An Audience For Christina Aguilera

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    Christina Aguilera launched her career in the late 1990s as one of the leading acts of the Pop music revival. Armed with a voice that was often compared to divas Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, she quickly rose to prominence as one of the few artists of that new generation who could actually sing. Yet, more than a decade later, Aguilera has lost her footing on the charts.

    Unlike Britney Spears – to whom she has been compared since the the very beginning of recording career – Aguilera completely revamped her sound and image with every project by experimenting with a range of genres. However, despite receiving critical acclaim for her risky artistic ventures, Aguilera’s quests for constant reinvention has resulted in a major problem.

    Every Aguilera album was vastly different from its predecessor and this caused continuous shifts in her fanbase as each new release alienated those persons who supported her previous projects. For instance, ‘Stripped’ – arguably her best work – was a gritty mix of Hip-Pop, R&B and Soft Rock that garnered her support across the spectrum and even on the Urban formats. On the other hand, Aguilera’s ‘Back to Basics’ album was clearly targeting the Adult Contemporary/Pop market and she ignored those persons who enjoyed her earlier material.

    Furthermore, ‘Bionic’ was yet another new direction for Aguilera and although it entailed multiple ballads that could have worked on Adult Contemporary radio, the club-geared ‘Not Myself Tonight’ and its accompanying video ruined any chances for the buyers in that market to be interested in hearing the rest of the LP. Add that to her media-fueled feud with Lady Gaga that deterred her younger fans, and ‘Bionic’ was doomed to fail.

    So, how is it that acts such as Madonna have continuously reinvented themselves without losing support from their core audiences but Aguilera could not manage to do the same? The answer is quite obvious: Aguilera does not have a core audience.

    Yes, Aguilera does indeed have a gang loyal fans who endorse her talent and linger on the blogs to attack anyone who dares to question her decisions – feel free to read the comments made by Xtina Disciple on previous posts on this site – but their numbers not large enough to ensure that her albums would at least achieve gold status. Indeed, Aguilera simply did not spend enough time cultivating a core audience within a specific market before she branched out into different fields. Really, she did too much too soon.

    Additionally, each phase of Aguilera’s career has been vastly different and she did not make gradual shifts in her sound that would have allowed her fans to adjust. Instead, she basically abandoned each group as she furthered her quest for artistic growth. Analogy alert: do you remember that episode of ‘Rugrats’ when Tommy’s mother abruptly took away his milk bottle and gave him a juice cup?

    Ultimately, Aguilera has built a career similar to that metaphoric castle on shifting sands without forming a proper foundation. Luckily, though, she is still young enough to redirect her efforts into rectifying the situation. Besides, with her talent and resources, Aguilera could easily craft material to corner almost any market without relying on the gimmicks that her peers so desperately need.

    I personally suggest that Aguilera should focus her attention on the Adult Contemporary audience because those individuals actually buy albums. Plus, she could get as big as a house and nobody would care as long as she doesn’t sound as though her vocal cords are trapped underneath one.

    Thoughts?

    • sam

      So true. I find it stupid that people are writing her (and Beyonce) off because they had a bad album. They’re both only 30! Whitney had “I’m Your Baby Tonight”, it had poor sales for a 1990 release. She came back with “The Bodyguard OST” and we all know how that went! Good luck Xtina!

    • Americanboi

      I agree. I have always said Xtina should give ballads. She’s not really a great pop star. She’s not the best dancer. Her voice is amazing, and is her selling point. She doesn’t switch effortlessly from trend to trend like Rihanna or Madonna. Bionic was terrible, and the lead single was even worst. i remember ballads like Beautiful could bring tears to people’s eyes. She should run with those. She’s a talented girl…i just dont see her taking back off.

      You also forgot to mention her god awful attitude. I definitely think people were over her bad ass attitude by the time Bionic arrived.

    • MY Babay

      My only gripe with Xtina is how she has no musicianship and damages her voice. She has a beautiful voice, but doesn’t no how to use it. I remember when I use to think she was the best singer ever until I started paying attention to more singers (Whitney, Mariah, Aretha, and Beyonce). She doesn’t have any proper control, she always strains, weak resonance, can barely sustain a note in the 4th octave and she out of tune a lot of the time. Compared to real vocalist she is Britney Spears.

      But, in response to the article, Christina is not irrelevant. She had one flop album, but people shouldn’t try to write off her career (mainly the internet trolls). I still hear people in the general public talk about her and refer to her.

    • Kari

      She had ONE album (Bionic) that didn’t scan gold. You failed to mention how successful her ‘Burlesque’ soundtrack was this year. It scanned over 500k and was a top seller for soundtracks. Lets not act like she’s has a string of flop albums.

    • Maverick

      Great article. I agree with her lack of musical direction with each album.
      LOL @ XtinasDisciple being mentioned here. He is a psycho Xtina stan. Go check his Youtube channel. Such a shame

    • Mahi

      I didn’t really get the GIF but this is a good article! Adult Contemporary would be great for Christina especially with the platform she’s given on The Voice. I think Mariah Carey should take the A.C. route too because her fan base from the 90’s are in that category and I’m sure they’d love to hear something like Vision of Love in 2012.

    • Agent_Mariah

      @Sam – The Bodyguard OST is NOT Whitney’s album. Plus, if it was, that’s different because it was fueled by a movie.

      And yaaaaaas at my bad bitch @XtinasDisciple getting a shout out.

    • sam

      @Agent_Mariah Whitney was the primary artist, and it has always been considered a Whitney Houston album. The movie didn’t even do that well when it was first released. The soundtrack saved it and then they played off one another.

      It’s always the lambs that try to bring down The Bodyguards success. Get over it! Who run the world? Miss Whitney.

    • Agent_Mariah

      @Sam – I’m not trying to bring down the Bodyguards success. I love Whit. I’m just saying that’s not her album. It includes various artist. It doesn’t matter what people have been considering it, the fact is that it’s not her album. How successful the movie was is kinda irrelevant to the point I was trying to make also.

    • Naudisweet(Xtina Stan)

      I agree with Trent on most(not all) points. BTW I love Xtina, and own everything she’s ever put out, she’s great in my eyes. XtinasDisciple however is just nuts,thats what you call a crazy stan.

    • DOMOdotSCORE

      Yeah, it’s true that Christina only has one flop album. But we all have to realize that in this era of music, one flop album can be the beginning of the end. The music climate of today is very different than it was like 5 years ago or even when Christina stepped onto the scene. Artists will be called a flop if their new album doesn’t do as well or better than the last. It’s messed up but it’s true. We all have to deal with that until the climate goes through another change.

      Christina needs to do more songs like “The Voice Within”, “I’m OK”, “Keep Singing My Song”, “You Lost Me”, “Lift Me Up”, “Walk Away”, “Beautiful” and things of that nature. That is where she’s strongest. I wish she would do another song with Alicia Keys because “Impossible” is such a great song. I feel like Christina just needs to admit to herself that she is a child of R&B & Ballads and leave those catchy, pop songs alone. Christina’s voice sounds as if she’s getting it back together. All she needs is great material.

      The main thing that Christina needs to do is sing for her age because no one wants to hear a 30 year old singing songs like “Vanity”, “Bobblehead” or “Woohoo”. I actually like those songs but that’s not what she should be doing. She needs to leave those types of songs for those who need them to succeed.

    • T.Davis

      I agree with some of the points mention in the article. People dont want to hear christina singing repetive ringtone music b/c she can SANG! Thast what christina needs to understand. when you have a voice like that utilize it. I understand she want to do upbeat songs but say away from thoe ranchy songs leave songs like that for artist who has zero vocal strength (riri, cici, britney etc.) Those artist can get away with those kinda of songs because no one is expecting much from them vocal wise. Every artist has had a so-call flop album. Yes even those less vocally challenged artist I mentioned. Mariah did and and then she hit us with Emancipation of Mimi which was one of the best cd of that year. At the end of the day Christina will go down as one of the best vocalist our generation has ever seen. As a artist I would rather be remember for my voice than album sales. Unfortanetely we live in a world were it doesnt take much to get a number one single/album. All you need is beauty and a repetitive song and your a shoe in. If you dont believe me look at the album charts and award shows.

    • mimii

      I thought Burlesque was going to help her career, I love that soundtrack and movie. Especially the song “Bound to You”. Why the movie flopped is beyond me. Either way I feel she’s going to have a comeback since she had her moment in “Moves Like Jagger”. And just like how JLo’s “On the Floor” shot to #1 when she premiered it on Idol, Christina better get her promo in on The Voice!

    • sam

      @Agent_Mariah Well RIAA & BPI count it as a Whitney Houston album. They’re a lot more credible then yourself. NOBODY bought that album for Nick Lowe or Kenny G.

    • X

      Exactly what i have been repeatedly saying these past few years. It’s alright to reinvent yourself every era, but not so drastically that you end up isolating your audience and losing the ones who supported your previous album. The amount of time she takes to release an album is also a big factor, especially in pop music. 4 years is almost a decade in a genre where your as relevant as your last hit.

      I know she won’t disappoint me with this album tho!

    • QUEEN XTINA COMING !!! :D — MAD?—

      @X I agree with you 🙂

    • QUEEN XTINA COMING !!! :D — MAD?—

      2012= Xtina’s year, i feel it !!!

    • QUEEN XTINA COMING !!! :D — MAD?—

      Ready for Xtina new single ? it’s called “Fuck your Body” !!! #Xclusivity

    • King B

      @ X:

      I think the fact that she takes such long breaks in between albums explains the drastic shifts in sound and image. Naturally, you’re not gonna be interested in picking up where you last left off if your last project was four years ago. That’s not to say that she doesn’t overdo it in her quest to prove how versatile she is, sometimes she does force the “artistic evolution” a bit rather than letting things flow naturally (which is why “Bionic” was such a jumbled mess). But I’d rather that than being stagnant with your music and refusing to branch out for fear of failure or hopping on trends to remain relevant (granted, NMT seemed like it did just that, but that was more of a poor choice of a single and video than anything else).

      And I can’t wait for her new album, either. I hope it’s given the proper promo to ensure its success.

      BTW, who says that upbeat pop music should only be reserved for singers with minimal vocal talent? Limiting yourself strictly to ballads doesn’t make you a better artist. I think the criticism should be over the quality of the music, not the genre. A truly great singer should be able to do a lot more than just one type of music.

    • LegendTina The Goddess Of Music

      @mimii her movie Burlesque never flopped! It grossed over 90 million & the movie costed 51 million to make. Also Burlesque dvd sales sold over 120 copies & Burlesque soundtrack did good in the States.

      I agree with Trent is someways! Just the way Pink’s fans felt ababandoned when she left her rnb roots for rock but then she continued with that gendre! But Xtina is the most versatile. She is the only artist that is always compared to every1 old artists & newcomers! She’s the ultimate tripple threat.

      She’s been in this industry for over a decade and with only 1 flop album ever! What Xtina needs to do is be Xtina not just some ballad singer. She’s the artist she is today because of her influences since she was a kid from a different range of artists before her time! That’s why stripped was more her because that album had everything! Pop, Rock, RnB, Jazz, Ballads.. She never grew up singing just ballads or 1 genre maybe you should all look up videos of her as a kid singing all those different genre’s. She’s not just a pop singer she’s a ARTIST! There’s receipts of it on you tube throughtout her whole life.

    • LegendTina The Goddess Of Music

      Sorry for the typo’s I’m from my phone and can’t really see what I’m typing. LOL

    • Agent_Mariah

      Why ya’ll keep saying that she only has one flop album? She has two actually. In my opinion, Back To Basics is a flop. It only sold over 4 mill. ww. and 1 mill. in the U.S. None of the 3 singles released even mad it top top 5. The album had 23 songs.

      I’m sorry but if we consider Mariah’s “Charmbracelet,” which also sold over 4 mill. ww, a flop then we must consider “Back To Basics” a flop.

      Sorry but BTB was the beginning of Christina’s decline.

    • Entertainer

      Xtina has had 2 flops that is right. Looking at her sales is shocking compared to Britney. With each release she sold 1/2 of the previous release and with the last 2 releases not counting burlesque, her sales were horrid.

      Burlesque also got some fuel from Cher but it’s that kind of adult leaning music that she shoudl sing. Not burlesque but music that would skew to the ac crowd who can appreciate her voice and like trent say they still buy albums.

      doing skanky sh*t ain’t cute and if she tries it she will lose again.

      agent_mariah
      The Bodyguard is absolutely considred a whitney cd. BP!, RIAA and Billboard give her the credit. she cover 50% of the material and folks bought it for her songs. The movie was propelled by people hearing ‘i will always love you’ who then went out to see it not the other way around.

    • Congo

      Burlesque the movie was a flop for her. budget was $55 mil and it only grossed $39mil domestic and total $89mil worldwide. For a movie to be sucessful of the cuff, needs to do 2.5xs it budget at least. dvd and soundtrack did well but i’m sure screen gems spent about $20mil on marketing so i doubt they made a profit, probably broke even at best- shows xtina can’t open a movie.

      stick to ac type songs to showcase her voice with a few pop upbeat numbers. none of that electric or electric pop like not myself to night. you lost me was great and should have been her lead. good luck extina

    • Tim

      Honestly, These last years was Christina’s worst. As a fan, I think she should make an internet EP on Itunes, so in case she ‘Flops’ she has nothing to lose.

    • Micky

      Lol yes. I’m part of the ‘Xtina gang’ and i totally agree with you

    • theman

      Burlesque was/is not a flop. Ww it made more than it’s budget, not to mention that th dvd did very well. The soundtrack also went gold, and did well in other countries. She had 1 album that didn’t good. “B2B” sold about 1.6 mil in the US, that wasn’t really a flop either. She also stopped promo and and any other singles from being released for some reason. These bloggers make it seem as though these artists have these terrible things in their careers where they won’t do well again. It ain’t that serious. She had one mishap. She has a fanbase. She’s an artist she doesn’t have to just make ballads, she’s more than that. That would be boring. Also, Adele is selling her albums not just to the AC audience, just all across the board. She has the hits and the album sales. Yes AC buys alot of albums, but other fanbases buy albums to.

    • DOMOdotSCORE

      @ King B

      You’re right, upbeat songs aren’t only for those who have minimal vocal talent. But they are for those that can carry an upbeat song. It speaks more to the believability of the artist. With Christina, for me, her ballads feel like she put more time, energy and thought into them. They sound like she really wants to sing them; they don’t feel obligatory. Although I loved Bionic, looking back on the album, it comes across as very trendy and not realistically Christina. Many of the songs didn’t sound like her.

      The reason why Stripped is considered her best album is because the audience could relate better to her because the audience believed that she was feeling what she was singing. With the songs on Bionic, most of the songs came across as forced instead of natural. Personally, I’m more of a fan of her slower songs, such as the ones in my previous comment and many of the songs on Back to Basics, which are very retro R&B in nature. But if Christina wants to do a variety of genres, she needs to bring the emotion and believability to her more upbeat songs. She has to learn to let those songs come off naturally and not make her audience feel as though she only did it to fit in.

    • MuzikJunkie!

      This article was so right. Trent you made some great points, maybe she should hire you! Lol

    • X

      @King B and @DOMOdotSCORE I agree with you two wholeheartedly. You guys made excellent points. I want a mixture of upbeat songs and ballads, because, personally, I feel she can do both. She just needs to keep in mind that uptempo music doesnt always have to be about sex :D. However, her ballads and midtempos definitely are her strongpoints

    • Kristine

      I think this article couldnt have put it more wrongly. C.A is seen as one of the most iconic female vocalists of our generation. She wasnt attentive to her older fans when she released Back to basics? well, she did make a whole song dedicated to her fans on that album….(with clips from her fans and she singing thanks to them) Thats attentive and i as an old fan has never felt disconected with her. one thing a christina fan has to love about her is the fact that she is a risk-taker, and does whatever her heart tells her to do.. she reinvent herself perfectly. i can recall a time when her album stripped was critizised ! and all of a sudden, yeeaars later, its seen as her best work… who would have known?! dont forget that Back to basics was a major hit and extremly successful. (i also think its funny some say christina doesnt reinvent herself as well as rihanna . – rihanna?? what reinvention? she does alot of the same thing and same sound over and over again and she doesnt write her own material… just because one sell well worldwide doesnt mean its better quality… it just describes what the music industry is about nowadays.

    • Kristine

      oh and btw, some here says she is better on ballads than uptempo because she isnt a very good dancer…. HAVE YOU SEEN BURLESQUE…. i think she has recieved alot of negativity this past year, and its just added up to this “find as many flaws with christina aguilera as you can, and if you cant find any, make something up” – mania. and wow people have really been digging and overanalyzed every step she has taken. Well i think this WITCHHUNTtrend is soo last year dont you!?

    • irene46

      is a movie grossing 100 million really considered a flop as some keep suggesting? it may not be a blockbuster but it hardly seems like a flop!

      anyone saying christina is not a good dancer is on the hate christina bandwagon. not only did she display how well she can dance in ‘burlesque’ but even years ago in her ‘dirrty’ and ‘candyman’ videos.

    • NagoKnoca

      La vostra idea utile

    • Chesré

      Wow, you’re ignorant!

      If you feel the need to write so many articles on Christina Aguilera, then why not get your facts straight first? That way, the delusional fans might still attack you, but then at least it would be about a difference of opinion and NOT about your poor research.

      Again I have to ask: Why write about something that you don’t know your facts on? SMH

    • Pokemon Trainer(Sinnoh)

      Some interesting points were made in this article! Xtina change her album style as she goes along but her fans got alienated at the same time! I like Xtina’s early stuff from debut album, Stripped and Back to Basics…she lost me on Bionic and that soundtrack to be honest :S…new artists like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber all came in and conquer the market. However, I am very eager to hear the new album! I heard ‘Your Body’ a few weeks ago it got taken down on the internet and it sounds like a Big hit to me but we will see 🙂

    • Pokemon Trainer(Sinnoh)

      home truths on this article for real! …I still want Xtina to win but we will see hoe she fares on the promo campaign with Lotus album. slow start but great finish I hope *prays*

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