(Read all about Christina Aguilera after the video)
Christina María Aguilera (born December 18, 1980) is an American singer, songwriter, actress and television personality. Born in Staten Island, New York and raised in Rochester and Wexford, Pennsylvania, she appeared on the television series Star Search and The Mickey Mouse Club in her early years. After recording "Reflection", the theme for Disney's 1998 film Mulan, Aguilera signed with RCA Records. She rose to prominence with her 1999 self-titled debut album that spawned the Billboard Hot 100 number one singles; "Genie in a Bottle", "What a Girl Wants", and "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)". The following year, Aguilera released two studio albums; the Spanish-language album Mi Reflejo and the holiday album My Kind of Christmas. She assumed creative control for her fourth studio album, Stripped (2002), which produced "Dirrty", "Beautiful", and "Fighter". Aguilera's fifth studio album, Back to Basics (2006), debuted at number one on the album charts of ten countries and spawned the tracks "Ain't No Other Man" and "Hurt". In 2010, Aguilera released her sixth studio album Bionic and starred in the film Burlesque. The following year, she debuted as a coach on the reality competition television series The Voice; she has since appeared on six of its twelve seasons. Her seventh studio album, Lotus, was released in 2012. Aguilera has also been featured on several successful collaborations during her career, including "Lady Marmalade", "Moves like Jagger", and "Say Something".
Aguilera has been recognized as a pop icon and earned the title "Pop Princess" in her early years. Her work has earned her five Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She has sold over 17.9 million albums in the United States as of 2014 and 50 million albums worldwide as of 2015. In 2009, she ranked at number 58 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, thereby becoming the youngest and the only artist under 30 to be named. Billboard recognized her as the 20th most successful artist of the 2000s, and Time listed Aguilera among the top 100 Most Influential People in the World of 2013. Aside from 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.
Life and career
1980–1998: Early life and career beginnings
Christina María Aguilera was born in Staten Island, New York, on December 18, 1980, to Shelly Loraine (née Fidler), a musician, and Fausto Xavier Aguilera, a United States Army soldier. Her father is Ecuadorian, while her mother has German, Irish, Welsh, and Dutch ancestry. Her family moved frequently because of her father's military service, and lived in places including New Jersey, Texas, New York, and Japan. Aguilera and her mother alleged that her father was physically and emotionally abusive, claims which he denied; Aguilera used music as a form of escape from her turbulent household. Following her parents' divorce when she was six years old, Aguilera, her younger sister Rachel, and her mother (who later remarried Jim Kearns and gave birth to one more child, Michael 'Mikey' Kearns) moved into her grandmother's home in the Pittsburgh suburb of Rochester, Pennsylvania. After several years of being estranged, Aguilera expressed interest in reconciling with her father in 2012.
Growing up, Aguilera, known locally as "the little girl with the big voice", aspired to be a singer, singing in local talent shows and competitions. She won her first talent show at the age of 8, in which she performed Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)". In 1990, she appeared on Star Search singing "A Sunday Kind of Love", and was eliminated during the semi-final rounds. She later performed the same song during an appearance on Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV's Wake Up with Larry Richert. Throughout her youth in Pittsburgh, Aguilera sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Pittsburgh Penguins hockey, Pittsburgh Steelers football, and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games, in addition to the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals. She attended Rochester Area School District in Rochester and Marshall Middle School near Wexford, and briefly attended North Allegheny Intermediate High School before being home schooled due to bullying.
In 1991, Aguilera auditioned for a position on The Mickey Mouse Club, although she did not meet its age requirements. She joined the television series two years later, where she performed musical numbers and sketch comedy until its cancellation in 1994. Her co-stars included Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake. When she was fourteen, Aguilera recorded her first song, the duet "All I Wanna Do" with Japanese singer Keizo Nakanishi. She later sent her cover version of Houston's "Run to You" to Walt Disney Pictures in hopes of being selected to record the theme song "Reflection" for their animated film Mulan (1998). "Reflection" peaked at number 19 on the U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, which went to "The Prayer" by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli.
1999–2000: Christina Aguilera, Mi Reflejo and My Kind of Christmas
After recording "Reflection", Aguilera signed with RCA Records and the label quickly began coordinating her debut album, which was set to be released in 1999. Aguilera's self-titled debut album, was released in August 1999. The album was a commercial success in the United States, peaking at number one on the Billboard 200 and was certified octuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for having shipped eight million copies. It has sold over 8.2 million copies in the United States and 17 million copies worldwide. The album's lead single, "Genie in a Bottle", peaked atop the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and record charts of twenty other countries. It became the top-selling debut single of 1999 in the United States, selling over 1.4 million units. Follow-up singles "What a Girl Wants" and "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" also topped the Billboard Hot 100, while single "I Turn to You" reached number three. At the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards in February 2000, Aguilera won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Aguilera's second studio album, Mi Reflejo, which contains Spanish versions of "Reflection" and her first four singles from her debut album alongside new Spanish material, was released in September 2000. Producer Rudy Pérez, with whom Aguilera recorded the album, noted that Aguilera did not speak Spanish fluently when recording the album, but understood the language, having grown up with an Ecuadorian father. The record topped the Billboard Top Latin Albums for nineteen consecutive weeks, and was certified sextuple platinum in the Latin field by the RIAA. It has sold 480,000 units in the United States, and has moved three million copies worldwide. Mi Reflejo won a Latin Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Album and two Billboard Latin Music Awards for Pop Album of the Year by a Female Artist and Pop Album of the Year by a New Artist in 2001. Aguilera's Christmas-theme third studio album, My Kind of Christmas, released in October 2000, reached number 28 on the Billboard 200 and has sold over one million copies in the United States. In December 2000, Billboard recognized Aguilera as the Top Female Pop Act of the Year. In support of her albums, Aguilera embarked on her first concert tour, Christina Aguilera in Concert, beginning in May 2000 in the United States. During the tour, Aguilera dated Jorge Santos, a dancer whom she hired.
Despite her international success with first three studio albums, Aguilera was dissatisfied with the music and image her management Steve Kurtz had created for her, having been marketed as a bubblegum pop singer because of the genre's financial trend. Aguilera's views of Kurtz's influence in matters of her creative direction, the role of being her exclusive personal manager, and over-scheduling 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. After terminating Kurtz's services, Irving Azoff was hired as her new manager.
In February 2001, Aguilera appeared on Ricky Martin's single "Nobody Wants to Be Lonely". It peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, while reaching the top ten of several countries including Australia, Spain and Switzerland. Later that year, Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink covered Labelle's 1974 single "Lady Marmalade" for the accompanying soundtrack of Moulin Rouge! The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks and became the first airplay-only track in history to stay number one for more than one week. "Lady Marmalade" earned all four performers a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards. That August, Warlock Records released Just Be Free, an album containing eleven demo tracks recorded by Aguilera in 1994 and 1995. Aguilera filed a suit against Warlock Records and the album's producers to stop the release. The two parties came to a confidential settlement to release the album, in which Aguilera lent out her name, likeness, and image for an unspecified amount of damages. On September 11, 2001, Aguilera and Santos ended their relationship.
When planning her fourth studio album, Aguilera leaned towards a new artistic direction that she felt had more musical depth. She named the album Stripped and explained that the album "is a new beginning, a re-introduction of [herself] as a new artist in a way". Aguilera cultivated an increasingly provocative image while promoting the record, at which time she adopted the nickname "Xtina", dyed her hair black, and debuted several tattoos and piercings. Aguilera claimed that the new persona better reflected her personality than the previous image she felt forced into by RCA Records. Aguilera drew inspiration from R&B, soul, rock and hip hop. The album was produced primarily by Scott Storch and singer-songwriter Linda Perry. Aguilera co-wrote and partially completed the track "Miss Independent" for the album, although it later became the debut single by Kelly Clarkson. Released in October 2002, Stripped debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 330,000 copies. The album was certified quadruple-platinum by the RIAA, in recognition of having 4.3 million copies in the United States as of September 2014. As of 2015, it has sold 13 million copies worldwide.
"Dirrty" featuring Redman was released as the lead single from Stripped in September 2002. Its accompanying music video generated controversy due to its sexual content, and sparked protest in Thailand. The single peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100, and reached the top five of multiple countries in Oceania and Europe. The second single, "Beautiful", reached number two in the United States, and peaked atop the charts of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The song earned Aguilera the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards in 2004. The album spawned the follow-up singles "Fighter", "Can't Hold Us Down", and "The Voice Within" in 2003, all of which managed to reach the top 20 of charts in several European and Oceania regions, including Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland. That June, Aguilera co-headlined the Justified and Stripped Tour alongside Justin Timberlake before embarking on her solo The Stripped Tour later in 2003. Aguilera was the host of the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards, where she won an award for Best Female. During the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards in August 2003, Aguilera and Britney Spears garnered significant media attention after kissing Madonna during their performance of "Like a Virgin" and "Hollywood". The performance was listed by Blender magazine as one of the twenty-five "sexiest" music moments on television history. MTV listed the performance as the number-one opening moment in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards. Billboard named Aguilera the Top Female Pop Act of 2003.
2004–2009: First marriage, Back to Basics and first child
Opting for a 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s-inspired sound, Aguilera began working on her follow-up album in 2004. She embraced an image inspired by public figures including Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Mary Pickford to "capture the authenticity of the Old Hollywood glam era". That year, Aguilera recorded "Hello" for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class car advertisement, and a revised version of Rose Royce's "Car Wash" with Missy Elliott for the animated film Shark Tale, where she also voiced a Rastafarian jellyfish. She also appeared on Nelly's single "Tilt Ya Head Back", and Andrea Bocelli's song "Somos Novios". After dating for more than two years, Aguilera became engaged to music marketing executive Jordan Bratman in February 2005. The couple married on November 19, 2005 at an estate in Napa County, California.
In 2006, Aguilera contributed vocals to a cover of Leon Russell's "A Song for You" by Herbie Hancock, which was included on Hancock's album Possibilities and earned Aguilera a nomination for the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards in 2006. She later described her fifth studio album, Back to Basics, as "a throwback to the 20s, 30s, and 40s-style jazz, blues, and feel-good soul music, but with a modern twist". The double album was released in August 2006 and debuted atop the charts of thirteen countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands. On the US Billboard 200, it opened at number one with first-week sales of 346,000 copies. According to RCA front-man, Clive Davis it has sold approximately 5 million units worldwide as of November 2013, 1.7 million of which were sold in the United States. The lead single "Ain't No Other Man" reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100, charted within the top three of several countries in Europe, including Hungary, Ireland and the United Kingdom, and has sold 1.7 million digital copies in the United States. The track won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in 2007, where Aguilera performed a rendition of "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" in tribute of its original artist James Brown.
In September 2006, Aguilera released the second single from Back to Basics, "Hurt", and was featured on Diddy's single "Tell Me". "Candyman" was serviced as the third international single from Back to Basics and peaked at number two in Australia and New Zealand. "Slow Down Baby" was released exclusively in Australia, while "Oh Mother" was released in Europe as the final single. In November 2006, Aguilera supported the album through the Back to Basics Tour; with 81 dates, it ended in October 2008, visited Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. According to Billboard Boxscore, it was one of the ten highest grossing tours of 2007, as well as the top grossing solo female tour of that year, with US$48.1M grossed.
Aguilera performed "Steppin' Out with My Baby" with Tony Bennett at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2007. According to Forbes, Aguilera was the nineteenth-richest woman in entertainment as of January 2007, with a net worth of $60 million. In January 2008, Aguilera gave birth to her first child, a son. Later that year, she appeared in the Martin Scorsese documentary Shine a Light chronicling a two-day Rolling Stones concert in New York City's Beacon Theatre, in which Aguilera performs "Live with Me" alongside the band's member Mick Jagger. In commemoration of a decade-long career in the music industry, Aguilera released her first greatest hits album, Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits on November 11, 2008 exclusively through Target in the United States. It included Aguilera's previous singles and four new songs, two of which are remade versions of two previous singles. The release peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200, and entered the top ten charts of countries including Australia, Finland and France. Its only single, "Keeps Gettin' Better", peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and has sold 1.1 million digital copies in the United States. In December 2009, Billboard ranked Aguilera the twentieth most successful artist and the twenty-sixth most successful Billboard Hot 100 artist of the 2000s.
2010–2011: Bionic, Burlesque and The Voice
Aguilera announced that her sixth studio album would be "a very futuristic approach to music", drawing inspirations from electronic genres. Bionic, was released in June 2010. The release struggled to match the chart impact and sales of her previous albums, peaking at number three on the Billboard 200, and has sold 315,000 copies in the United States. The lead single, "Not Myself Tonight", charted at number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has sold 368,000 copies in the United States. "Woohoo" featuring rapper Nicki Minaj was released as a single in the United States and several European countries, while "You Lost Me" was the second single internationally. The last song serviced from Bionic was "I Hate Boys", which was sent to Australian contemporary hit radio in July 2010. That year, Aguilera made a cameo appearance in the comedy film Get Him to the Greek.
In November 2010, Aguilera starred alongside Cher in the film Burlesque. The film was written and directed by Steve Antin, and grossed $90 million. It was met with mixed reviews from critics, who criticized it for being "campy and clichéd", yet praised Aguilera's acting. Aguilera contributed eight tracks to the film's accompanying soundtrack, while Cher performed the other two. The soundtrack reached number 18 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold by the RIAA. It has since sold 707,000 copies in the US. At the 68th Golden Globe Awards in 2011, Burlesque received a nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, while "Bound to You", a song performed by Aguilera, earned Aguilera a nomination for Best Original Song, which lost to Cher's "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me", which also appeared on the Burlesque soundtrack. In December 2010, Aguilera appeared on T.I.'s song "Castle Walls" from his album No Mercy.
Having separated in September, Aguilera filed for divorce from Bratman in October 2010, requesting joint legal and physical custody of their son Max. After reaching a private settlement and custody deal, their divorce was finalized on April 15, 2011. In late 2010, Aguilera started dating Matthew Rutler, whom she met during the set of Burlesque. On March 1, 2011, the couple was arrested for public intoxication in West Hollywood. They were later released on bail and no charges were filed.
At the Super Bowl XLV, Aguilera omitted a few lines while performing the U.S. national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner". 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 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, paying tribute to Aretha Franklin. From April 2011 through December 2012, Aguilera served as a coach on the television series The Voice for its three first seasons. In June, she was featured on Maroon 5's single "Moves like Jagger", which peaked atop the Billboard Hot 100. In 2011, the single sold 7 million copies worldwide, becoming the ninth best-selling single of the year.
2012–present: Lotus, second child and television projects
In March 2012, Aguilera released the Spanish-language track "Casa de Mi Padre" as the title song for the soundtrack and film of the same name. Later that month, Aguilera confirmed that she was working on a follow-up to Bionic, which she named Lotus and described as a personal "rebirth". Released in 2012, Lotus became her least successful album, debuting at number seven on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 73,000 units. As of August 2014, the album has sold over 290,000 units in the United States, as reported by Nielsen SoundScan. Its lead single, "Your Body", peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and entered the top 40 charts of several regions including New Zealand, Spain and Sweden. The second single, "Just a Fool", a duet with Blake Shelton, peaked at number 71 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In late 2012, Aguilera appeared on the tracks "Steppin' Out with My Baby" with Tony Bennett from his album Viva Duets, and "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Cee Lo Green from his album Cee Lo's Magic Moment. Upon the conclusion of the third season of The Voice in December 2012, Aguilera was replaced by Shakira for the fourth season because Aguilera was focusing on promoting Lotus. In January 2013, Aguilera was featured on Pitbull's single "Feel This Moment", which peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. She appeared on Mexican singer Alejandro Fernández's cover of "Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti" from his album Confidencias that May. Aguilera returned for the fifth season of The Voice in September 2013. That October, Aguilera recorded "We Remain" for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. A month later, she appeared on the re-recorded version of single "Say Something", a duet with A Great Big World from their debut studio album Is There Anybody Out There?; it peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified quadruple-platinum for shipments of over 4 million units in the United States. In January 2014, Aguilera was featured on a remix version of Lady Gaga's single "Do What U Want".
Aguilera became engaged to Rutler in February 2014. The couple has one child together, a daughter, born in August 2014. In April 2014, Aguilera announced she had started working on her eighth studio album. For the sixth and seventh seasons of The Voice, Aguilera was respectively replaced by Shakira and Gwen Stefani. However, Aguilera continued to serve as a coach in the eighth and tenth seasons, which the latter she won with her artist Alisan Porter and became the first female coach to win the show. In January 2015, Aguilera confirmed to Extra that she was working alongside The Voice co-star Pharrell Williams on her album, stating: "I just have to make sure it's right, and it's genuine and it's heartfelt, and I'm very excited to pour my heart out into this record fully. I've been gathering and writing and coming up with these amazing ideas for different parts of how I was feeling the past year, so I'm really excited to vocalize all of it and make it all come together." Aguilera will also be releasing a Spanish album in 2016. At the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in February 2015, Aguilera won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Say Something" with A Great Big World. In April 2015, Aguilera had a recurring role as singer Jade St. John on the third season of ABC's musical drama series Nashville. In March 2016, Aguilera and Rutler were announced as executive producers for a new music-based game show, Tracks, to air on Spike TV. The show is hosted by Bow Wow.
In June 2016, Aguilera released a song titled "Change" dedicated to the victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, as well as Christina Grimmie, who was fatally shot in Orlando the day before the nightclub shooting. The proceedings were donated to the National Compassion Fund to benefit the victims' families. She expressed sadness for everyone involved in these two incidents over social media. In August 2016, Aguilera released a disco song titled "Telepathy" featuring Nile Rodgers for the soundtrack of the Netflix original series, The Get Down. The track topped the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, becoming Aguilera's ninth number-one. In October 2016, Aguilera suddenly backed out of a Prince tribute event, due to what she cited as a "vocal illness". According to her reps, her doctor advised her not to put any strain on her vocal cords.