dion described Aguilera as 'probably the best vocalist in the world.' During the work on "Back to Basics", DJ Premier explained, 'She really represents true music and true singing. She can belt out notes. She has true lungs.'
Since her debut in 1999 Aguilera has been compared to the likes of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. A review in the "Los Angeles Times" compared Aguilera's vocal stylings to Barbara Streisand, Gladys Knight, and Aretha Franklin adding, 'Aguilera's Streisand-esque tendencies are a good thing; they're helping her figure out how to become the 'great singer? she's been dubbed since she released her first single, the wise-beyond-its-years 'Genie in a Bottle', at 18.' Although praised for her vocals, Aguilera has been labeled for oversinging in her songs and concerts. Longtime producer and writer, Linda Perry, commented on working on the record, 'Beautiful', saying, 'I tried to keep it straight. I told her to get rid of the finger waves. Every time she'd start going into 'hoo-ha,' I'd stop the tape. I'm like, 'You're doing it again." Perry ended up using the first take saying, 'She had a hard time accepting that as the final track. It's not a perfect vocal -- it's very raw. She knows her voice really well, and she knows what's going on. She can hear things that nobody else would catch.'
One of Aguilera's major influences and idol is blues singer Etta James, whose classic song, 'At Last' has been covered by Aguilera throughout her career. Aguilera says, 'Etta is my all-time favorite singer. I've said it for the last seven years - since I had my first debut record out - in every interview. I mean, all of Etta's old songs, countless songs I could name, I grew up listening to.' The majority of her album, "Back to Basics", pays tribute to James and other pop standard singers who many originated from the 1950s. In her early years she listened to vintage jazz, blues, and soul music. The album included an unreleased song, 'Slow Down Baby,' which sampled a Gladys Knight & the Pips song. A review in "The Guardian" declared, 'Practically everything recorded before Aguilera was born blurs into one amorphous genre, which she categorises, somewhat inadequately, as 'fun music'. Her other musical influences include Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Nina Simone, and Madonna.
Aguilera cites the musical "The Sound of Music" and its lead actress, Julie Andrews as an early inspiration for singing and performing. She mentioned the 'Golden age of Hollywood' as another inspiration in which she says, 'I'm referencing Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Carole Lombard, Greta Garbo, Veronica Lake'.
Film and television
In 1991 Aguilera auditioned for a role on "The New Mickey Mouse Club", however she didn't meet the age requirements. Two years later she joined the cast performing musical numbers and sketch comedy until the show's cancellation in 1994. Since then Aguilera has done numerous television appearances, in 1999 she made a cameo appearance performing on an episode of "Beverly Hills, 90210". She hosted a "Saturday Night Live" episode in 2004, which included a Sex & The City skit where she portrayed Samantha Jones revealing to everyone she was a man the entire time. In regards to acting in film, she's mentioned in several interviews that she intends to pursue edgy acting roles similar to Angelina Jolie. She voiced a small singing part in the animated film "Shark Tale" playing a rastafarian jellyfish in the film's closing musical number. The film's stars included, among others, Jolie herself.
In 2008 she appeared in the Martin Scorsese documentary "Shine A Light" which chronicles a two day Rolling Stones concert in New York City's Beacon Theatre. The film features Aguilera performing 'Live With Me' alongside Mick Jagger. "Shine A Light" premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on February 7 and was released worldwide on April 4, 2008. She will appear as herself in the upcoming Judd Apatow film, "Get Him to the Greek".
Products and endorsement
In 2000, Aguilera was the face for make-up line "Fetish" where she worked in choosing colors and packaging for the line. She ended her contract the following year. Throughout her career Aguilera has endorsed several brands, including Sketchers, Mercedes-Benz, Verizon Wireless, and soft drink giants Coca-Cola in 2001, and Pepsi in 2006. She became the muse and model for fashion house Versace appearing in a campaign for the 2003 fall line. In 2004 Aguilera earned £200,000GBP (about $500,000USD) for opening the summer sale at London's Harrods store which took in record breaking profits during the four week period.
Aguilera signed a contract with European cell phone operator Orange to promote the new Sony Ericsson Walkman phone during the 2006 World Cup.
In 2008 jewelry designer Stephen Webster and close friend of Aguilera released 'Shattered', a collection of sterling silver pieces available exclusively through Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Aguilera who inspired the collection was featured as a Hitchcock heroine saying, 'Working together on this campaign and collection has been an incredible experience. I am honored to be a part of it all.'
Aguilera released two fragances throughout Europe, the first one "Xpose", was released in late 2004 and sold relatively well. Through Procter and Gamble Aguilera released her signature fragrance, "Simply Christina" in 2007. In Christmas 2007, the fragrance became the number one perfume in the UK, and Germany where it topped sales for the year. The perfume won as the people's choice for favorite celebrity fragrance at the annual UK Fifi Awards 2008.
She released her third fragrance, "Inspire", accompanied with a body care collection, on September 1, 2008. The perfume hit shelves in the US, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Northern and Eastern Europe. It is Aguilera's first fragrance released outside of Europe. Her worldwide ad campaign included a television ad shot by David LaChapelle and was released in the US through Macy's department stores. The release coincided with Macy's 150th anniversary which featured Aguilera in commemorative photos.
Throughout her career, Aguilera has been involved with certain charities. She signed a letter from PETA to the South Korean government asking that the country stop its alleged killing of dogs for food. She also supports Defenders of Wildlife, (/ Missing Kids) , National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations, Women's Cancer Research Fund, and Cedars-Sinai Women's Cancer Research Institute. She has also worked alongside nonprofit organization (/ Do Something) saying, 'Every individual has the power to inspire young people across the country.' She was featured in the campaign for photographer, Brie Childers with the goal of helping women of all ages, races and lifestyles feel beautiful and confident about themselves and the body and skin they were born with. Proceeds from benefit several women's charities nationwide.
Aguilera is still a major contributor in her hometown of Pittsburgh contributing regularly to the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. According to her official website, she toured the center and donated $200,000 to the shelter. She also has auctioned off front row seats and back stage passes for the Pittsburgh-based charity. She has continued her donations and visits to the shelter, and plans to open an additional one. She also supports the (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence) and (Refuge UK) . Since then she has worked with Lifetime Television's 'End violence against women' campaign. Her work there included a public service announcement which aired on the network and during her 2007 tour.
Aguilera is a supporter of the LGBT community. She was honored at the GLAAD Awards for using gay and transgender images in her music video for 'Beautiful'. When accepting the award Aguilera said, 'My video captures the reality that gay and transgender people are beautiful, even though prejudice and discrimination against them still exists.' In 2005 she appeared on a compilation album titled, "Love Rocks", proceeds benefit the Human Rights Campaign, an organization dedicated to fighting for equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
Aguilera contributes in the fight against AIDS, by participating in AIDS Project Los Angeles' Artists Against AIDS 'What's Going On?' cover project. In 2004, Aguilera became the new face for cosmetic company M·A·C and spokesperson for M·A·C AIDS Fund. Aguilera appeared in advertisements of the M·A·C's Viva Glam V lipstick and lipgloss, and was featured on "Vanity Fair" in recognition of her campaign work. In addition, Aguilera contributed to YouthAIDS by posing for a joint YouthAIDS and Aldo Shoes campaign for 'Empowerment Tags' in Canada, the U.S. and the UK. She was featured with one of three ubiquitous slogans, 'Speak No Evil?' and stated, 'HIV is something that people don't want to talk about, hear about, or face.' Singer Elton John featured Aguilera in his charity book titled 'Four Inches' benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Elton also hand-picked Aguilera, for his annual ' (Fashion Rocks) ' charity concert which accompanies music and fashion to benefit the fight against AIDS/HIV.
In the run-up to the 2004 United States presidential election, Aguilera was featured on billboards for the 'Only You Can Silence Yourself' online voter registration drive run by the nonpartisan, non-profit campaign 'Declare Yourself'. In these political advertisements, shot by David LaChapelle, Aguilera was shown with her mouth sewn shut, to symbolize the effects of not voting. She appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to discuss the importance of voting. In late 2007 Aguilera became the spokesperson for 'Rock the Vote' where she urged young people to vote in the 2008 presidential election. In partnership with 'Rock the Vote', she appeared in a public service announcement which aired in summer 2008. The advert showed Aguilera with her son, Max Bratman, wrapped in an American flag, while singing 'America the Beautiful'.
In November 2005, all of her wedding gifts were submitted to various charities around the nation in support of Hurricane Katrina victims. That year she also performed at 'Unite of the Stars' concert in aid of Unite Against Hunger in Johannesburg, South Africa and at the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund at the Coca-Cola Dome. In March 2007 Aguilera took part in a charity album (remaking Lennon's 'Mother'), proceeds benefit Amnesty International's efforts to end genocide in Darfur. The album titled, "Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur", was released June 12, 2007 and featured various artists. In 2008 she headlined London's (Africa Rising) charity concert at Royal Albert Hall which raises awareness for finding substantial issues facing the continent.
In late 1999, Aguilera was rumored to have dated MTV VJ Carson Daly. The relationship was the subject of much discussion after the release of Eminem's song 'The Real Slim Shady', in which Eminem satirically suggests that Aguilera had performed fellatio on both Daly and Fred Durst, the lead singer of Limp Bizkit, and had given the rapper himself a venereal disease. Aguilera called the song's innuendo 'disgusting' and 'untrue.' Aguilera and Eminem reportedly resolved the issue three years later backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Aguilera appeared twice on Mr. Blackwell's Ten Worst Dressed Women's list in 2000 and 2002. It was during this time Aguilera's image was ridiculed for her heavy make-up and outfits during award shows and public events. Aguilera insisted she doesn't mind the criticism and was merely making a statement. While seeing one of her music videos, Aguilera's grandma was disappointed saying, 'I nearly died when I saw she was wearing so little. I rang her mom and said, 'Oh my God, what is Christina doing?' I feel sad for her really -- she is so young. I totally understand why people criticize her.'
She dated Puerto Rican dancer Jorge Santos, he appeared on her tour and music videos throughout 2000. They dated for nearly two years until the relationship ended in September 2001. He remained her dancer well into 2002. She was reportedly linked to producer Dallas Austin who had contributed tracks to her then upcoming "Stripped" album but were never included, Aguilera never confirmed the relationship.
In 2003, Aguilera was in several public feuds with other musicians including Pink who had worked with her on 'Lady Marmalade', the singer mocked Aguilera on stage by using a blow-up doll during her tour. Kelly Osbourne also remarked that Aguilera was, 'one of the most disgusting human beings in the world.' Later that year at the MTV Europe Awards where Aguilera was hosting, Osbourne commented on the red carpet calling her a 'cow,' Aguilera was later seen throwing darts at a picture of Kelly during the telecast. Several years later however Aguilera purchased "The Osbourne" house from Sharon and Ozzy which seemed to have ended their feud.
Aguilera began dating music marketing executive Jordan Bratman in 2002. Their engagement was announced in February 2005, and they married on November 19, 2005, in a Napa Valley estate. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Aguilera revealed that she and Bratman enjoy being nude on Sundays, saying, 'You have to keep marriage alive, spice it up'. The story received so much attention that following the news supermodel Heidi Klum told Degeneres that she and her husband Seal would consider doing the same ritual.
In May 2006, she posed nude for a Marilyn Monroe-inspired photoshoot in "GQ" magazine where she re-created several photographs done by Monroe and spoke about her marriage to Bratman. In the issue she also expressed disappointment in fellow singer Mariah Carey, saying that Carey 'was never cool to me,' and that 'one time we were at a party, I think she got really drunk, and had really derogatory things to say to me.' Carey then released a statement saying, 'It is sad yet predictable that she would use my name at this time to reinvent past incidents for promotional gain.' Aguilera responded saying, 'My intentions were not to upset Mariah with any statements published or taken out of context. I have all the respect in the world for her.'
On September 9, 2007, Paris Hilton claimed that the singer was pregnant. Aguilera, however, had not yet publicly confirmed her pregnancy at the time. Aguilera later confirmed this on November 4 in an interview with "Glamour" magazine. On January 12, 2008, Aguilera gave birth to her son, Max Liron Bratman, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. His name translates to 'Our Greatest Song' in Hebrew. Aguilera was reportedly paid $1.5 million USD by "People" magazine for her baby pictures, which according to "Forbes" places fifth on the list of the most expensive celebrity baby photos.
Christina Aguilera (1999)
Mi Reflejo (2000)
My Kind of Christmas (2000)
Back to Basics (2006)
Christina Aguilera in Concert (2000–01)
Justified & Stripped Tour (2003)
Stripped Live... on Tour (2003)
Back to Basics Tour (2006–07)
|2013||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Single: Male Artist Shared with:||Nominated|
|2013||People's Choice Awards, USA||Favorite Celebrity Judge||Nominated|
|2012||ALMA Awards||Favorite TV Reality, Variety, or Comedy Personality or Act||"The Voice" (2011).||Won|
|2012||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Female Personality||"The Voice" (2011).||Nominated|
|2012||Grammy Awards||Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media||Burlesque (2010/I).||Nominated|
|2011||ALMA Awards||Favorite Female Music Artist||Nominated|
|2011||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Personality||"The Voice" (2011).||Nominated|
|2011||Golden Globes, USA||Best Original Song - Motion Picture||Burlesque (2010/I).||Nominated|
|2010||Walk of Fame||Recording||Won|
|2008||Grammy Awards||Best Female Pop Vocal Performance||Nominated|
|2007||Grammy Awards||Best Female Pop Vocal Performance||Won|
|2003||GLAAD Media Awards||Won|
|2002||ALMA Awards||Outstanding Song in a Motion Picture Soundtrack||Moulin Rouge! (2001).||Won|
|2000||ALMA Awards||New Entertainer of the Year||Won|
|1999||ALMA Awards||Outstanding Performance of a Song for a Feature Film||Mulan (1998).||Nominated|
NBC's "The Voice" Season 4 Premiere Screening
NBC's "The Voice" Season 3 Finale
40th Anniversary American Music Awards - Arrivals
40th Annual American Music Awards - Arrivals
"The Voice" Press Conference at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City on October 28, 2011
Christina Aguilera in Concert at the United Center in Chicago - October 30, 2002