Christina Aguilera came along at the perfect time in pop music history; with pre-teens possessing more disposable income than ever before, teen idol recording stars became a hot commodity in the 1990s. Furthermore, Hispanic performers captured an increasing share of music industry revenue during this decade. Add Aguilera’s striking good looks, exuberant singing style, accomplished stage skills, and a major label promotional budget, and chart success would seem to have been a foregone conclusion.
Due largely to her father’s military career, Aguilera traveled widely as a youth until the family settled in Wexford, Pennsylvania. After starting out in Pittsburgh area talent shows, she appeared on the TV series Star Search at age eight and garnered a cast slot on The New Mickey Mouse Club four years later. Her recording career commenced with a hit single in Japan, "All I Wanna Do," a duet with Keizo Nakanishi. She next recorded "Reflection" for inclusion on the soundtrack of the animated feature, Mulan (1998).
Signing a recording contract with RCA in 1998, her debut album—Christina Aguilera (RCA 67690; 1999; #1)—would sell more than ten million copies over the next year, assisted by two number one singles, "Genie in a Bottle" (RCA 65692; 1999) and "What a Girl Wants" (RCA 65960; 1999). Aguilera’s superstar status was affirmed by an invitation to perform at the Super Bowl XXXIII Halftime Show and a 1999 Grammy award for Best New Artist.
With import singles and albums flooding the market, two more albums were issued domestically in 2000, Mi Reflejo (RCA), a Spanish-language collection geared to her huge Hispanic following, and My Kind of Christmas (RCA). The following year she would collaborate with Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink in the chart-topping single, "Lady Marmalade" (Twentieth Century-Fox 497 561-2; 2001; from the film soundtrack to Moulin Rouge), formerly a number one hit for Labelle in 1975. With her popularity remaining at a peak level through 2001, Aguilera appears likely sustain her storybook career well into adulthood.
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