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Ablazingly Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera News And Updates

Aguilera Sheds Teen Pop Image
10/29/2002 - detnews

Christina Aguilera considers her new disc, ``Stripped,'' a chance for people to finally get to know who she really is ?to ``see the bare me.'' Fans are getting an eyeful. The album's first single, ``Dirrty,'' shocked the usually unshockable audience for music videos by featuring the former Mousketeer, dressed in a tiny bikini, grinding against other dancers. The cover of her new disc shows her topless, covered only by her long locks. And she's completely naked on the new cover of Rolling Stone ?save for a strategically placed guitar. ``I don't see anything wrong with being comfortable with my own skin,'' the 21-year-old says in a phone interview with The Associated Press ahead of the CD's release Tuesday. Not everyone is as comfortable with her skin as she is. Reaction to the teen-pop idol's transformation into a sexually charged diva has been decidedly mixed. While the ``Dirrty'' video has been at or near No. 1 on MTV's ``Total Request Live,'' the song peaked at No. 48 on the Billboard singles chart. ``Saturday Night Live'' skewered the video's raunch. And Aguilera's scanty outfits have drawn barbs in the press (including the barely-there halter top she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards in August). Aguilera acknowledges that ``obviously, jaws are dropping.'' ``People like to see (singers) play it safe and it scares people if we go beyond the boundaries sometimes,'' she explains. A graduate of the new Mickey Mouse Club along with Britney Spears and members of 'N Sync, Aguilera shot to fame three years ago as part of a teen pop craze. With a powerful voice comparable to Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, she scored instant success with songs such as ``Genie in a Bottle'' and ``Come on Over Baby.'' While she had a sexy side ?she showed her navel, and the lyrics to ``Genie'' were mildly suggestive (``you've gotta rub me the right way'') ?her image was sweet. That plus her music were a successful combination, selling 7.9 million copies of her debut disc and netting her a Grammy for best new artist in 2000. But Aguilera says living up to that picture-perfect image made her miserable. ``The label (RCA Records) wanted to push the cookie-cutter, kind of play-it-safe, almost virginal kind of imagery that wasn't me,'' she says. ``I really wanted to squirm away from that, because I really thought it was really fake and superficial and untrue of what I was about, and it was really really hard for me to live up to that anymore.'' So instead of cheerful, pleasing pop tunes, the new disc has brooding ballads, introspective songs and hip-hop collaborations with Redman and Lil' Kim. Aguilera co-wrote most of the songs. Her changed look includes black streaks and braids in her blond hair, and piercings in her nose and underneath her lip, among other places. In moving away from more sugary pop, Aguilera is not alone. The teen craze has faded, and those who made their name on that sound have branched out. The Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter goes for a rock sound on his debut disc, also being released Tuesday; 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake moves towards R&B on his solo effort, which bows next week. Spears experimented with urban dance grooves on her latest disc. But Aguilera says her new look and sound are genuine. ``I thought by this time the teen pop thing would still be here. But I see now it is changing anyway,'' she says. ``To keep my own sanity, regardless of where the music industry was going to go, I needed to be myself.'' ``She's standing up for what she believes, and she's become more of an individual,'' says Bob Jamieson, chairman of RCA Music Group. ``She's very responsible for her music, and she's taking responsibility for her career.'' It's not clear if her fans will follow. One, Giselle Ascencio, 23, of the Bronx, says she isn't impressed with Aguilera's new look: ``I think she went a little too out there now. The clothes are too much for me ?the lack of clothes is too much.'' Aguilera sees a double-standard in such criticism, noting that videos by male artists often feature nearly naked women dancing suggestively. She also says there wasn't as much of an outcry when Lil' Kim showed up at an MTV awards show a few years ago with a pasty on one breast. ``It's almost a color double-standard that's not fair,'' says Aguilera. Jamieson says the ``Dirrty'' video is ``no different than what Madonna has done, or what Cher has done. The greatest artists in our lifetime are artists who in many ways are controversial and outspoken.'' Yet both he and Aguilera emphasize that ``Dirrty'' is not indicative of the entire album. The next single is the ballad ``Beautiful,'' which Aguilera describes as ``an anthem for everyone to be able to look in the mirror and say I'm beautiful.'' ``I love the video,'' she said of ``Dirrty,'' but ``not all the videos will portray stuff like that.''

Christina pulls a "Mariah"
Source: Bellaonline.com

COLUMN: October 2002 -I just forced myself to sit through the latest Christina Aguilera video, and, quite frankly, I feel really 'dirrty.’

The video marks Aguilera’s departure from pop princess to pop tart. She’s treading in Mariah Carey territory right now... and, judging from how well Carey’s career has turned out, Mariah Carey territory is dangerous territory indeed.

What can I say about ‘Dirrty’? How about this: Aguilera in ‘Dirrty’ makes Britney Spears in ‘I’m a Slave 4 U’ look like the most modest and chaste of virgin schoolgirls. At least Spears wore her thong over her pants. When Aguilera parades her skanky underwear, she leaves nothing to the imagination. There’s a difference between being erotic and being plain tasteless, and Aguilera has not only crossed the line but has set up her entire household in the tasteless territory.

What is so disturbing about this unfortunate career turn is that Aguilera really has no need to dress and act like a big ho. Other stars have to skank it up because they lack the talent, but Aguilera has it all. She can dance, she’s oozing with charisma, and she’s one of the few pop stars out there right now who can actually sing.

So what’s the motivation behind this descent into Skanksville?

Two words: sex sells, and that’s probably what record execs are whispering in Aguilera’s ear. And yes, she’s going to make a lot of money right now, but after that she’s going to be remembered as just another major talent who sold out to appeal to the crotch of the lowliest straight guy.

What the record company should be doing is giving her the opportunity to cultivate her Celine-Dion-calibre pipes instead of bowing to the almighty buck.

These kind of career decisions do not lead to longevity, and Aguilera’s talent deserves longevity. Hopefully this video will mark the low point of Aguilera’s future E! True Hollywood story - the part before she's sees the light again.

And now, I must take this final opportunity to publicly appeal to Aguilera’s good sense: Keep the thong under your skirt where it belongs and treat your talent with the respect it deserves.

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Christina Aguilera

Latest Album Stripped

1. Stripped Pt. 1
2. Can't Hold Us Down (feat. Lil' Kim)
3. Walk Away
4. Fighter
5. Infatuation (interlude)
6. Infatuation
7. Loving Me For Me (interlude)
8. Loving Me For Me
9. Impossible
10. Underappreciated
11. Beautiful
12. Make Over
13. Cruz
14. Soar
15. Get Mine, Get Yours
16. Dirrty
17. Stripped Pt. 2
18. A Voice Within
19. I'm OK
20. Singing My Song

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