By: Julie Ane
It was just over a decade ago that five-time Grammy-winning superstar Christina Aguilera emerged on the heels of Britney Spears’ halter top and school girl skirt. Since then, the young diva’s style has evolved every year, and there’s no telling what she’ll do next!
A former Star Search contestant and member of The New Mickey Mouse Club (alongside Spears, Justin Timberlake, Keri Russell and Ryan Gosling), by 1999 Christina had already aligned herself in a business to which she would one day provide huge contributions.
With her blonde hair, big blue eyes and an even bigger voice, she was poised to be the anti-Britney… wholesomely presented and super talented! Her 1999 self-titled debut album introduced the chart-topping hits “Genie in a Bottle,” “What a Girl Wants” and “Come On Over Baby,” yet showed us a mere glimmer of what the teen’s high E middle C vocal range could really do.
She was awarded the Grammy for Best New Artist, and let fans know publicly that she was ready to take more control of her career going forward.
Christina came strong in 2000 with the Gold-selling Spanish album Mi Reflejo, which won a Latin Grammy and two Billboard Awards…
By Fall 2000, she unleashed her Platinum-selling My Kind of Christmas album. She even donned some red extensions, clearly setting the pace for what was to come next in her style catalog… Check out this live performance with special guest Bow Wow (when he was still “Lil”)!
Christina followed with a standout collaborative effort on the 2001 hit remake of “Lady Marmalade” with Pink, Lil Kim, Mya and Missy Elliott for the Moulin Rouge movie soundtrack. She became more image conscious, taking her homegirl-next-door look to the streets and beyond.
After the success of her first album, Christina decided to part ways with her management and took full control of her image and creative direction and strip… literally! Aguilera’s second English language album in 2002 was aptly titled Stripped, and she meant that in every sense of the word. With colored hair pieces intertwined with blond extensions, breast implants and very little wardrobe, Aguilera looked as far from a Mouseketeer as one could imagine.
The look may have been a big fail by many standards, but it was the release of “Beautiful,” a ballad of acceptance and self worth, that brought the album huge commercial success despite what ‘Xtina‘ looked like at the time. The track also earned her another Grammy, this time for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
While on tour with, Xtina dyed her hair black and the raunch continued.
Despite media criticism for her bold fashion statements, fans had the final say, and to date Stripped has gone beyond Diamond with over 13 million albums sold worldwide.
In 2004, Aguilera switched to a vibrant strawberry blonde for a German Mercedes Benz ad, taking on a more sophisticated vibe.
In 2006, Christina debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts with her third official English album Back to Basics. Newly married to longtime beau Jordan Bratman, Aguilera took on an even more mature image, going for more Marilyn Monroe and less Marilyn Manson.
With fresh blond hair and ruby lips, Xtina chose to channel Hollywood glamour. Her single “Ain’t No Other Man” earned her yet another Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
That same year, the label released the “greatest hits” album Keeps Gettin’ Better, and Christina stepped away from her own music to record the single “Tell Me” with Diddy for his Press Play album.
Never one to shy away from the public eye, Christina became pregnant with her first child and bared all for the world to see in Marie Claire Magazine.
In 2008, she gave birth to her son Max. Although she was still busy as an international superstar, Aguilera stayed active with helping others, both donating and helping to raise funds for various causes.
On June 8, 2010, Christina released her fourth English album entitled Bionic. Ever one to take heat from the public for her fashion choices, Aguilera has been criticized for style jacking avant garde pop artist Lady Gaga. Maybe so, but at the end of the day, there is no mistaking that voice!
Though her style may go through changes from year to year, 29-year-old Christina Aguilera‘s talent is undeniable, and she’s clearly one of the best and blessed vocalists of our time. The Los Angeles Lakers certainly thought so! She sang the National Anthem for their winning Game 6 of the 2010 NBA finals, and the team brought her back to sing again for Game 7. She must have been good luck… they took home the championship!
It’ll be interesting to see where those Chrissy Lou’s will take Xtina next, and time will only tell how bionic she really is. One thing’s for sure – while many will come and go, Christina Aguilera has over 30 million albums sold, and will definitely be here for a long time to come!
“I’m a Good Girl” from Burlesque