Christina Aguilera


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 and Penguins.

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" ("Genio Atrapado").

rub her baby, one more time

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 is soaring.

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