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Businessmen Said Christina Aguilera’s Name Was “Too Ethnic”; She Almost Changed Her Name To *This*

today17 February 2021

Background

In a nod to the iconic Latin pop queens, Billboard released interviews with former Timbiriche bandmates Thalia and Paulina Rubio as well as Christina Aguilera. The interviews centre around the insane legacy these powerful women set in the 2000s. And in it, Xtina didn’t hold back when she spoke about being pressured to change her name.

 

 

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A post shared by Christina Aguilera (@xtina)

 

Aguilera – who started out on The Mickey Mouse Club in the 1990s alongside Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and more – opened up about the fear that music professionals had in her name. At present, the star has five Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but back then, they were worried that her name wasn’t catchy enough.

 

“I remember when I was first coming up, there was a big debate around me on changing my last name because all the businessmen around me thought it was too long, too complicated and too ethnic.”

 

Aguilera’s talent must have shown through because after The Mickey Mouse Club, she was chosen to sing “Reflection”, for the Mulan soundtrack and went on to enter the ‘teen pop’ market (that Britney Spears was domination at the time) with “Genie In a Bottle”. But what name did these men in suits have for the young star instead? Brace yourselves – they wanted her to change her name to…

 

“‘Christina Agee’ was an option, but that clearly wasn’t going to fly. I was dead set against the idea, and I wanted to represent who I really was. Being Latina, it is a part of my heritage and who I am.”

 

Aguilera’s stance is rooted in her mixed heritage. Her mother is of European descent (of German, Irish, Welsh, and Dutch ancestry) and her father is an Ecuadorian. However, her parents separated when she was 6, after her mother accused her dad of physical and emotional abuse. And when her mother remarried, she again faced pressure to change her name.

 

 

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A post shared by Christina Aguilera (@xtina)

 

Aguilera shared,

 

“There was another time in my childhood when I was being asked to legally change my name to my stepfather’s to be legally adopted, and I was again dead set against it. I’ve been fighting for my last name my whole life.”

 

When she says she’s been “fighting for her last name”, she refers to having to ‘prove’ to the world that she is ‘Latina enough’ to carry it.

 

 

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A post shared by Christina Aguilera (@xtina)

 

In an interview with Latina Magazine (as reported by Huffpost), Aguilera opened up about the grief she received for being a mix of so many different heritages.

 

“I should not have to prove my ethnicity to anyone. I know who I am. I wouldn’t be questioned [about my heritage] if I looked more stereotypically Latina. Whatever that is. All I know is no one can tell me I’m not a proud Latina woman.”

 

With this determination (and despite not being fluent in Spanish), she released her first (and only) album in Spanish in 2000. Titled, “Mi Reflejo,” the album nabbed her the Latin Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Album.

 

 

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A post shared by Christina Aguilera (@xtina)

 

As for her future music, Aguilera took time to reflect on how her past Latin records (especially those that were reworked from English songs) have helped her now to be ready to get more personal with her future music. She has gone back to her roots and now “as a grown woman who doesn’t have to cover my own English material in Spanish, but as a woman who can draw from my own personal experiences and express that with honesty”. Speaking to Billboard, she shared,

 

“My message, as in all my music, stands for being fearless to explore who you are. It’s never too late to open a new door. Although it’s scary to dive into territory that isn’t your first language, it still doesn’t erase who I am and how I want to express myself in all aspects of what intrigues and inspires me.”

Written by: Marissa Anne


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