Today’s news that Christina Aguilera was arrested for public intoxication, after her boyfriend was stopped for a DUI, now makes it official: she is having an awful time of it. Despite being the second-biggest selling singles artist of the 2000s, her 2010s have gotten off to a disastrous start. Here’s a brief history of her awful year.
June: Bionic Bombs
It started off so promisingly. Bionic, her first new album since 2006, was constructed to be an adventurous melding of electro and R&B, with production contributions from Peaches and Le Tigre. While the album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, sales fell off quickly, with no single charting higher than No. 23. In the end, the album didn’t even reach gold certification, selling less than 300,000 copies. Her 20-date summer tour, scheduled to begin in July, was unceremoniously canceled.
In October, Aguilera filed for divorce from Jordan Bratman, her husband of almost five years. The announcement came as something of a surprise, and reasons for their split have never been entirely clear, with Aguilera saying only that “things were so unhealthy and unhappy for both Jordan and me, I knew I had to end it.” Ominously, the date of separation was listed as September 11, 2010.
December: Burlesque Bombs
Excitement (at least around these parts) was high for Aguilera’s first starring role in a film; she played alongside Cher in the campy Burlesque. Unfortunately, the film was savaged not only by critics but at the box office, opening in fourth place and making under $40 million domestically. Burlesque was officially a bomb. To add insult to injury, even though Aguilera performed 8 of the 10 songs on the soundtrack, it was a Cher vocal, “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” that won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
February 6: Flubbing the National Anthem
Aguilera was tapped to sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLV. But she set off a weird national controversy when she messed up the lyrics, replacing “were so gallantly streaming” with “at the twilight’s last gleaming.” Conservative pundits accused the NFL of hating America, everyone else pointed and laughed, and it was yet another example of her taking an immense opportunity and turning it into an embarrassment. But it wasn’t the last one.
February 13: Falling at the Grammys
This one just seems like piling on, but: Xtina was one of the singers in an all-star tribute to the recovering Aretha Franklin, and while walking off-stage after the number was over, she tripped and stumbled. Those heels are high, y’all! It happens. Still, it became another embarrassment.
February 28: Arrest
And so she finishes a bad month with something even worse, with an embarrassing arrest for public intoxication. TMZ claims that “Sources close to Xtina tell us they have been trying to get the singer into a rehab program for weeks.” We wish her all the best—she is a hell of a pop star—and hope she gets over whatever’s going on, be it bad luck or substance problems, soon.