Christina Aguilera was having a terrible 2011 for a while. Once known as pop’s brightest talent, with the voice of a Mariah Carey and the bombshell appeal of Britney Spears, her star began to sink last year, with one lousy event after another. Album Bionic‘s electric hype disappeared last year once the record short-circuited. Burlesque might not have been as mocked as Mariah’s Glitter or Jennifer Lopez’s Gigli, but a soft, cushioned flop is still a flop. There was the divorce from husband Jordan Bratman, ending a marriage seen to be one of pop’s strongest (granted, that’s a low bar to clear), that National Anthem screwup, the arrest for public intoxication that drew P!nk’s mockery.
But like J. Lo, Aguilera may well saved her career by swallowing her pride, cashing a fat paycheck, and becoming a reality-TV star. With her role as de facto lead judge/coach on NBC’s new hit singing competition The Voice, Aguilera has found a prime platform to show millions of people that she’s really not a train wreck, and to remind them that she still possesses a world-class voice (and that such things still matter). She’s even dropping generalities about a new album as if nothing bad happened this year. Wait, maybe that’s a low. Who can keep them straight anymore?
We can! In the spirit of Popdust’s Jennifer Lopez feature back in April, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the ups and down of Xtina’s career, from her “Genie” genius to the “Dirrty” sludge that smeared her image, up to Back to Basics retro dominance, the killer futuristic album that never was, and more.
For Part 1: THE TEEN POP YEARS, click NEXT.