Christina Aguilera Bio
True to its title, Stripped, the
audacious new RCA Records release from Christina
Aguilera, strips away the last remnants of her previous teen idol
persona and whatís left is as real as it gets.
The sixteen new tracks that comprise Stripped, including her sensational
debut single, "Dirty," showcases an unadorned, unfettered and
fearlessly outspoken artist who has liberated herself, her soul and her
music on an album that is as much a declaration of independence as it is
a convincing demonstration of her fierce and original talent. Simply
put, this is the real deal.
"When youíre seventeen years old, green and inexperienced,
youíre grateful for any guidance and direction you can get." Says
Christina on her rocket sled ride to the top following the 1999 release
of her eponymous-titled debut album, with its string of consecutive
chart toppers, including "Genie In A Bottle" and "What
A Girl Wants." It was a feat she would repeat the following
year with Mi Reflejo, the smash Spanish language version of her debut,
followed by her hit holiday release, My Kind Of Christmas.
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Christina Aguilera Biography
million plus albums, a Grammy win for Best
New Artist and a marathon round of world touring later, Christina
Aguilera began to fearlessly break free from the mass media mask that hid her
true self, and the full scope of her talent.
"I felt trapped," she admits. "I was under the thumb of
people who were mostly interested in keeping me doing exactly the same
thing. But Iím not blaming anyone," sheís quick to add.
"You learn fast in this business and, once I knew where I wanted to
go, I didnít let anyone get in my way."
Where she wanted to go, at least initially, was to her Los Angeles home
where she could catch her breath, reconnecting with herself and her two
canine companions. "I needed a break," she reveals. "I
wanted to disappear into empty space for awhile. So much had happened in
such a short time, and not only in my career. Iíd gone through a
breakup with my first real love and I began realizing that I should be
experiencing a bit more of life than TV and recording studios, hotels
and green rooms."
As well intended as her much-deserved
hiatus may have been, the vocalist and songwriter still had to contend
with the restless creative energy that had fueled her preteen trajectory
from talent show contestant in and around her native Pittsburgh to
"Iím driven," is
Christina Auileraís frank admission. "Even in the midst of touring, I was
thinking about what my next album would be, writing bits and pieces of
songs in journals and scrapbooks."
That album, like Christinaís long
overdue R&R, would have to wait. Unable to resist the lure of a
promising creative collaboration, she joined forces with Pink, Mya and
Lilí Kim on the smash "Lady Marmalade" single and video.
That eye-popping slice of ear candy kept her front and center in the
international spotlight even as she began, slowly and steadily, to lay
the groundwork for a musical manifesto that would change all the rules.
"I was straight ahead about what I
wanted to do," Christina Augilera continues. "For a long time, Iíd
been uncomfortable with the image that had been built around me and my music. It felt like I was pretending, trying to hide the real me, and
hurting inside because of it. This time I was determined to step beyond
the hype and glitter, to take it back down to the bare necessities. It
was like starting all over again."
Yet at the same time, Christinaís bold work-in-progress wasnít
simply a reaction to the past. "I wanted to explore some of the
music that had inspired me coming up," she explains. "Iíve
always been a huge fan of soul.
I love real rock & roll
and hip-hop, of
course, is one of my biggest influences. I wanted it all."
And what she wanted she set about to
achieve with a relentless determination and a willingness to stretch her
creative boundaries. "Iíve always thought recording was about
attaining perfection," she reveals. "What I discovered making
this album is that getting across real feelings is whatís important.
As much as possible, I wanted to have the listener right there in the
studio with me. I wanted to introduce myself, to get down to it. What
mattered was sharing what I was really going throughÖfor the first
And the first and most formidable challenge for Christina Aguilera
was to assemble a supporting cast that, in her words, "werenít
influenced by my old image." A ruthless process of elimination
yielded a production and songwriting team that included, among others,
Pink producer Linda Perry; the team of Redman
and Rockwilder; Alanis Morrissette producer Glenn Ballard; fast rising
studio wizard Scott Storch, as well artist/producer Alicia
Recorded over an eighteen-month stretch,
with Christina firmly at the helm every step of the way, Stripped slowly
but surely took shape, not only as an exercise in breathtaking stylistic
diversity but as a resonant and revealing look into the mind and
emotions of a young woman on the verge of personal and professional
The result is resonant and revealing
original tracks that decisively shred Christinaís squeaky clean
persona, even as they set the stage for a career that, millions of
albums and concert tickets later, is only now just getting started.
The proof is all over Stripped, from the opening notes of
"Impossible," the smoky ballad by Alicia
Keys, to the romantic revelations of "Canít Hold Us
Down," featuring the persuasive production of Scott Storch; from
the soaring affirmations of "Beautiful," to blistering licks
of "Make Over," to the superheated funk of "Dirrty,"
and Rockwilder. "I loved ĎLetís Get Dirty,í" Christina
reveals, "So I asked Rockwilder to put something together kind of
like that for me." She laughs. "What I got was a little too
close, but then I figured, ĎWhy not?í The track is like an answer
song to the original, only from a female point of view."
As much excitement and surprise as a first listening to Stripped might
generate, there are other textures, urgent, honest and unguarded, that
emerge with time. "Everything I sing about in ĎIím OKí is
real," she asserts. "I took it right out of my life and Iím
singing it right to my Dad." While another Stripped standout,
"Canít Hold Me Down," may at first sound like payback to a
certain superstar rapper, for Christina thatís hardly the point.
"I havenít got time for all that," is her retort.
"Iím more interested in helping girls stand up for themselves.
Thatís what the song is about Ė double standards and how weíre
supposed to look and act a certain way just to please men. If I have any
influence as an entertainer, I want it to be optimistic and uplifting,
to make this world a little better place to live."
For Christina Aguilera, it all begins by getting real. "This
music is who I am," she confidently asserts. "You can take it
or leave it, but Iím not going to change, not for anyone." In the
end, she says, itís a tribute to the millions of worldwide fans who
have made her a household name. "Fans grow up, too," she
smiles. "Weíre all reaching out for something more real and if we
really want it, weíre going to find it. This album is for anyone who
really wants it."
Bio From: The
Official Christina Aguilera Site