Christina María Aguilera (/ˌæɡɪˈlɛərə/, Spanish: [aɣiˈleɾa]; born December 18, 1980) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. Her accolades include five Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Aguilera ranked at number 58 on Rolling Stone‘s list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time in 2008, and was included on Time‘s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013. With estimated sales of over 75 million records, she is one of the world’s best-selling music artists.
Born in Staten Island of New York City and raised in Pennsylvania, Aguilera appeared on television shows in her early years, before gaining a recording contract with RCA Records in 1998. Her self-titled debut album, released in 1999, reached number one in the US and spawned three US number-one singles: “Genie in a Bottle“, “What a Girl Wants“, and “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)“. While recognized as a prominent figure in the contemporary teen pop scene, Aguilera sought to assume artistic control with Stripped (2002) and its lead single “Dirrty“, which displayed her sexually. The second single from the album, “Beautiful“, received favorable response for its empowering lyrics and became an anthem for the LGBT community.
Aguilera scored her second US number-one album with Back to Basics (2006), which drew inspiration from early 20th-century jazz, soul, and blues, and spawned the top-ten singles “Ain’t No Other Man“, “Hurt“, and “Candyman“. Her next three albums, Bionic (2010), Lotus (2012), and Liberation (2018), all experimented with various musical styles and reached the top ten in the US. Besides solo materials, Aguilera earned chart-topping entries with collaborations including “Lady Marmalade“, “Moves like Jagger“, “Feel This Moment“, and “Say Something“. Alongside her music career, Aguilera starred in the film Burlesque (2010) and was a coach on six seasons of the singing competition television series The Voice from 2011 to 2016.
Life and career – Christina Aguilera
1980–1998: Early life and career beginnings – Christina Aguilera
Christina María Aguilera was born in Staten Island, New York City, on December 18, 1980, to musician Shelly Loraine Kearns (née Fidler) and United States Army soldier Fausto Xavier Aguilera. Her father was born in Ecuador, and 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 alleged that her father was physically and emotionally abusive. To cope with her turbulent household, she used music as a form of escape.
Following her parents’ divorce when she was six years old, Aguilera, her younger sister Rachel, and her mother moved into her grandmother’s home in Rochester, a suburb in the Pittsburgh area. Her mother later remarried to Jim Kearns and had a son with him named Michael. After years of estrangement, Aguilera expressed interest in reconciling with her father in 2012. Christina Aguilera
As a child, Aguilera was drawn to soul and blues records her grandmother bought and would practice singing, which earned her a reputation as “the little girl with the big voice” in her neighborhood. She aspired to be a singer, and won her first talent show at age eight with a rendition of Whitney Houston‘s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)“. Aged 10, she performed “A Sunday Kind of Love” on the competition show Star Search, and was eliminated during the semi-final round. She performed the song again on KDKA-TV‘s Wake Up with Larry Richert.
During her youth in the Pittsburgh area, Aguilera sang the US national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner“, before Pittsburgh Penguins hockey, Pittsburgh Steelers football, and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games, and 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 homeschooled to avoid being bullied.
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. Fellow cast members included Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake.
After the show ended, Aguilera moved to Japan and recorded her first song, “All I Wanna Do”, a duet with Japanese singer Keizo Nakanishi. In 1998, Aguilera returned to the US to seek a recording contract. She approached RCA Records, who told her to contact Disney instead because they were having financial difficulties. She sent her cover version of Whitney Houston’s “Run to You” to Disney in hopes of being selected to record the theme song “Reflection” for their animated film Mulan (1998). Aguilera was ultimately selected to sing “Reflection”; the song was released in June 1998 and charted on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart at number 15.