CHRISTINA AGUILERA Biography
One of the most accomplished performers of the last decade, Christina Aguilera has sold well over 25 million albums worldwide and cultivated a fan base that crosses generational, racial and gender lines. Now, segueing from the audacious sexuality of her second studio album, Stripped, the chameleon-like performer pays tribute to the music that has inspired her with her latest release, "Back To Basics" (RCA Records).
A modern take on vintage jazz, soul and blues from the 1920s, '30s, '40s and beyond, her third studio album is wildly inventive, whose throwback style creates a sound that's gritty and raw. The album reunites her with producer Linda Perry and offers new collaborations with producers such as DJ Premier. The upbeat first single, "Ain't No Other Man," premiered on the MTV Movie Awards on June 8."
This is a concept album that follows a bold vision," explains Aguilera. "The touchstones are Billie Holiday, Otis Redding, Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald - what I used to call my 'fun music' when I was a little girl."
The double album, Back To Basics utilizes an orchestra, choir, string quartet and jazz horns, as well as techniques that, according to GQ, "blends a vintage-soul sound with state-of-the-art beatsmanship to form a throwback/hip-hop showcase for her outsize voice." "I Got Trouble" incorporates a scratchy blues feel, while "Candy Man" recalls the tight harmonies of all-girl groups from the '30s and '40s "Save Me From Myself" is an emotionally naked, raw-sounding song dedicated to her husband. "Thank You," dedicated to her fans, features DJ Premier splicing bits of "Genie In A Bottle" with fan voicemail messages. Also sure to appeal to Aguilera fans is the risqué song "Nasty Naughty Boy" (which has a '20s burlesque feel) and the sassy club track "Still Dirrty."
Aguilera's backstory is well-known. A native of Staten Island, the pre-teen began performing in local talent shows while growing up in Pennsylvania. In 1992, after appearing on "Star Search," She joined the cast of the Disney Channel's "The New Mickey Mouse Club." In 1998 Aguilera's song "Reflection" for Disney's Mulan led to a record deal with RCA and the release of her self-titled debut album in Summer, 1999. The album quickly hit #1 on the strength of its first dance/pop single, "Genie In A Bottle" (which dominated the charts for five weeks) and other chart toppers including "What A Girl Wants." It was a feat she would repeat the following year with Mi Reflejo, the smash Spanish-language version of her debut, followed by her hit holiday release, My Kind Of Christmas.
In 2001 Aguilera joined forces with Pink, Mya and Lil' Kim on the smash "Lady Marmalade" single and video. That eye-popping slice of ear candy kept her front and center in the international spotlight even as she began, slowly and steadily, to lay the groundwork for her second album, Stripped. Released in October 2002, it sealed her status as an international superstar while transforming her previous squeaky-clean image into a fully sexualized woman with lots on her mind. Along with the superheated funk of the album's provocative debut single, "Dirrty," came such standout tracks as "Beautiful," "Can't Hold Us Down" and "Make Over."
Earning her first of three Grammy Awards in 2000 for Best New Artist, her subsequent trophies came in 2001 for "Lady Marmalade" (Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals) and in 2003 for "Beautiful" (Best Female Pop Vocal Performance). Among countless other honors, she is also the recipient of a 2001 Latin Grammy Award for Mi Reflejo (Best Female Pop Vocal Album), a 2000 Billboard Music Award for Female Artist of the Year, and two 2004 Rolling Stone Music Awards (Best Female Performer, Readers' Pick; and Best Tour, Readers' Pick, "Justified and Stripped"). Voted Sexiest Teen Idol in a VH1 poll, Aguilera's beauty and charisma have also led Teen People to list her among its "25 Hottest Stars Under 25" and Maxim to crown her Best International Female Singer (2000), one of the Sexiest Women of the Year (2003) and #1 on their "Hot 100" List (2003).
Today, while devoting the lion's share of her time to recording and touring, the 25-year-old is active in a range of philanthropy. A major contributor to the fight against AIDS, Aguilera has participated in the "What's Going On?" cover project for AIDS Project Los Angeles' Artists Against AIDS. In 2004 she became the new face for MAC cosmetic company and spokesperson for the MAC AIDS Fund. More recently she became involved in awareness campaigns with YouthAIDS and ALDO. She also sponsors and is actively involved in the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh for battered women and children.
After Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera was the most popular female singer of the late-'90s teen pop revival. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Aguilera was a technically skilled singer with a genuinely powerful voice, belting out her uptempo dance numbers and ballads with a diva's panache. Born Christina Maria Aguilera on December 18, 1980, on Staten Island, her parents were of Irish and Ecuadorian stock and her father's military career meant the family moved quite a bit during her childhood. They eventually settled in Pittsburgh, PA, where Aguilera began performing in talent shows at age six, with considerable success. She appeared on Star Search in 1988 (though she didn't win) and in 1992 joined the cast of the Disney Channel's The New Mickey Mouse Club, which also included Spears, future NSYNC members Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez, and Felicity star Keri Russell.
After two years, Aguilera moved to Japan, where she recorded the hit duet "All I Wanna Do" with pop star Keizo Nakanishi. Returning to the U.S. in 1998, Aguilera recorded the song "Reflection" for Disney's Mulan; her performance helped earn her a record deal with RCA. Her self-titled debut album was released in the summer of 1999, and with teen-oriented dance-pop all the rage, the lead single "Genie in a Bottle" shot to the top of the charts for five weeks; the album also hit number one on its way to sales of over eight million copies in the U.S. alone. The follow-up, "What a Girl Wants," was the first number one single of the year 2000 and Aguilera consolidated her near-instant stardom by performing at the White House Christmas gala and the Super Bowl halftime show, and winning a Grammy for Best New Artist. Further hits followed in "I Turn to You" and another number one, "Come on Over Baby (All I Want Is You)."
In September 2000, seeking a place in that year's Latin pop boom, the part-Ecuadorian Aguilera recorded a Spanish-language album called Mi Reflejo, learning the lyrics phonetically since she didn't speak Spanish. It was followed quickly by the holiday album My Kind of Christmas; both sold extremely well, a testament to Aguilera's popularity. In the spring of 2001, Aguilera was featured -- along with Pink, Mya, and Lil' Kim -- on the chart-topping blockbuster remake of Patti LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade" featured on the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. Aguilera was by now a fixture at music industry awards shows; as she enjoyed her celebrity, a collection of old demos -- recorded when she was 14 and 15 -- was released under the title Just Be Free, despite Aguilera's vehement objections.
Aguilera attempted to deter the mass media's expectations when she issued her second studio album in fall 2002. Stripped, which appeared in October on RCA, was quickly criticized for its adult yet confident approach. Aguilera's look had gone from glossy to gritty. She appeared topless on the cover of the album and went nude for a fall issue of Rolling Stone. Debut single "Dirrty" revealed her new sexual power and became a chart smash, while "Beautiful" showed her softer side. For her next record, however, Aguilera split from producer Scott Storch and went to work with DJ Premier and Linda Perry, among others, for the 2006 Back to Basics, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album, a two-disc set that explored her influences, mainly '20s, '30s, and '40s jazz and blues in the style of Etta James or Billie Holiday, portrayed a more mature -- yet at the same time provocative -- singer. The popular single "Ain't No Other Man" won Aguilera the fourth Grammy Award of her career, and she spent much of the following year on the road, releasing the Back to Basics: Live and Down Under concert DVD to document the tour in late 2007. Steve Huey, All Music Guide
CHRISTINA AGUILERA lyrics and albums