Christina Maria Aguilera
was born on December 18th, 1980, to parents Jim, a military father
of Ecuadorian descent, and Shelly, an Irish professional violinist/pianist.
Growing up with her brothers and sisters in Wexford, Pennsylvania,
Christina always knew that she wanted to be a performer. Only
in her early 20's, this blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty may have
gotten more than she bargained for.
Her career as a singer
started when she began performing at her school's talent shows.
She took her soulful voice to the Star Search stage, (like her
singing counterpart, Britney Spears), and performed on national
telelvision. The next time she performed in front of a live audience
was when she sang the National Anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers
get those ears on!
At the age of 12, Christina
landed a coveted spot on the popular variety show The Mickey Mouse
Club as a "Mousketeer," with fellow castmates Britney
Spears, Keri Russell, and J.C. Chasez and Justin Timberlake from
the boy band *N Sync.
After her two-year
stint on The Mickey Mouse Club, Christina traveled to Japan in
1998, where she recorded a duet with Japanese star Keizo Nakanishi,
and later toured in Japan. Her next public performance was at
the Golden Stag Festival in Transylvania, Romania, joining Sheryl
Crow and Diana Ross, who were also on the playlist.
As if overnight, Christina
became a star. It all started when she sent a demo tape to the
producers of the Disney animated feature, Mulan, after having
been invited to audition for the part. All the studio needed to
hear was her home recorded demo tape, in which Christina sang
karaoke to Whitney Houston's hit "I Wanna Run to You,"
and the studio executives knew that they had found the wide-range
voice that they were looking for.
a beautiful reflection
Two days later, Christina
recorded "Reflection" for Mulan and was signed for a
record deal with RCA Records that same week. The song "Reflection"
became a hit adult contemporary single, and garnered a Golden
Globe nomination for Best Original Song for a Motion Picture.
For those of you who
didn't see Mulan, there's no need to fret -- we would soon hear
Christina's hit single "Genie in a Bottle." Her self-titled
debut album was released on August 24th, 1999, and sold more than
250,000 copies within one week of being released.
The album Christina
Aguilera has received praise from both critics and fans alike,
for its diversity in musical style, ranging from dance, pop and
gospel, to soul and R&B. Having been compared to veteran divas
Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Etta James, (who are among her
favorite artists), one can hear that Christina is largely influenced
by R&B and gospel.
With only one hit single
under her belt at the time of the Grammys, Christina won the Grammy
Award for Best New Female Artist. We had yet to hear the other
two hit singles that were coming our way -- the dance-pop tune
"What a Girl Wants" and the ballad "I Turn to You."
the genie's out, baby
In less than a year
since the release of "Genie in a Bottle," Christina
has performed a duet with B.B. King and performed "The Christmas
Song" for Bill Clinton on the TV special Christmas at the
White House (which led to an invitation by the President to sing
on his Millennium TV special, but Christina had to decline); she
performed at MTV's New Year's Eve broadcast at Times Square; performed
a duet at the Super Bowl Half Time Show with Enrique Iglesias;
and she was the only female guest at VH1's Men Strike Back special.
The honors she has
received include: named one of the most fascinating women of 1999
on Ladies Home Journal's TV special; received the award for Best
Artist at the ALMA Awards, which honors the best entertainers
from the Hispanic-American community; and named one of People
magazine's hottest stars under 25.
As for her love life,
Christina has been allegedly linked to Enrique Iglesias, Fred
Durst and MTV's Carson Daly. She was less than thrilled about
Eminem's mention of her "relationship" with Carson Daly
and Fred Durst in his song "The Real Slim Shady," and
has publicly expressed her feelings of disgust towards the shady
rapper. She's now dating one of her tour dancers, Jorge Santos,
apparently pulling a Jennifer Lopez (or is it the other way around?).
A cover girl on magazines
such as Seventeen, Rolling Stone and Vibe, Christina also has
a Latin album to her credit (in honor of her Ecuadorian roots).
Mi Reflejo was released in 2000, and was welcomed with warm reviews.
It even has the Spanish version of "Genie In A Bottle"
rub her baby, one more
You can also get a
taste of Christina's pre-star voice on her latest album, Just
Be Free. Although it's her latest release, it features songs that
were recorded shortly before her debut album was released.
Christina also proved
that she can work with other divas, as she did in the remake of
"Lady Marmalade", from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack.
Teamed with Pink, Mya and Lil' Kim, Christina steals the show
in the song, whose video took home the 2001 MTV Video Award for
Best Video of the Year. She also appears on the All-Star Tribute
remake of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?", with a star-studded
cast including Bono and Nelly Furtado.
With at least four
hit singles, a multi-platinum album, a Grammy, and fans ranging
beyond the teen market (unlike her pop contemporaries), Christina
has shown that this genie in a bottle has been released -- and