By now Christina Aguilera is a bona fide superstar, an acclaimed and accomplished performer who needs no introduction. She's sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, achieved four No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and won five Grammy awards. In addition to a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and being the only artist — of either gender —under the age of 30 included in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest singers of all time, she's got that little Emmy-nominated show on NBC, The Voice, which seems to be doing alright in the ratings. Aguilera's fifth studio album, Lotus (RCA Records), which came out earlier this month, is the product of a year in the studio and collaborations with a number of noted artists including bisexual Aussie songstress Sia and her Voice co-star CeeLo Green. She says the album is about self-espression and freedom and rebirth. We caught up with the working mom to talk about her body, Lucille Ball, and her gay fans.
The Advocate: I love that the first single on video is “Your Body.” You look fierce in the video. Is the title a double entendre pointed at all the gossip wags who are always talking about your body?
Christina Aguilera: Actually the message was more playful and took a stab at all the guys that use women. Here the woman had the upper hand and took her revenge in a very tongue and cheek way. The song wasn’t really to send any deep message but was meant to be more playful.
You invoke Lucille Ball in that video. Why her?
I love her. People don’t realize that I really love watching old TV. I find the styles and even the storylines very funny and calming. So to say I channeled her is a huge compliment to me.
Were you in the studio working on this album at the same time you were filming The Voice? How did you juggle all that?
Yes, I was, and also being a mom to Max. Like any working mother it is a juggling act but that is why it was so important to me to have a recording studio in my home. I can go shoot The Voice, come home and put max to bed and then go into the studio.
You worked with Sia and CeeLo Green on this album. Can you tell me more about those collaborations?
Sia is someone I really admire and I worked with her on Bionic. She is so soft spoken, such a talented and throughtful songwriter, and really pushes me to try and do softer more raw things with my music. As for CeeLo he is just so much fun and when I hear the hook to make the world move there was only one voice I heard singing it, and that was CeeLo.
You’ve said this album is about self-expression and freedom and getting back to the root of who you are. Did you get away from that?
No, I never got away from it, but who I am changes every album. As anyone that has grown, evolves, goes through life, you grow and change as a person, and each album I make reflects that change and reflects who I am at that time. The woman I have grown to be.
I like "Army of Me." The whole concept of rising up, stronger, can’t be broken. I think that makes a great LGBT anthem.
I actually feel that way, that I have an "Army of Me"— of people that are maybe misunderstood or don’t fit into the norm but deserve a voice and I wanted this song to be that for them.
You have a lot of LGBT fans. Why do you think you resonate so much with them?
I cannot be more thankful for the support over the years from the community. Even when I felt I couldn’t stand, they held me up and supported me. I think we can each related to each other and I am forever indebted.
Do you you have a lot of lesbian friends in your life? I know the gossip blogs tried to blame your female friendships for your divorce.
I don’t know what the blogs said, nor do I care. I have a close group of people I really trust who I have known forever — some are gay and some aren’t. To me they are just close friends.
Was “Let There Be Love” inspired by anyone in particular?
No, the song is just very fun and free spirited. It reminds me a little of a 1980s dance track.
Another song, “Circles” is a lovely, aggressive, kind of middle finger in the air song. Does it reflect you caring less about what people think of you as you get older?
I have never been one to shy away from speaking my mind and I hope that never changes.