Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera

Born Dec. 18, 1980 in Staten Island, N.Y., Christina Aguilera rode the same wave of teen-pop hysteria that launched the careers of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and others. Like Spears, Aguilera started as a child, competing on Star Search and working as a cast member on The New Mickey Mouse Club, a kid-friendly series produced at Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando.

In 1998, Aguilera recorded "Reflection" for Disney's animated feature film Mulan, a song that led to a record deal with RCA. Her self-titled 1999 debut album featured the hits "Genie in a Bottle" and "What a Girl Wants." The album helped her score a best new artist Grammy.

Compared with Spears, Aguilera was known as more of a pure singer, with a powerful voice capable of technically demanding vocal turns. In 2000, she recorded the Spanish-language album Mi Reflejo, mastering the lyrics phonetically. Meanwhile, she remained a presence on the pop charts, teaming with Pink, Mya and Lil' Kim for a remake of Patti Labelle's "Lady Marmalade" on the Moulin Rouge soundtrack.

Although never identified as a sex symbol in the way that Spears was, Aguilera did turn toward a more adult image in 2002 on Stripped, which featured the single "Dirrty" and the big ballad "Beautiful."

By 2006, she had gone more traditional. Back to Basics explored vintage jazz and blues styles and yielded the Grammy-winning single "Ain't No Other Man." A DVD, Back to Basics: Live and Down Under, was released in 2007.