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Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera isnít just a star ~ sheís a bona fide pop phenomenon. Not only does she sell millions of records, sheís a media fixture regardless of what she is or isn't doing. Even Madonna counts herself as a fan, not to mention friend and kissing partner. While nemesis Britney Spears coyly clings to her not a girl not yet a woman status, Christina has no qualms about proclaiming that sheís a hot-blooded grown-up, with a titillating sexuality thatís enticed so many of the opposite sex. She has nothing more to prove to us, yet as latest her release Back To Basics will testify, she continues to impress and diversify.

Her Place On The Fame Scoreboard
Trying to explain how big a pop star she is would make us sound like we suffer from an excessive case of name-dropping. Sheís part of the cast of young showbiz stars that spawned from Disney's The All New Mickey Mouse Club, which also included Britney Spears and members of 'N Sync like Justin Timberlake. As a teenager, she first found moderate success as early as 1995 with Reflections, a song she recorded for the Disney movie Mulan. That earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song In A Motion Picture. Christinaís career really took off in 1999 when Genie In A Bottle, the first single from her debut album, went to #1. After that thereís been no looking back for this pop princess.

With only that one hit song under her belt at the time of the Grammys, she turned more than a few heads after she won the award for Best New Artist in 2000. Since then sheís sold over 25 million albums worldwide, achieved four #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, won two more Grammys and a Latin Grammy Award, and even made appearances in blockbuster movies like Shark Tale. Her 2003 album Stripped ~ thanks to hit songs like Dirrty, Beautiful and Can't Hold Us Down ~ made her the number-one Billboard Female Artist Of The year, and with each new album, her celebrity stature continues to climb.

Why Everyone Loves Her
What can we say about this former church going girl who teases us with her erotic dance moves, sexual innuendos, barely-there clothing and that not-so-innocent attitude? Her global appeal has been considerable, with #1 album sales in Canada, Japan and yes, even India! In order to serve her ever-growing international fan base, there was first the worldwide #1 smash hit Nobody Wants To Be Lonely with Latin heartthrob Ricky Martin; then she recorded a very successful album in Spanish titled Mi Reflejo. That did so well, she beat reigning pop diva Jennifer Lopez to win the award for the world's best selling Latin female artist at the World Music Awards.

Despite her protestation that she hates being famous, she adores the spotlight, and is a born self-promoter; who could ever forget that kiss she had with Madonna at the 2003 MTV video awards? Her popularity keeps increasing almost in proportion with her accomplishments, and in less than a decade, Christinaís become an idol for teenage girls everywhere and a pinup for their male counterparts. Needless to say, the US public loves her well ~ so well that the Census Bureau reported a dramatic increase over the last few years in babies born with the name Christina.

Back To Basics: The New Album
The end of 2005 saw the Dirrty girl finally settle down with music executive Jordan Bratman, and obviously, marriage has been good so far for Christina. The result is her latest single Ain't No Other Man, and it's all in praise of her husband and life partner. Back To Basics is the name of her new full-length CD from which the track has been taken from, and thereís a lot to look forward to. For one, it includes a continuation of Stripped's Dirrty with a brand new song called Still Dirrty. She took some time out from her busy schedule to talk to us about that and more:

You got married recentlyÖwhatís changed in your life after that?
Christina: Jordan's amazing in the way he loves me. (Laughs) So much has changed in the last four years. If you would have asked me at the time of the last record would I be married by my next one, I never would have said I thought I would be. I was never one of those little girls who dreamed of getting married. (Laughs again) Some amazing things have happened to me. Lyrically, my husband inspired me in many ways, but I didnít want to write a bunch of fluff about loveÖ

So how come your new single Ainít No Other Man is an ode to him?
Christina: All the strong feelings that I carry for him went into the lyrics of Ain't No Other Man. It's my thank you song for Jordan. Heís my best friend along with my husband, and heís my backbone and support.

We heard that you were planning to tone down your image as a sex kitten now that youíre married?
Christina: Being sexual is a huge part of my artistry and who I am as a woman. (Laughs) It's important to express myself and I think sexuality will always have a role in each record, but I will choose how it fits. My husband is just so supportive. I donít think I could have married someone that kind of made me feel confined and unable to express myself how I feel I need to as an artist, as a person and as a woman.

Youíve moved on with this new album, and reinvented yourself once again. What gives?
Christina: With every new album I do I like to take a different direction. I like to challenge myself and I like to really reinvent where Iím going and what Iím doing and where Iím at. The Stripped record was a very real and honest place for me, but it was also a darker place. Things are lighter for me. I'm happier now than I have ever been. For this one I was definitely inspired to make a feel good album.

Back To Basics is said to be heavily influenced by early jazz, as well as your favourite pop and soul records from your childhood. Itís quite a big change of direction for youÖ
Christina: It was. It's a very mature, very risky album of old-school jazzy blues. You're going to think that these songs were recorded and written back in 1940. You know, itís feel good music. It has to deal with old soul, blues, and jazz, which I think is the root, kind of, of all music. Itís been a year and a half in the making so Iím so excited to get it out there.

You can read the rest of our cover story on Christina Aguilera in the July 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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