Christina Aguilera Biography

Christina Maria Aguilera, 18 December 1980, Staten Island, New York, USA. Aguilera was one of several US teen pop stars to rise to huge popular acclaim in the late 90s. Of Irish and Ecuadorian descent, her mother played violin and piano professionally while her father’s position in the military resulted in the family travelling extensively around the world. Finally settling in Wexford, Pittsburgh, Aguilera began performing at school talent shows, before making her first professional appearance at the age of eight on the nationally syndicated Star Search show. When she was 10 she sang the national anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates. She joined [ Walt ] Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club at the age of 12, appearing alongside future pop stars JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake of *NSYNC, and Britney Spears. Aguilera spent two years with the Mickey Mouse Club before moving to Japan to record ‘All I Wanna Do’, a hit duet with local pop star Keizo Nakanishi.

Back in the USA in early 1998, Aguilera recorded ‘Reflection’ for the soundtrack of Disney’s full-length animation Mulan. Her rapid ascent to stardom continued when she signed to RCA Records shortly afterwards. Her debut album was recorded with a host of leading songwriters and producers. ‘Genie In A Bottle’, a lightweight urban pop number with an infectious hookline, went to the top of the US charts in July 1999. Written by UK-based songwriter Pam Sheyne, the single stayed at the top for five weeks, making it the biggest selling US single of the year. The other tracks on Aguilera’s self-titled debut included upbeat dance anthem ‘Love Will Find A Way’, soulful ballad ‘So Emotional’, and the requisite Diane Warren blockbuster, ‘I Turn To You’. The album entered the US album chart at number 1 in September. A month later ‘Genie In A Bottle’ entered the UK singles chart at number 1. Aguilera proved herself a genuine rival for Spears’ teen pop crown when she returned to the top of the US charts in January 2000 with ‘What A Girl Wants’ and again in October with ‘Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)’. In a shrewd marketing ploy, she then released a Spanish-language collection of her hits, Mi Reflejo, and the seasonal My Kind Of Christmas. The singer enjoyed a transatlantic chart-topper the following summer with a cover version of LaBelle’s ‘Lady Marmalade’, recorded with Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink for the soundtrack of the movie Moulin Rouge.

Aguilera unveiled a new sexually-charged image on her second studio album, 2002’s Stripped. The set was initially a commercial flop on both sides of the Atlantic, although it picked up momentum in the UK when Aguilera enjoyed surprise chart-toppers with the singles ‘Dirrty’ (featuring Redman) and ‘Beautiful’ (written by Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes fame). The latter also broke into the US Top 5 and helped push Stripped back up the charts. Further transatlantic hit singles from the album included ‘Fighter’, ‘Can’t Hold Us Down’ and ‘The Voice Within’, while ‘Beautiful’ picked up a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Aguilera was involved with two popular singles in 2004. The first, a remake of the Rose Royce disco classic ‘Car Wash’, was recorded with rapper Missy Elliott for the Shark Tale soundtrack. The second saw her collaborating with Nelly on the salacious ‘Tilt Ya Head Back’. Aguilera married music executive Jordan Bratman on 19 November 2005. Her lengthy absence from the charts in a solo capacity was broken in summer 2006 when ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ climbed into the US Top 10. The attendant Back To Basics was the singer’s first US chart-topper since her 1999 debut. Inspired throughout by traditional jazz and blues, this deliriously fun double album featured one disc of modern, beat-driven material and another recorded live on analogue equipment.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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