Christina Aguilera Turns 40

Christina Aguilera Turns 40

Time waits for no one, and one jolting reminder of this is when former child and teen stars become middle-aged adults.

Today, Christina Aguilera turns 40 years old, and if you’re a millennial of a certain age, this is mind-blowing. The girl who sang “Genie in a Bottle” is now a grown-ass woman.

Christina’s career has always been an interesting one, and I often wonder what it would’ve looked like in a world where Britney Spears didn’t exist. Would she have been less successful if Britney hadn’t upended popular music months prior (thereby creating frenzied demand for teenage white girl performers)? Or would she have achieved Britney-level fame? It’s impossible to say for sure, but through constant comparison in the press, people were led to believe that the Mickey Mouse Club alums were in competition (which isn’t implausible) and, in fact, similar (which they weren’t). Aside from being close in age and having blonde-dyed hair, they were decidedly different artists from the get-go.

First of all, and with all due respect to Brit, Christina was a true vocalist, with some even calling her the “new Mariah” at the time of her debut. Also, Christina’s sound always skewed more R&aB — even on her debut album, which many would describe as “pop.”

As the years went by, Christina would demonstrate a willingness to go places that Britney wouldn’t — and, in some cases, couldn’t — with her sound and look. The comparisons never completely went away, but today, it is clear that Christina Aguilera was always more than just Britney 2.0.

Below are my four favorite tracks from Christina’s catalog. Join me in celebrating this icon.

“Can’t Hold Us Down”

“Come on Over (All I Want Is You)”

“The Voice Within”

“Lady Marmalade” (with Mya, Pink and Lil’ Kim)

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