Christina Aguilera Almost Changed Her Name To *This* Because Businessmen Said It Was “Too Ethnic”
In a nod to the iconic Latin pop queens, Billboard has 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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Today was such a special day… one that I will hold dear to my heart forever! I was honored with a @Disney Legend Award and am feeling all types of emotional. 😭☺️🤗 You guys, Disney has been a part of my life since I was a child. From the Mickey Mouse Club to the Mulan Soundtrack, to today… the Disney Legends Awards… we did it! We did it, Fighters! I couldn’t have done it without you. I am so grateful.
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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Happy Mothers Day 🖤 I love you mom! And today l’m honored to celebrate all the incredible, strong moms out there, who guide, nurture, love abundantly and empower their loved ones to reach their fullest potential. (I‘m taking over @billboard’s IG stories later today to celebrate you all!) Be strong. Stay safe. Also, I’m sending love to the many people who can’t be with their mothers and family today. xo … If you are able today, consider donating to #TogetherForHer – a campaign by @charlizeafrica @ctaop and @careorg helping fund interventions to women and girls safe from abuse during this time. Much needed support for women who need our help. Much love. #MothersDay
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.”
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.”
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.”