Contributed by soBeautiful:
Driven: Christina Aguilera is the tale of a little girl from Pittsburgh with a passion for music. She wanted only one thing: to share her voice with the world. Years later, Aguilera’s dreams came true when her wildly successful debut album went multi-platinum and she garnered a Grammy.
Driven: Christina Aguilera highlights include:
As a toddler, Christina was passionate about singing but also used her talent as a means to escape her father’s abuse.
Throughout elementary school, the other girls in Christina’s hometown of Rochester, PA displayed extreme jealousy of Christina, ridiculing her ability and her performances in talent shows.
Christina’s family left Rochester when threats were made and acts of vandalism resulted in their car tires being slashed.
At the age of eight, Christina competed on Star Search, and lost.
After wowing the crowd at a Pittsburgh charity banquet, 11 year old Christina landed offers to sing the national anthem for the Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers.
For two seasons, Christina appeared on The New Mickey Mouse Club which furthered her desire to record an album before she graduated from high school.
In 1994, several labels, including RCA, passed on the opportunity to sign Christina Aguilera. Undaunted, she left for Japan to jump-start her career on distant shores.
Within the four walls of her bathroom, Christina belted out the “high E above middle C” for a demo tape that ultimately became her star-turning vehicle… Christina was chosen to sing “Reflection” on the Mulan soundtrack, was simultaneously signed with RCA.
At 17, Christina packed up and moved to LA where she realized her dream and recorded her debut album. While Christina’s star continued to rise, tension back home among her peers was far from over. At the prom, “Genie in a Bottle” played and much to Christina’s dismay, everyone cleared the dance floor.
Some of the interview highlights include:
• Shelly Kearns, mother. “Anybody who tried to befriend Christina was harassed by phone day and night until their parents said no.”
• Jude Pohl, host of Jude Pohl’s Talent Showcase in Pittsburgh, says that other kids would drop out of the talent contest when they realized they would be competing against Christina. “It was almost not fair to send anybody against her. It was like sending the lamb to the slaughter.”
• Noelle Bannister, a competitor on Jude Pohl’s Talent Showcase. “I knew she wasn’t – just your average 9 year old. She had the talent, and the drive, and the focus of someone who was going to do something.”
• Penny Householder, Christina’s first grade teacher who tried to shelter her from the other children’s mockery. “She was just so much better than everybody else – head and shoulders above everybody. They were just, you know, normal children. And she had this wonderful talent.”
• Walt Maddox, formerly of the 60’s doo-wop band The Marcels, who befriended 10 year-old Christina and fostered her talent as a singer. “Once you saw Christina and heard Christina, there was just no way you could ever forget the voice of this little kid”
• Katie Heffner, childhood friend, “She had a lot of self confidence, which sometimes can be mistaken for arrogance.”
• Marcie Craig Reilly, childhood friend, on Christina’s troubles with jealous peers, “I remember one time in gym class they were trying to kick balls at her, to deliberately try to hurt her. It was just a jealousy thing.”
• Matt Casella, casting director for The New Mickey Mouse Club. “They’d call her the diva. They all sort of took a step back and went, oh boy, I’m gonna lose a few solo songs this season.”
• Bob Jamieson, President of RCA who signed Christina to the label, “She’s a strong woman. And has opinions and she’ll express those opinions. This is not a woman that’s gonna sit in a corner and do what people tell her to do.”
Some of the footage highlights include:
• Never-before-seen footage of Christina’s 1989 audition for the Jude Pohl Talent Showcase.
• Christina’s losing performance on Star Search.
• Rare footage of Christina singing at a “Kids Against Drugs” benefit with Walt Maddox at age 11.
• Singing “The National Anthem” for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pirates in 1992.
• Performing on The New Mickey Mouse Club.
• Singing “Reflection,” the song that won her international notoriety, in 1998.