Christina Aguilera – winner of five Grammys, seller of 30 million albums worldwide, owner of a Hollywood Walk Of Fame star, genie-bottle inhabiter, marmalade mistress, whistle register possessor, and all-round icon of musical performance – releases her eighth studio album today.
Titled Liberation, its themes of integrity, self-empowerment and freedom have permeated the musician’s social media presence since she announced the album. Of course, we’ve always known she’s a fighter… but below are five facts you perhaps didn’t know about the musician.
1. At 13, she joined The Mickey Mouse Club and performed sketch comedy and musical numbers alongside co-stars Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Watch her perform Aretha Franklin’s Think below, and bask in the weirdness of hearing that adult vocal come out of a little girl.
2. The clip for Dirrty (the first single from Christina’s good-girl-image-busting fourth album Stripped), was directed by fine art photographer and filmmaker David LaChapelle. You’ll have seen his memorable, lush style in the videos for Britney Spears’ Everytime, The Dandy Warhols Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth, Gwen Stefani’s Rich Girl, and Amy Winehouse’s Tears Dry On Their Own. In 2007 it was reported LaChapelle had “blacklisted” Aguilera for her diva-esque behaviour, but if so, the pair have apparently rekindled their friendship; LaChapelle has photographed the vocalist numerous times in the years since.
3. As is tradition with famous people, she’s probably way shorter than you think. Aguilera clocks in at 5 feet 2 inches – exactly the same height as Shakira, and two centimetres taller than Lady Gaga.
4. When Aguilera married ex-husband Jordan Bratman in 2005, the couple requested that guests donate to charities supporting the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita instead of giving wedding gifts.
5. Aguilera’s early-’00s beef with singer Pink began during discussions about the recording of 2001 hit Lady Marmalade (which also featured the vocals of Mya and Lil’ Kim). Pink has described Aguilera’s manager as entering the first meeting full of curt bluster. “He didn’t say ‘Hi’ to any of us, and said, ‘What’s the high part? What’s the most singing part? Christina’s going to take that part.’ And I stood up, and I said ‘Hi. How are you? So nice of you to introduce yourself. I’m Pink. She will not be taking that part. I think that’s what the f-cking meeting’s about.” In 2017, Pink told interviewer Andy Cohen that Aguilera once tried to punch her at a club, but the two have since reconciled and laughed about the incident.
Liberation is out June 15 via Sony.
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