When I think about my childhood, the first thing that comes in my mind is music, then television. The artists I listened to, the shows I watched, movies I adored. A lot hasn’t changed. The battle between Britney, Christina, Jessica, and yes, Mandy Moore was ongoing until Mandy stopped recording, Jessica married Nick Lachey, and Britney married Kevin Federline. Which one is not like the other? Christina Maria Aguilera. I put her above the others due to her versatility. From ‘Genie in a Bottle’ to ‘Dirrty’ to ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ to ‘Not Myself Tonight’ and so on, Christina demonstrated she is capable of anything in the pop music industry.
Her “genie” days go back to when Christina was 18 years old and by 2000, she won Best New Artist at the Grammy’s. When she turned 21 and released Stripped, she not only made a statement she wasn’t a teenager anymore but jam packed an album of empowering singles. There was ‘Beautiful,’ ‘Can’t Hold Us Down’ ft. Lil’ Kim, and ‘Fighter’ that exhibited her seriousness to succeed as pop star unlike any of her generation. Though Sarah Michelle Gellar did a poor parody of the pop star on an episode of Saturday Night Live regarding her controversial ‘Dirrty’ music video, Christina Aguilera replied at the time that she could have done a better job making fun of herself.
I’ll skip ahead to 2006 when Back to Basics was literally, back to basics. From fluff songs like “Ain’t No Other Man’ to heart wrenching songs such as ‘Hurt,’ definitely paid tribute to her 6-octave range of vocalic. She was awarded the Best Pop Vocal Performance for ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ at the Grammy’s in 2007. The album had its own persona of 1920’s-1950’s style of music, dating back to a more classic era. Christina also changed her look from a hoop nose ring and black streaks to red lipstick and a 40s hairdo as a blonde bombshell. At 25 years old and recently married to Jordan Bratman, Christina composed an album of her desires and fears of entering the family world.
After having her son Max, Christina took a short break after Keeps Gettin’ Better: A Decade of Hits in 2008 until Bionic released in 2010. I remember when she recently gave birth in 2008 and performed at the MTV Video Music Awards and they honored her for the Generation Award. People were commenting on the spandex black jumpsuit she had worn that “made her look fat.” I was shocked reading this for the first time thinking the scrutiny Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson consistently faced on this topic. But, Christina was always petite as can be. When Burlesque hit theaters in 2010, her figure was said to be “back to the way it was.” The first film at age 29, starring alongside the pop sensation, Cher, Christina had already done it all.
In 2011, she signed on as one of the judges for the singing competition TV show, The Voice, along with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and Cee-Lo Green. Since this past Valentine’s Day, she’s engaged to Matthew Rutler, and maintains a civil relationship with her ex-husband. Ten days later, she finds out she is pregnant! With a wedding and a baby on the way, I hope this doesn’t put a halt to her music career. I want something more after A Great Big World’s ‘Say Something.’
What do you think was the reason that Brittney lost her foothold in the Mt. Rushmore of female pop singers? Was it because of her crazy spell or her producers and music being of lesser quality? Lady Gaga obviously overshadowed Brit and Christi but Christi held her own well. I think Christi grew into her pop genre with her age and maturity by marketing herself well. Anna, Thoughts?