Stripped is the fourth studio album by American pop recording artist Christina Aguilera. It was released on October 26, 2002. It reached the top two of the album charts in both the United States and United Kingdom and features two UK number-one hits: "Dirrty" which gained criticism and controversy for its explicit content and accompanying music video, and "Beautiful", which went onto become one of Aguilera's most successful and memorable tracks peaking at number 2 in the US. The music video for "Beautiful" directed by Jonas Åkerlund garnered much attention, as it touched on the subjects of anorexia nervosa, homosexuality, bullying, self-esteem and transgender issues.http Simon Cowell noted that it is "one of the best pop songs ever written."http
Aguilera supported the album with the Justified/Stripped Tour alongside singer Justin Timberlake and Stripped World Tour in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. With this album, Aguilera took creative control over a project for the first time, being influenced by many different subjects and music styles, including rhythm and blues, gospel, soul, pop rock, Latin and hip hop. She co-wrote fourteen of the songs and was involved in the production of the record, alongside Scott Storch and Linda Perry.http During the promotion of the album, Aguilera's public appearance was criticized heavily in the US, due to her sexual videos and revealing outfits.
Aguilera had four nominations for the Grammy Awards in the categories Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Dirrty" and "Can't Hold Us Down", Best Pop Vocal Album and won the award of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance ("Beautiful"). It is number 77 in the best-selling albums chart of the 2000s in the United States.http. Stripped is the 73rd best selling album of all time in the UK.
Writing and development
It was confirmed that Aguilera would be working with writing and production stars; Alicia Keys, Scott Storch, Glen Ballard and Linda Perry.http Singer Alicia Keys worked on the track ‘’Impossible’’ with Aguilera, the two spent three days recording in New York City in the ‘’Electric Lady’’ studios.http Linda Perry worked alongside Aguilera on the album and she wrote the ballad ‘’Beautiful’’ for which she said “I never in a million years expected her to gravitate towards that, And when she did, it was hard for me to let go of that song, because it's really special for me. So the deal was, 'I need to hear how you sing it.' And when I heard her, I said, 'okay.'" ‘’Stripped’’ is composed of 18 tracks which were produced by other producers such as Dr. Dre and Scott Storch and throughout has a mix of themes and genres.http
Aguilera discussed the concept behind the album several times saying “The whole vision for the record was to be really raw and real” she added “Just really baring who I really am”. During the production of the album Aguilera was travelling through different parts of the world. Aguilera stated that artist Pink had an influence on her work saying “I really, really loved the Linda Perry songs”. Aguilera told MTV that Perry helped her unload a lot of frustration and she also learned to relieve stress by screaming and to accept mistakes. She added; "She taught me that imperfections are good and should be kept because it comes from the heart. It makes things more believable and it's brave to share them with the world." Aguilera said on the name of the album:
"Coming off of the height of being a part of such a big pop-craze phenomenon, that imagery of that cookie-cutter sweetheart, without it being me, I just had to take it all down and get it away from me. And that is why I actually named the album Stripped, because it is about being emotionally stripped down and pretty bare to open my soul and heart."
ChristinaAguileraBeautiful.jpg150pxleftthumbAguilera performing "Beautiful" on the Back to Basics Tour.
The first track on the album is the ‘’Stripped Part 1’’ composition which features the introductory line “Sorry you can't define me/ Sorry I break the mold/ Sorry that I speak my mind/ Sorry don't do what I'm told” in reference to her new musical change. The album features several explicit themes which criticism of her ‘’Dirtty’’ composition and video release. The album features musical themes of ‘’Surf Rock’’ and ‘’Neo Soul’’ and many other musical styles. The songs ‘’Dirrty’ and ‘’Get Mine, Get Yours’’ lyrically talk about sexual exploration whereas the track ‘’Cant Hold Us Down’’ featuring rapper Lil’ Kim is a hip hop record and lyrically it speaks of feminism, female standards and sexual hypocrisy. Aguilera discussed her ex-boyfriend ‘’Jorge Santos’’ in the tracks ‘’Infatuation’’ and ‘’Underappreciated’’ and the song ‘’Infatuation’’ lyrically speaks of falling in love opposed to ‘’Underappreciated’’ which talks of falling out of love. Aguilera said:
"I feel like it is a new beginning a re-introduction of myself as a new artist in a way, because for the first time people are really seeing and getting to know how I really am."
The album features the track ‘’I’m OK’’ which lyrically talks about her troubling past with her fathers domestic abuse. Aguilera talked on the subject saying “"I definitely wrote that song not to badmouth him at all, but one, for a healing process for myself, and two, to give people hope or a voice to relate to. To know that you can get through it and that it will be OK". The song, "I'm OK", is a personal account of her emotionally distressing childhood. She speaks about her father and her painful memories from her early life. She explained that she recorded this song for a healing process and to give people in the same situation a voice to relate to.http Aguilera stated that she is set on breaking away from ‘’Teen Pop’’ and she wanted to explore new musical territory and as ‘’MTV’’ state “a highly personal proclamation of independence and adulthood” The track ‘’Impossible’’ which Aguilera worked with ‘’Alicia Keys’’ says lyrically “How can I, how can I give you all my love, baby/ If you're always, always putting up your guaaarrrd/ This is not a circus, don'tcha play me for a clown”. The ballad ‘’Beautiful’’ penned by Linda Perry has been noted for it’s John Lennon inspired themes which features a string arrangement and a piano part and themes of R&B.
Stripped Tour - Infatuation - Christina Aguilera.jpgthumbright200pxAguilera performing "Infatuation" during her Stripped World Tour.
Stripped received mixed reviews from most music critics.. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2011-03-17. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 55, based on 14 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews" reviews. Entertainment Weekly called the album an "overlong, 20-track workshop", writing that "Stripped dabbles in vampy soul, quasi-metal, piano-bar intimacy, quiet-storm R&B, bounce-bounce hip-hop, and semi-exotic rock, all of it dutifully accomplished”.http Spin gave it a six out of 10 rating and stated "As an artistic statement, Stripped is all over the place--it's a move toward hip-hop, it's a move toward rock, it's ghetto, it's Disney". Q gave the album two out of five stars and commented that "bra-burning rhetoric and gospel warbling make poor substitutes for addictive songs, and nothing here rivals her previous best, 'Genie In A Bottle'.
Rolling Stone called it as an album for grown-ups and despite giving the album 3 stars out of 5, it said "Aguilera's voice continues to grow richer and on belters such as "Cruz" she can out-Whitney Whitney".http BBC Music gave the album a mixed review saying “From start to finish Stripped is as full-on bold and over the top as most of Christina's outfits much of this seems to be an exercise in stretching the vocal chords to weak backing tracks".http The Village Voice panned its lyrical content and described it as "nü-Mariah on mood stabilizers, extended with pseudo-pastiches of semi-popular songs". Stylus Magazine commented that “This record feels like a failure of self-censorship. Aguilera, in her quest to be up front and real, is far more stripped than anyone wants to see her. She would be well advised to rein in her artistic freedom and heed the advice of record executives who actually do sometimes know best”.http Slant Magazine gave the album three out of five stars saying “Stripped is more an event than an album so overproduced and overwrought that it could easily pass for a Janet album".http
The album was nominated for the Best Pop Vocal Album and the lead single "Dirrty" was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2003, while "Can't Hold Us Down" got the same nomination a year later. The second single "Beautiful" received a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The Jonas Åkerlund-directed music video for "Beautiful" garnered much attention, as it touched on the subjects of anorexia nervosa, homosexuality, bullying, self-esteem and transgender issues. Simon Cowell noted that it is "one of the best pop songs ever written."
Beautiful - Christina.jpgthumbAguilera performing Beautiful on the Back to Basics Touralt=A blond female, holding a microphone wearing a shirt with an undone bow-tie.
Stripped debuted at number two in the U.S. selling over 330,000 copies.http The first single, "Dirrty" was an international success, but failed to reach the top forty in the U.S., and Aguilera's record label quickly released "Beautiful" as a follow-up single. "Beautiful" and as well as the proceeding singles "Fighter", "Can't Hold Us Down" and "The Voice Within" helped Stripped become one of the steadiest selling albums in 2003, coming in at No. 10 on the Billboard year-end list of the top selling albums of the year. To date, the album has sold over 4.6 million copies in the US. It is number 77 in the best-selling albums chart of the 2000s in the United States.
The staying power of Stripped was also shown in the U.K. Even though it debuted at a disappointing No. 19http and consistently stayed in the top twenty during 2003 and early 2004. It was certified 5× Platinum, became the 3rd best-selling album of 2003, and eventually sold 1,850,852 copies ranking it at number seventy-three on the list of The UK's 100 best-selling albums of all time. In December 2004, Stripped was certified 3× Platinum by the IFPI for shipments of more than 3 million copies inside Europe and is also 4× Platinum in Australia despite only reaching a peak of number seven. It is 2× Platinum in Canada. In March 2008, the track "Walk Away" entered at number 35 on the official Danish Singles Chart. In Germany, it remains her best-selling album of her career with 500,000 copies sold, reaching platinum there.
Due to the success of the album's five singles, it remained in the German Albums Chart for 77 weeks, making it the longest-staying album in that chart of her career.
The first single from the album was entitled ‘’Dirrty’’ featuring rapper Redman. The single received mixed reception from critics and most notably the accompanying music video received a lot of criticism for its explicit content,http however the video was nominated for several MTV Video Music Awards for; ‘’Best Female Video’’, ‘’Best Dance Video’’, ‘’Best Pop Video’’ and ‘’Best Choreography’’ however it failed to win all threehttp The single was also nominated for a Grammy Award for ‘’Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals’’ at the 45th Grammy Awards.http The song charted well in Mainland Europe however it failed to make an impact in the United States peaking at number 48.http The track ‘’Beautiful’’ was announced to be the second single, penned by Linda Perry the song was released to a great response from critics.http The song was released to a great chart performance topping the charts in the UK becoming her second consecutive number one and the single peaked at number 2 in the United States which was her highest single entry from the album.http The track was nominated for several awards including a nomination from the MTV Europe Music Awards for ‘’Best Song’’, it was also nominated in the same category at the 2004 Grammy Awards where it was also nominated for ‘’Best Remixed Recording’’ and winning a Grammy for ‘’Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’’.http
The third single was confirmed to be the track ‘’Fighter’’, the single was released to a good commercial reception. The video was nominated for several awards including Video of the Year for the Juno Awards and the MVPA Awards. The Scott Storch penned peaked at number 20 in the United States however it fared much better elsewhere peaking at number 3 in Canada and number 3 in the UK.httphttp The fourth single ‘’Can’t Hold Us Down’’ featuring rapper Lil’ Kim was released to a good reception from critics gaining a ‘’Grammy Award’’ nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals which it failed to win.http The single fared well commercially peaking at number 12 in the United States and going to number 5 in Australia becoming one of the most commercially successful of the album.http The final single was confirmed to be ‘’The Voice Within’’ which received a great reception from critics and also a good commercial reception outside of the US where it peaked at number 33. In the UK the single peaked at number 9http and in Canada the single peaked at number 10. The video was nominated for three ‘’MTV Video Music Awards’’ for; ‘’Best Female Video’’, ‘’Viewers Choice’’ and ‘’Best Cinematography’’.http The track has gained a legacy with several notable cover versions and a large impact on the Ballad scene.http
Aguilera started promotion of Stripped on August 29, 2002, when played a piece of album's lead single "Dirrty" and new dirrty look for Christina at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City. Aguilera supported the album with two different tours. The Justified and Stripped Tour with singer Justin Timberlake took place in North America, while the Stripped World Tour took place in Europe, Japan and Australia. The concert tour consisted in 85 shows. In late 2004 the concert DVD called Stripped Live in the U.K. was released. In the UK on December 8, 2008 the Stripped album was re-released featuring the Stripped Live in the UK DVD.
Charts and certifications
CertificationsThis text has been derived from Stripped (Christina Aguilera album) on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
Christina María Aguilera (born December 18, 1980) is an American recording artist and actress., UN News Centre press release, 24 September 2009. Retrieved, January 25, 2009 Aguilera first appeared on national television in 1990 as a contestant on the Star Search program, and went on to star in Disney Channel's television series The Mickey Mouse Club from 1993–1994. Aguilera signed to RCA Records after recording "Reflection",Biography RCA Records artist page. Retrieved on August 22, 2008. the theme song for the animated film Mulan (1998).
In 1999, Aguilera came to prominence following her debut album Christina Aguilera, which was a commercial success spawning three number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100—"Genie in a Bottle", "What a Girl Wants", and "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You).". SMH. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. Her sophomore and her debut Latin-pop album, Mi Reflejo (2000), a Christmas third studio album, My Kind of Christmas (2000), and several collaborations followed which garnered Aguilera worldwide success, though she was displeased with her lack of input in her music and image.Pak, SuChin MTV Online MTV.com February 2002 Retrieved on January 29, 2009. After parting from her management, Aguilera took creative control over her fourth studio album, Stripped (2002).Smith, Andy (August 15, 1998). "One talented teen". Providence Journal. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. The album's second single, "Beautiful," was a commercial success and helped the album's commercial performance amidst controversy over Aguilera's image.Oguinnaike, Lola July 30, 2006 New York Times Retrieved on July 18, 2008.Moss, Corey MTV News Online (November 2, 2008) Scaggs, Austin August 10, 2006 RollingStone online Retrieved on February 16, 2010. Aguilera followed up Stripped with the soul, jazz and blues inspired, Back to Basics (2006), released to positive critical acclaim. Followed four years later with her sixth studio album, Bionic (2010), which incorporated aspects of R&B, electropop, and synthpop, and was met with mixed reviews and poor sales.
Aside from being known for her vocal ability, music videos and image, musically, she includes themes of dealing with public scrutiny, her childhood, and female empowerment in her music.Glamour Online; Sandell, Laurie (November 2007). Retrieved on December 14, 2007. Apart from her work in music, she has also dedicated much of her time as a philanthropist for charities, human rights and world issues which include her work as a UN ambassador for the World Food Programme. She made her feature film debut in the musical Burlesque (2010), earning Aguilera a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song. Aguilera's work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, four Grammy Awards and a Latin Grammy Award, amongst fifteen and three nominations respectively. 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.Billboard.biz 2009 Retrieved on December 6, 2010. Aguilera has sold nearly 50 million albums worldwide making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Life and career
1980–1998: Early life and career beginnings
Aguilera was born in Staten Island, New York, to Fausto Wagner Xavier Aguilera, a sergeant in the US Army at the time, and Shelly Loraine (née Fidler), a Spanish teacher. Aguilera's father was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador and her mother is of German, Irish, Welsh, and Dutch ancestry. Her father was stationed at Earnest Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador and Japan. Aguilera lived with both her father and mother, up until their divorce when she was seven years old. Aguilera then lived with her mother, and her younger sister Rachel, at her grandmother's home in Rochester, Pennsylvania, a town outside Pittsburgh. According to both Aguilera and her mother, her father was very controlling, as well as physically and emotionally abusive. In an interview with Rolling Stone Aguilera revealed, "there was so much domestic violence going on when I grew up with my dad travelling in the military. I think the reason that my drive was so strong and I was so passionate about music was because I grew up in an environment of domestic violence."Dotmusic (June 20, 2000).. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. She later sang about her difficult childhood in the songs "I'm OK" on Stripped, and "Oh Mother" on Back to Basics. Even though he has made several attempts to reconnect with her, Aguilera ruled out any chance of a reunion. Since then, her mother has married a paramedic named Jim Kearns, and has 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. She attended Marshall Middle School near Wexford and North Allegheny Intermediate High School. On March 15, 1990, she appeared on Star Search singing "A Sunday Kind of Love", but lost the competition at number 2. 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. Throughout her youth in Pittsburgh, Aguilera sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Pittsburgh Penguins hockey, Pittsburgh Steelers football and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games, including during the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals. Her talent was kept a secret to avoid bullying of other children. Following her television appearances Aguilera experienced resentment and bullying including an incident in which her peers slashed the tires on her family's car.USMagazine.com Retrieved on December 9, 2010. Following several incidents Aguilera was later home schooled. Aguilera recalls, "doing what I did and maybe being a little smaller, I was definitely picked on and bullied for the attention that I got. It was definitely unwanted attention and there was a lot of unfairness about it."Goldeberg, Lesley AfterEllen.com November 17, 2010 Retrieved on December 9, 2010.
In 1991 Aguilera auditioned for a role on The Mickey Mouse Club, however, she did not meet the age requirements. Two years later, she joined the cast performing musical numbers and sketch comedy, until the show's cancellation in 1994.Goldstein, Rob (May 15) (2008) Yahoo! Music Christina Aguilera – interviews Retrieved on (March 2) (2008). Her co-stars included Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling and Keri Russell where they nicknamed her "the Diva"People online Retrieved on December 8, 2010. for her performance style and voice. At the age of fourteen, Aguilera recorded her first song, "All I Wanna Do", a hit duet with Japanese singer Keizo Nakanishi.. AllMusic. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. In 1997, she represented the United States at the international Golden Stag Festival with a two-song set. Aguilera entered talent contests on "teen night" at the Pegasus Lounge, a gay and lesbian nightclub in Pittsburgh and later at Lilith Fair. In 1998, Aguilera sent in a demo of her singing Whitney Houston's "Run to You" to Disney who were looking for a singer to record the song "Reflection" for their animated feature film Mulan (1998).Willman, Chris Entertainment Weekly October 11, 2010 Retrieved on December 20, 2010. The demo caught the attention of producer and label executive Ron Fair who would later mentor her throughout her career and 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.
1999–2001: Christina Aguilera, Mi Reflejo and new management
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 US and over seventeen million copies worldwide.The Coca-Cola Dome(August 29, 2005). . The Coca-Cola Dome. Retrieved on November 12, 2007. 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."." Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on October 9, 2007. Released during the teen pop era of 1999 the album was well received by several critics, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic writes that Aguilera's debut "remains firmly within the teen-oriented dance-pop genre, but done right." Concluding that the album is "lightweight in the best possible sense -- breezy, fun, engaging, and enjoyable on each repeated listen. Out of the deluge of teen-pop albums in 1999, this feels like the best of the lot."Erlewine, Stephen Thomas All Music Guide Retrieved on November 18, 2010. Her debut single, "Genie in a Bottle" was an instant hit reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and in several countries worldwide. Her follow-up singles "What a Girl Wants" and "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" topped the Hot 100 as well during 1999 and 2000 while "I Turn to You" reached number three. She is one of the few artists to have multiple #1 singles from a debut album in Billboards history.Billboard chart beat Retrieved on February 16, 2010. She made a cameo appearance on an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, performed on MTV's New Year's Special as MTV's first artist of the millennium, and the Super Bowl XXXIV halftime show. 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. At the 42nd Grammy Awards Aguilera received a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy nomination for "Genie in a Bottle" and despite earlier predictions, she won the award Grammy Award for Best New Artist.Rosen, Craig Yahoo! Music (February 2, 2000) Yahoo.com Retrieved on (May 7, 2008).
In 2000, Aguilera began recording her first Spanish-language album with producer Rudy Pérez in Miami. 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. According to Pérez, Aguilera was only semi-fluent, while recording. She understood the language, because she has grown up with her father, who is a native of Ecuador. He added "Her Latin roots are undeniable".
The album peaked at number twenty-seven on the Billboard 200 and went number one on the Billboard Latin charts for a record 20 weeks. In 2001, it won Aguilera a Latin Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Album. The album went Gold in the U.S. She also won the World Music Award and Billboard award as the best selling Latin artist that year. Aguilera also released a Christmas album on October 24, 2000 called My Kind of Christmas and performed "The Christmas Song" at the White House that year. It peaked at number twenty-eight on the Billboard 200, and has been certified Platinum in the U.S.BigNoiseNow(January 4, 2002). . Retrieved on May 25, 2007. Aguilera was Billboards top female artist for 2000.BigNoiseNow Retrieved on February 17, 2011.
Christinasearstour.jpgthumbleftuprightAguilera performing during her Sears & Levis Tour in 2000.
Aguilera's first concert tour, Sears & Levis US Tour (also known as "Christina Aguilera: In Concert") began in the summer of 2000 in the US and ended early 2001 where she toured South America and Asia. A concert special aired on ABC titled My Reflection and was released to DVD and certified Gold in the US.Search My Reflection Aguilera was rumored to have dated MTV VJ Carson Daly.Merin, Jennifer (February 11, 2000).. USA Today. Retrieved on 2007-05-25. Rumors of their relationship were fueled after the release of Eminem's song, "The Real Slim Shady" in which he also insinuated a romance between her and rocker Fred Durst. Aguilera responded saying the lyrics were "disgusting, offensive and, above all, not true."Helling, Steve May 12, 2009 People Magazine Retrieved on November 9, 2010. Their feud ended two years later backstage at the Video Music Awards after Aguilera presented the rapper an award onstage.Moss, Corey August 30, 2002 MTV.com Retrieved on November 9, 2010. She dated Puerto Rican dancer Jorge Santos. Santos appeared on her tour and music videos throughout 2000. They dated for nearly two years until the relationship ended on September 11, 2001.USA Today October 24, 2002 USA Today Music Retrieved on July 3, 2009. He remained her dancer well into 2002.US magazine. . Retrieved on May 25, 2007.
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. The single reached number one on the World Chart and top ten in several countries. 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 song peaked at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks and was the most successful airplay-only single in history. It also reached number one in eleven other countries and 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.Barker, Olivia (February 20, 2007). . USA Today. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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."MTV (September 6, 2001). . MTV. Retrieved on November 27, 2007.
That same year, the single "Just Be Free" emerged into record stores which was 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. (From The Internet Archive). Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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.Reid, Shaheem (May 21, 2001). . MTV. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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.McGrath, Stephanie (July 3, 2001). "Disputed Aguilera album to be released". Toronto Sun. Retrieved on May 25, 2007.
Although Aguilera's debut album was commercially successful, 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.Ananova. . Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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 her manager 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. She revealed while recording her then upcoming album, "I was being overworked. You find out that someone you thought was a friend is stealing money behind your back, and it's heartbreaking. I put faith in the people around me, and unfortunately, it bit me in the butt."USA Today October 24, 2002 USA Today Music Retrieved on July 3, 2009. Kurtz was terminated as her manager. 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.
2002–05: New image, Stripped and marriage
On October 29, 2002, Aguilera's second English studio album, Stripped, was released. The album sold more than 330,000 copies in the first week and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200. Unlike her previous work, the album showcased Aguilera's raunchier side.Jenison, David (November 6, 2002). . E! News. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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 contemporary R&B, 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.D'Angelo, Joe (October 18, 2002). ". MTV. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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,(October 30, 2002). . The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved on February 16, 2011. 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.People Magazine: Christina Aguilera August 15, 2006 People magazine online Retrieved on August 29, 2008.
Stripped Tour CH - cropped.jpgthumbrightuprightAguilera performing during the Justified/Stripped Tour in 2003.
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. She defended the video stating it was about power and control adding, "I'm also at the forefront. I'm in the power position, in complete command of everything around me." 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 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 thirteen million copies sold worldwide. It appeared at number ten on Billboards year-end album chart and Aguilera was the top female artist for 2003.December 7, 2003 Billboard's Year End Charts 2003 Billboard.biz Retrieved on March 1, 2010. 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.World Entertainment News Network (January 16, 2004). . Retrieved on May 25, 2007. That same year she hosted the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards and was a special guest performer with the Pussycat Dolls' dance troupe performing at the Roxy Theatre and Viper Room in Los Angeles. She also appeared on a Maxim spread alongside them, her second Maxim cover that year set record sales for the issue making it the top selling issue to date. By the end of the year she topped the annual Hot 100 list saying, "we had fun working with certain clothes, or the lack thereof.". Maxim magazine. Retrieved on February 16, 2011.Moss, Corey (November 10) (2003) . MTV Retrieved (February 28) (2008).PRNewswire . Maxim. Retrieved on February 16, 2011.
Aguilera's first DVD live-recording from a concert tour, Stripped Live in the U.K., 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. Also in 2004, she hosted a Saturday Night Live episode which included a Sex & The City skit where she portrayed Samantha Jones revealing to everyone she was a man the entire time.(February 24, 2004). . San Francisco Gate Online. Retrieved on November 17, 2007.
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."Millea, Holly (July 2004). "What Christina Aguilera Wants." 'Elle Magazine. She eventually dyed her hair cherry blonde and recorded a jingle, "Hello", for a Mercedes-Benz ad. Shortly after, she dyed her hair flaxen blonde and cut it short, and took on a Marilyn Monroe look; 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.Hello! (October 20, 2004). . Retrieved on May 25, 2007.Edwards, Tanya L. (November 4, 2004). . MTV. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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. She voiced a small singing part in the film playing a Rastafarian jellyfish in the film's closing musical number. 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 began dating music marketing executive Jordan Bratman in 2002. Their engagement was announced in February 2005,BBC (February 13, 2005). . Retrieved on May 25, 2007. and they married on November 19, 2005, in a Napa Valley estate.
2006–09: Back to Basics, motherhood and greatest hits album
Christina Aguilera Sanremo.jpgleftthumbAguilera performing during the Sanremo Story festival in 2006.
Aguilera's third English studio album, Back to Basics was released August 15, 2006. The album debuted at #1 in the US, the UK 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."Moss, Corey (June 6, 2006). . MTV. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. The album received generally positive reviews, although many critics commented on the album's length saying, "At one disc, this would have been nothing short of masterful."Eliscu, Jenny Rolling Stone magazine August 11, 2008 Retrieved on September 27, 2008. A review in AllMusic adds, "Back to Basics also makes clear that Stripped was a necessary artistic move for Christina: she needed to get that out of her system in order to create her own style, one that is self-consciously stylized, stylish, and sexy."Erlewine, Stephen Thomas August 2006 All Music Guide Retrieved on January 5, 2010. 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 the UK. Producers on the album included DJ Premier, Kwamé, Linda Perry, and Mark Ronson. 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.Moss, Corety (February 21, 2007). . MTV. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. Back to Basics has sold 4.5 million units worldwide,Evans, Chris (April 2, 2008). . BC. Retrieved on April 2, 2008. with over 1.7 million sold in the US.
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 EuropePRNewswire (September 11, 2006). . Retrieved on May 25, 2007. followed by a 41-date North American tour in early 2007.Vineyard, Jennifer (October 12, 2006). . MTV. Retrieved on May 25, 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.Schulz, Chris (August 2, 2007). . Stuff New Zealand. Retrieved on December 11, 2007. Her extravagant arena tour included cabaret, three-ring circus and juke joint sets and 10 piece costumes designed by Roberto Cavalli.Moss, Corety (February 8, 2007). . MTV. Retrieved on December 11, 2007. She released her concert DVD Back to Basics: Live and Down Under the following year. The tour grossed nearly 50 million by the end of the year in North America and an additional 40 million worldwide in her Europe and Australia dates, grossing almost 90 million by the end of the tour.Billboard.biz December 13, 2007 Retrieved on November 16, 2009.Jamie King's official website Christina Aguilera Back to Basics tour section, video. Retrieved on December 31, 2009. It was the most successful US tour by a female in 2007.(December 13, 2007). Billboard. Retrieved on December 13, 2007.
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".Micallef, Ken (February 11, 2007). Grammy.com. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. In January 2007, she was named the 19th richest woman in entertainment by Forbes, with a net worth of US$60 million.Goldman, Lea; Blakeley, Kiri (February 18, 2007). . Forbes. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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.
Aguilera confirmed she was pregnant on November 4, 2007, though Paris Hilton accidentally revealed her pregnancy several weeks prior during a party Aguilera hosted.Fleeman, Mike September 09, 2007 People Magazine online Retrieved on November 18, 2010. She gave birth to her son, Max Liron Bratman, in Los Angeles, California early the following year and held a bris for Max Liron with Bratman, who is of Jewish descent, where he was circumcised in accordance with Jewish ritual. Aguilera was reportedly paid $1.5 million by People magazine for her baby pictures, which according to Forbes places fifth on the list of the most expensive celebrity baby photos.Rose, Lacey (April 10, 2008) Forbes.com Retrieved on (April 28, 2008).
In 2008 Aguilera 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 and was released worldwide on April 4, 2008. She also had brief cameo in the comedy film Get Him to the Greek,IMDB.com page Get Him to the Greek Get Him to the Greek (2009) Retrieved on October 22, 2008. and appeared as a guest judge on the sixth season of Project Runway on Lifetime Television. She and designer Bob Mackie were the inspiration for the challenge in which they had to design a stage outfit for Aguilera. To commemorate Aguilera's ten years in the music industry, RCA Records released, Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits on November 11, 2008 exclusively at Target stores in the U.S. The greatest hits included her first three number one singles, and other songs released from her previous three albums. "Lady Marmalade" and several Spanish singles from Mi Reflejo were included in the worldwide releases. The album's only single, "Keeps Gettin' Better", was premiered at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, and debuted and peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, her highest debut on the chart. Following the greatest hits, Aguilera took over a year hiatus in 2009 working on her then upcoming album and film. She was one of Billboards Top 20 Artists of the Decade in their year-end charts.Billboard's Best of the 2000s December 2009. Billboard.com Retrieved on December 11, 2009.
2010–present: Bionic and Burlesque
Aguilera's fourth English 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. The album's only two singles, "Not Myself Tonight" and "You Lost Me" peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Charts but were unsuccessful elsewhere. Bionics material consisted of many mainstream and pop records along with electronic and dance music. The album was released to mixed reviews from music critics,. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2010-03-30. with Jon Pareles of The New York Times writing 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" and felt that one of 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," but overall thought that the plan backfired on Bionic. Dan Martin of the NME wrote, "Perhaps best of all is ‘Monday Morning.' Written with Santigold and The Bravery’s Sam Endicott, it’s a Day-Glo disco jam that sounds like Gwen Stefani doing "Borderline". The album's sales were underwhelming in the US compared to her previous releases selling 110,000 copies in its first week landing at #3.Grein, Paul Yahoo! Music News June 16, 2010 Retrieved on June 16, 2010.Montgomery, James June 16, 2010 MTV News Retrieved on June 16, 2006. The album has sold 270,000 units in the US to date. Shortly after the album's release, further promotion ended and a scheduled summer tour for the album was cancelled due to "inadequate rehearsal time". "You Lost Me" was her first single to not chart the Hot 100 while Bionic was her first English studio album not to receive a Grammy nomination. Aguilera responded to the album's performance in an interview saying, "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."Radish, Christina November 16, 2010 Collider.com Retrieved on December 3, 2010.
Xtina star walk of fame.jpguprightrightthumbAguilera's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Aguilera confirmed news reports that she and Bratman had separated, saying in a statement, "Although Jordan and I are separated, our commitment to our son Max remains as strong as ever."Fleeman, Mike, and Ulrica Wihlborg. , People, October 12, 2010, Us, October 12, 2010 Aguilera filed for divorce from Bratman on October 14, 2010, seeking joint legal and physical custody of their son, and specifying September 11, 2010 as the date of separation.Fleeman, Mike, and Ulrica Wihlborg. , People, October 14, 2010 They later reached a settlement agreement and custody deal, details of their agreement were private. Their divorce will be finalized on April 15, 2011. The following month she appeared as herself on the Entourage season seven finale as a client/friend of Ari Gold. On November 15, 2010, Aguilera received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
It was confirmed in 2009 that Aguilera would appear in her first feature film, the musical Burlesque, released in November 2010. She portrayed a small town girl, Ali Rose, who finds love and success in a Los Angeles neo-burlesque club. Aguilera performed eight of the musical numbers on the film's soundtrack released on November 22, 2010. Aguilera 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. Distributed by Screen Gems, the film was directed by actor and director Steve Antin who also wrote the script. Antin wrote the role of Ali specifically for Aguilera.Radish, Christina Collider.com November 22, 2010 Retrieved on November 22, 2010. Aguilera's co-stars also included Cam Gigandet as her love interest, 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."Pols, Mary TIME November 24, 2010 Retrieved on December 7, 2010. While Variety wrote, "Aguilera, while undeniably entertaining when her character is onstage, cannot spin the slight backstory into anything resembling a full-blooded person."DeBruge, Peter Variety magazine November 18, 2010 Retrieved on December 7, 2010.
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, alongside co-writer Sia Furler and writer/producer Samuel Dixon, a nomination for Best Original Song for the track "Bound to You". However, she lost to the film's Diane Warren penned "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" which was performed by Cher. Burlesque has grossed over $85 million worldwide.Box Office Mojo, January 2011
Following the release of Burlesque, Aguilera collaborated with rapper T.I. on the track, "Castle Walls" which is included on his album No Mercy. Aguilera performed the U.S. national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", during the Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 and created embarrassment when she omitted a line of the anthem and messed up the song's lyrics.Yahoo! Sports February 6, 2011 Retrieved on February 6, 2011 She later apologized, telling CNN that "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 53rd Grammy Awards paying tribute to Aretha Franklin. Aguilera began dating musician and production assistant, Matt Rutler who she met during the filming of Burlesque. Her personal life was the subject of scrutiny and reports over out of control behavior, excessive drinking and a reported confrontation with her co-star Julianne Hough. On March 1, 2011, Aguilera and her boyfriend were arrested on suspicion of DUI and public intoxication in West Hollywood. According to a Sheriff's spokesman, Aguilera "was not capable of taking care of herself. She didn't really understand where she was, she didn't even know where she lived." She was later released on bail and no charges were filed. Although the L.A. Sheriff's office stated Aguilera's mug shot would not be released to the public, E! News obtained the mug shot which circulated social networks and the media shortly after her release. Aguilera signed to become a coach and judge on the Mark Burnett created singing competition The Voice. The show is set to air on NBC from April 2011, and it will also star musicians Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green as judges and coaches; as well as host Carson Daly.http
Christina Aguilera - Back to Basics Tour - Ain't No Other Man.jpgleftthumbAguilera performing in her Back to Basics Tour in 2006.
Aguilera has been referred to as the "voice of her generation" and a blue eyed soul singer. Aguilera also topped COVE's list of the 100 Best Pop Vocalists with a score of 50/50Cove magazine. . Retrieved on May 25, 2007. and came fifth in MTV's 22 Greatest Voices in Music.". Am I Annoying. Retrieved on December 11, 2007. Her rendition of "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" at the 49th Grammy Awards ranked third in the Grammy's Greatest Moments List behind Celine Dion's performance of "My Heart Will Go On" and Green Day's performance of "American Idiot". In an interview, Dion described Aguilera as "probably the best vocalist in the world." Rolling Stone ranked Aguilera at 58 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, the youngest singer on the list.
Describing Aguilera's voice, singing teachers Phyllis Fulford and Michael Mailler said, "The low register is light and tired, the belting register is ample and full, but very scratchy because she screams; and head voice as well as whistle register are light, pure and bright. Her vocal range extends from G below middle C to C one octave above soprano high C (G3 - C7). She can belt to F one octave and a third above middle C (F5). She possesses a good-sized technical arsenal. Her trill is solid, she has a big mastery of melismas, and can sustain very long notes."Phyllis Fulford, Michael Mailler (2009). Apprendre à chanter. Marabout. p. 53. ISBN 978-2-501-06236-7 Los Angeles Times writer Margaret Wappler adds Aguilera can deliver "a well-executed legato." However, countertenor Philippe Jaroussky said: "She has no breath support and often sing out of tune. People say she can cover four octave, but it's not true because below A3, the low notes are forced, unsupported, her belting voice is throaty and forced and for her highest notes she doesn't use head voice but falsetto or whistle register, they are disconnected registers. So, she can hit good notes only from A3 to B4. Her melismas are always show-off, they are almost never connected with the rhythm and the structure of the songs."Titze Ingo R (2008). "The human instrument". Scientific American 298 (1): p. 180.
Since her debut in 1999 Aguilera has been compared to the likes of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.Lamb, Bill Top About.com 40/Pop About.com Top 40 Retrieved on August 4, 2008. David Browne of The New York Times writes, "Aguilera has been one of the foremost practitioners of the overpowering, Category 5 vocal style known as melisma. Ms. Carey, Ms. Houston and Ms. Aguilera, to name its three main champions, are most associated with the period from the late ’80s through the late ’90s."Browne, David The New York Times December 24, 2010 Retrieved on January 4, 2010. A review in the Los Angeles Times compared Aguilera's vocal stylings to Barbra 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."Powers, Ann Los Angeles Times August 15, 2006 Los Angeles Times Music archives Retrieved on August 4, 2008. Although praised for her vocals, Aguilera has been labeled for oversinging in her songs and concerts.William, Chris EW.com December 11, 2001 Entertainment Weekly Music Retrieved on August 4, 2008. 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."Hiatt, Brian EW.com October 29, 2002 Entertainment Weekly Music Retrieved on August 4, 2008.
Themes and musical style
Dirrty.jpgrightthumbAguilera performing "Dirrty" in her Back to Basics Tour in 2006.
The constant theme in Aguilera's music and lyrics is love, although she has written on other subjects including spirituality, female empowerment, and grief. Aguilera has also written about her childhood in two of her records which dealt with domestic abuse. In an interview Aguilera admitted she feels responsible to reveal her most vulnerable feelings and to share the darker sides of her life adding "People that can relate might not feel as alone in the circumstance." She has been noted to constantly changing her sound in her music and lyrical content. Originally marketed as a bubblegum pop singer during the late 90s pop scene, she quickly departed into a broad range of musical genres for her follow-up album Stripped. A review states, "Clearly afflicted with Premature Serious Artist Syndrome, Aguilera wants to demonstrate the range of her interests – vampy soul, quasi-metal, piano-bar intimacy, quiet-storm R&B, bounce-bounce hip-hop, and semi-exotic rock, all of it dutifully accomplished."
The majority of the songs are characterized by Aguilera's loud vocals, though she has used breathy and soft vocals.Davies, Luvy BBC News August 14, 2006 BBC Online Pop/Chart Music Review Retrieved on December 16, 2008. Her 2006 release, Back to Basics included producer DJ Premier. The New York Times exclaims, "Her decision to work with the low-key DJ Premier was also a decision to snub some of the big-name producers on whom pop stars often rely."Sanneh, Kelefa The New York Times August 17, 2006 Critic's Notebook Music review Retrieved on July 8, 2009. Aguilera has often cited that she prefers working with producers that are not in popular demand, saying "I don't necessarily go to the main people that are the No. 1 chart-toppers in music." By Jonathan Cohen, N.Y – May 11, 2006 – Billboard The album included live instrumentation and samples of past jazz and soul records. Some tracks on the album included non-traditional forms of pop music such as swing jazz and big band, drawing comparisons to Madonna's I'm Breathless and the musical film Cabaret.Fleming, Michael Variety October 15, 2007 Variety.com Retrieved on January 5, 2010. Her first feature film, Burlesque, influenced by Cabaret, featured mainstream producers Tricky Stewart and Danja on the soundtrack where several established songs were updated and worked into dance numbers, a style similar to 2001's Moulin Rouge! "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" was performed by Aguilera in the film, a musical number also performed by Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge!
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."Vineyard, Jennifer (June 28, 2006). ". MTV. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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.MuchMusic online August 2006 MuchMusic artist page – Back to Basics/Christina Aguilera Retrieved on August 25, 2008. 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".Lyskey, Dorian The Guardian August 4, 2006 The Guardian onine album review Retrieved on August 27, 2008. Aguilera has also named Madonna and Janet Jackson as two of her biggest influences "for being re-inventive and being brave as strong females, to explore whatever, even if they do get bad press. It's just like they were fearless." Her other musical influences include Aretha Franklin,Moss, Corey MTV News online April 28, 2006 MTV.com Retrieved on August 7, 2008. Whitney Houston,Billboard Magazine; Al Gomes (June 19, 2001). . BigNoiseNow. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. and Nina Simone.Vineyard, Jennifer MTV News August 2007 MTV.com News Retrieved on August 7, 2008.
Aguilera cites the musical The Sound of Music and its lead actress, Julie Andrews as an early inspiration for singing and performing.Rosen, Craig (September 29, 2000). . Yahoo! Music. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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".Araya, Eric MTV.com June 29, 2006 MTV online Retrieved on August 25, 2008. Ironically, her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located near Julie Andrews and is next to Greta Garbo.ABC News Radio November 16, 2010 Retrieved on February 1, 2011. In her music video for "Ain't No Other Man" she plays her alter ego, "Baby Jane" in reference to the film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?.Vineyard, Jennifer MTV.com June 19, 2006 MTV Online Retrieved on October 31, 2008. The film's stars included actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The third single off Back to Basics, "Candyman" was inspired by the 1941 song, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by The Andrews Sisters which was played during World War II. She was also inspired by pin-up girls and several paintings by Alberto Vargas. Aguilera has expressed interest in cultural icons Nico, Blondie and artists Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.Vena, Jocelyn November 10, 2009 MTV News MTV.com Retrieved on November 22, 2009. She has often worked with photographer and close friend, David LaChapelle who once worked with Warhol. Chapelle has shot many of Aguilera's music videos, magazine shoots and advertisements. She is also a fan of graffiti artist Banksy. In 2006 she purchased three of Banksy's works during a private art exhibition, one of them included a pornographic picture of Queen Victoria in a lesbian pose with a prostitute.Beard, Matthew The Independent October 20, 2009 Independent UK online Retrieved on November 20, 2009. She has mentioned in several interviews that she is a fan of actress Angelina Jolie,Reiter, Amy (December 9, 2002). . Salon.com. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. and her Burlesque co-star, Cher. Fashion has also been a part of Aguilera's music career and image which she has used as a form of expression during performances and music videos. In 2003 she became the muse and inspiration for Donatella Versace's 2003 fall line. Versace also designed pieces her tour the following year. Aguilera is also a fan of Roberto Cavalli, John Galliano, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander McQueen whose designs she has worn throughout her career.Alexander, Hilary July 7, 2005 Telegraph Retrieved on November 20, 2009.Morley-Cartner, Jess June 4, 2004 The Guardian Retrieved on November 20, 2009.
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.Christina Aguilera: Inside Beauty (September 15) (2002) Big Noise Now Retrieved on (March 17) (2008). Throughout her career Aguilera has endorsed several brands, including Skechers, Mercedes-Benz, Verizon Wireless, and soft drink giants Coca-Cola in 2001, and Pepsi in 2006.MTV Online; MTV Staff Writer (October 2005). Retrieved on January 30, 2007. She became the muse and model for fashion house Versace appearing in a campaign for the 2003 fall line.Susman, Gary (March 5, 2003). . EW. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. In 2004 Aguilera earned £200,000GBP (about $300,000USD) Female First Retrieved on (March 18) (2008). for opening the summer sale at London's Harrods store which took in record breaking profits during the four week period.Harrods Press Harrods Press Timeline Retrieved on (March 18) (2008). In 2005 she was reportedly paid $3.6 millionNoon, Chris Forbes.com September 9, 2005 Retrieved on December 7, 2010. to sing a three song set for Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko's wedding. Aguilera signed a contract with European cell phone operator Orange to promote the new Sony Ericsson Walkman phone during the 2006 World Cup. In 2010, Aguilera was paid $1 million by investor, Charles Brandes to perform at a private party.
In 2008 jewelry designer Stephen Webster and close friend of Aguilera released "Shattered", a collection of sterling silver pieces, 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."Conti, Samantha (February 19, 2008). Women's Wear Daily Retrieved on February 19, 2008.Celebrities and music (March 10) (2008) Access Hollywood Online Retrieved on (March 18) (2008). They reprised their work together for Webster's 2009 spring line.Brown, Rachel (December 18, 2008) Women's Wear Daily Retrieved on January 16, 2009. In early 2011, Aguilera attended São Paulo Fashion Week to premiere her new line of clothing for Brazilian department store C&A. The line is expected to launch in April.Daily Mail Reporter February 3, 2011 Retrieved on February 8, 2011.
Aguilera released two fragrances throughout Europe, the first one Xpose, was released in late 2004 and sold relatively well.Hazlett, Courtney MSN.com (May 8), (2008) MSNBC News online Retrieved on (May 9), (2008). Through Procter and Gamble Aguilera released her signature fragrance, Simply Christina in 2007.. . August 8, 2007. Retrieved on October 2, 2007. In Christmas 2007, the fragrance became the number one perfume in the UK, and later in 2009 it became the 4th best selling perfume in the UK, and Germany where it topped sales for the year. (in German) 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.Born, Pete WWD.com (May 23), (2008)
Women's Wear Daily online Retrieved on (May 24), (2008).Fragantica (May 23, 2008) Fragantica news Retrieved (May 24, 2008). The perfume hit shelves in the US, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Northern and Eastern Europe. It was 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.Business Wire – Macy's July 31, 2008 Macy's press release Retrieved on July 31, 2008., She released her fourth fragrance By Night in October,Fragrantica Perfume description Retrieved on August 20, 2009. which became the third best selling fragrance in the UK in 2009. In 2010 the range was further augmented by Royal Desire her fifth fragranceFragrance Direct February 22, 2010 featuring Royal Desire eau de toilette Retrieved February 23, 2010 and announced she will be releasing a sixth fragrance later this year, Secret Potion.
Throughout her career, Aguilera has been involved with several charities. She signed a letter from PETA to the South Korean government asking that the country stop its alleged killing of dogs for food.Travis, Neal (September 13, 2001). "Terror Attack Blows D.A.'s Timing". New York Post, p. 67. Retrieved on April 21, 2007. During her 2007 tour she unknowingly wore a fur stole during the beginning of her tour, which designer Roberto Cavalli provided without informing Aguilera. After receiving a video from PETA Vice President Dan Mathews on the treatment of foxes, she replaced the stole with faux fur for the remainder of her tour. Aguilera was reportedly upset adding, "I only ever wear fake fur".The PETA Files December 12, 2006 PETA.org Archives Retrieved on December 2, 2009. In 2010 Aguilera auctioned off tickets for her upcoming tour for Christie's A Bid to Save the Earth. Proceeds benefit nonprofit environmental groups Conservation International, Oceana, Natural Resources Defense Council, and The Central Park Conservancy.Ju, Siel Mother Nature Network February 3, 2010 MNN.com Retrieved on February 4, 2010 Aguilera also supports Defenders of Wildlife, Missing Kids, National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations,. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. Women's Cancer Research Fund,Berliner, Alex (March 3) (2004) USA Today Health Retrieved on (March 6) (2008). and Cedars-Sinai Women's Cancer Research Institute.Peden, Lauren David (October 12) (2006) Fashion Wire Daily Retrieved on (March 12) (2008). She has also worked alongside nonprofit organization Do Something saying, "Every individual has the power to inspire young people across the country."Press Release (April 27, 2000). Christina Aguilera, Sears and Levi's Launch "Come On Over and Do Something". PRN Newswire. Retrieved on February 27, 2008. In 2010 she was nominated for a VH1 Do Something Award for her work with the organization and her efforts in the response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. 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.Brie Childers Charity Brie Childers photography Retrieved on (March 15) (2008).
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.Post Gazette (July 15, 2003). . Retrieved on May 25, 2007. She has continued her donations and visits to the shelter, and plans to open an additional one.MTV News staff (July 27, 2006). MTV. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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.Yahoo! Finance (April 3, 2007). . Retrieved on May 25, 2007.
Aguilera is a supporter of the LGBT community and is considered a gay icon by many. 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."Gelman, Jason (March 7) (2003) Yahoo! Music Retrieved on (March 20) (2008). 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. In 2008 she publicly spoke out against California's Proposition 8 which eliminates same-sex marriage in California saying, "Why you would put so much money behind something stopping from people loving each other and bonding together? I just don't understand it. It's hard for me to grasp. But I would've been out there with my rally sign as well."Harris, Chris MTV.com November 7, 2008 MTV online Retrieved on November 7, 2008.
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.". Retrieved on May 25, 2007.. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. Singer Elton John featured Aguilera in his charity book titled "Four Inches" benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation.The Book Standard (July 7, 2005). . Retrieved on December 10, 2007. Elton also hand-picked Aguilera, for his annual "" charity concert which accompanies music and fashion to benefit the fight against AIDS/HIV.Cohen, Jonathan (July 6, 2006). . Billboard. Retrieved on May 25, 2007.
ChristinaAguileraWorldHungerRelief.jpgthumbleftAguilera on a promotional poster for World Hunger Relief.
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.Channel 4 News(November 14, 2007).
. Retrieved on November 14, 2007. 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.Watson, Donna (October 21, 2005). . Daily Record. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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.MTV News staff (October 26, 2005). . MTV. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 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.USA Today (March 11, 2007). . Retrieved on May 25, 2007. In 2008 she headlined London's Africa Rising charity concert at Royal Albert Hall which raises awareness for finding substantial issues facing the continent.Virgin Media August 22, 2008 Virgin music Retrieved on August 22, 2008. Later that year she appeared on the Turkish version of Deal or No Deal "Var mısın? Yok musun?" , where she won $180,000. Proceeds were donated to a charity program for orphans.
In 2009 Aguilera became the global spokesperson for World Hunger Relief appearing in advertisements, online campaigns and a public service announcement.Business Wire Christina Aguilera Lends Powerful Voice in Fight to End Hunger as Global Spokesperson July 15, 2009 Retrieved on July 15, 2009. Aguilera and her husband traveled to Guatemala with the World Food Programme to bring awareness to issues such as the high malnutrition rate in that country. She met with families of the villages and some of the beneficiaries of WFP's nutrition programs. Aguilera adds, "The people of WFP do such a great job helping hungry children and mothers. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful project."Relief Web September 23, 2009 Relief Web press release Retrieved on September 23, 2009. Since becoming a global spokeswoman Aguilera has helped raise over $22 million which helped provide over 90 million meals.World Food Programme official site Retrieved on May 13, 2010. She was honored at Varietys annual "Power of Women" luncheon in late 2009 alongside other women in entertainment for her contribution to philanthropic and charitable causes.McNiece, Mia Variety online September 1, 2009 Retrieved on September 10, 2009. In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Aguilera donated a signed Chrysler 300 which was auctioned for relief efforts.PRNewswire January 17, 2010 Retrieved on January 18, 2010. She was one of the many artists who appeared on the Hope for Haiti telethon on January 22, 2010, donations directly benefited Oxfam America, Partners In Health, Red Cross and UNICEF. She later appeared on a second public service announcement alongside sports icon Muhammad Ali to raise funds for the World Food Programme's efforts to bring food to survivors of the earthquake. Retrieved on January 31, 2010 Later that year Aguilera made her first visit to Haiti as an ambassador against hunger where she visited two schools in the town of Léogâne. During her time there she assisted in the ongoing efforts to help the badly damaged town where she served meals and highlighted reconstruction efforts in the country.World Food Programme May 12, 2010 Retrieved on May 12, 2010. That year, Aguilera was appointed UN ambassador for the WFP.
* Christina Aguilera (1999)
* Mi Reflejo (2000)
* My Kind of Christmas (2000)
* Stripped (2002)
* Back to Basics (2006)
* Bionic (2010)
* Burlesque (2010)
* List of Christina Aguilera tours
* List of best-selling music artists
* List of awards and nominations received by Christina Aguilera
* Honorific nicknames in popular music
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Christina Aguilera on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0