With a soft-spoken voice yet one that could blow the walls off a building, Christina Aguilera is one of the best artists of this generation. A child with immense promise, she broke onto the scene with her song "Reflection" for Disney's "Mulan" over 20 years ago and carved her own path to become a household name.
She's overcome sexism in the music business, defying what it means to be a strong woman who knows what she wants. While her life has been very public for quite some time, here are 5 things you didn't know about Christina Aguilera – or things superfans may have even forgotten.
1. Aguilera first made her appearance on "Star Search"
When Christina Aguilera says she's been singing since she was 4 years old, she wasn't kidding. Over the years, videos surfaced of her singing as far back as 6 years old. Even then, she had a knack for belting. It wasn't until the age of 9 (soon to be 10) in 1990 that she made her television debut on the memorable talent show "Star Search." The young budding star performed "A Sunday Kind of Love" by Etta James and came in second place. She, of course, went on to become part of the "Mickey Mouse Club" in 1993 before becoming one of the world's biggest superstars just a handful of years later.
2. Etta James is her favorite musical inspiration
During her career, Christina Aguilera has loved to perform Etta James songs and made a special appearance at James' funeral in 2012 to perform "At Last," one of James' most iconic hits. As a child, she loved listening to the blues thanks to her mother and grandmother buying her her first Etta James record. That inspired Aguilera to sing with the passion she does today. During her 2003 Stripped Tour, Aguilera performed both at last and hit "I Prefer You."
3. Aguilera co-wrote Kelly Clarkson's first hit single following "American Idol"
In 2002, Kelly Clarkson won the first season of "American Idol" and quickly rose to stardom. After the novelty winning song "A Moment Like This," Clarkson began working on her debut album Thankful released in 2003. Her first single was titled "Miss Independent" that she had a hand in writing. The song was unfinished and later Clarkson found out that Aguilera wrote the bulk of the song intended for her own album Stripped. Clarkson, however, was unaware of this until she looked through her very first album booklet. Recently, Aguilera appeared on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" where they talked about the song Clarkson loves to perform and change production to this day.
4. Her sophomore album was actually a Spanish record
Aguilera's self-titled debut album was a smash across the globe with hits such as "Genie in a Bottle," "I Turn to You," and "Come on Over" which was later remixed for radio. Following that success, Aguilera began indulging in her Latin roots as her father is from Ecuador. Mi Reflejo was released in September 2000 and though it went largely unnoticed in the English-speaking world in the United States, it topped the Billboard Top Latin Albums and Latin Pop Albums for 19 weeks on both charts. The album featured Spanish versions of her English pop hits, new songs, and two cover songs that earned her a Latin Grammy and two Billboard Latin Music Awards. Her 2002 effort Stripped is commonly mistaken as her second album but is her fourth including 2000's My Kind of Christmas.
5. She was a MAC Cosmetics spokesperson
In 2004, Christina Aguilera joined MAC Cosmetics to become a new face for the Viva Glam lipstick 10th anniversary. She not only did it for the love of makeup but for a cause that has become important to her. All proceeds from the lipstick and lipgloss go to the MAC AIDS Fund to help those living with HIV and AIDS. In 2019, Aguilera received an award from the Human Rights Campaign for her work in raising funds for research and strong support for LGBT equality.