Friday, February 24, 2012

Christina Aguilera

Christina María Aguilera (born December 18, 1980) is an American recording artist and actress. Aguilera first appeared on national television in 1990 as a contestant on the Star Search program, and went on to star in Disney Channel's television series The Mickey Mouse Club from 1993–1994. Aguilera signed to RCA Records after recording "Reflection", the theme song for the animated film Mulan (1998).

In 1999, Aguilera came to prominence following her debut album Christina Aguilera, which was a commercial success spawning three number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100—"Genie in a Bottle", "What a Girl Wants", and "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)." Her sophomore and her debut Latin-pop album, Mi Reflejo (2000), a Christmas third studio album, My Kind of Christmas (2000), and several collaborations followed which garnered Aguilera worldwide success, though she was displeased with her lack of input in her music and image. After parting from her management, Aguilera took creative control over her fourth studio album, Stripped (2002). The album's second single, "Beautiful," was a commercial success and helped the album's commercial performance amidst controversy over Aguilera's image. Aguilera followed up Stripped with the soul, jazz and blues inspired, Back to Basics (2006), released to positive critical acclaim. The album had three commercially successful singles: "Ain't No Other Man", "Hurt" and "Candyman". Four years later Aguilera released her sixth studio album, Bionic (2010), which incorporated aspects of R&B, electropop, and synthpop and was met with mixed reviews and low sales.

Aside from being known for her vocal ability, music videos and image, musically, she includes themes of dealing with public scrutiny, her childhood, and female empowerment in her music. Apart from her work in music, she has also dedicated much of her time as a philanthropist for charities, human rights and world issues which include her work as a UN ambassador for the World Food Programme. She made her feature film debut in the musical Burlesque (2010), earning Aguilera a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song. Aguilera's work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, four Grammy Awards and one Latin Grammy Award, amongst seventeen and three nominations respectively. Rolling Stone ranked her number fifty-eight on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, ranking as the youngest and only artist on the list under the age of thirty. She was ranked the 20th Artist of the 2000–09 decade by Billboard and is the second top selling single artist of the 2000s behind Madonna. Aguilera's albums sales are estimated at over 50 million units worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

Early Life
Aguilera was born in Staten Island, New York, to Fausto Wagner Xavier Aguilera, a sergeant in the US Army at the time, and Shelly Loraine (née Fidler), a Spanish teacher. Aguilera's father was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador[25] and her mother is of German, Irish, Welsh, and Dutch ancestry. Her father was stationed at Earnest Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador and Japan. Aguilera lived with both her father and mother, up until their divorce when she was seven years old. Aguilera then lived with her mother, and her younger sister Rachel, at her grandmother's home in Rochester, Pennsylvania, a town outside Pittsburgh. According to both Aguilera and her mother, her father was very controlling, as well as physically and emotionally abusive. In an interview with Rolling Stone Aguilera revealed, "there was so much domestic violence going on when I grew up with my dad travelling in the military. I think the reason that my drive was so strong and I was so passionate about music was because I grew up in an environment of domestic violence." She later sang about her difficult childhood in the songs "I'm OK" on Stripped, and "Oh Mother" on Back to Basics. Even though he has made several attempts to reconnect with her, Aguilera ruled out any chance of a reunion. Since then, her mother has married a paramedic named Jim Kearns, and has changed her name.

As a child, Aguilera aspired to be a singer. She was known locally as "the little girl with the big voice", singing in local talent shows and competitions. She attended Rochester Area School District, Marshall Middle School near Wexford and North Allegheny Intermediate High School. On March 15, 1990, she appeared on Star Search singing "A Sunday Kind of Love", but lost the competition at number 2. Soon after losing on Star Search, she returned home and appeared on Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV's Wake Up With Larry Richert to perform the same song. Throughout her youth in Pittsburgh, Aguilera sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Pittsburgh Penguins hockey, Pittsburgh Steelers football and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games, including during the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals. Her talent was kept a secret to avoid bullying of other children. Following her television appearances Aguilera experienced resentment and bullying including an incident in which her peers slashed the tires on her family's car. Following several incidents Aguilera was later home schooled. Aguilera recalls, "doing what I did and maybe being a little smaller, I was definitely picked on and bullied for the attention that I got. It was definitely unwanted attention and there was a lot of unfairness about it."

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