Christina Aguilera Says Music Executives Initially Thought Her Name Was ‘Too Ethnic’

Christina Aguilera poses at a Harpers Bazaar event.
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

Christina Aguilera recalled asserting herself early in career after several music executives wanted her to go by a different last name.

The “Genie In A Bottle” singer told Billboard that her name became an issue once she landed her first recording deal in the 1990s. Aguilera, who has often shared how proud she is to be a part of the Latinx community, said she was adamant about not changing her last name as she wanted to represent her heritage in her music and her career.

“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,” she recalled. “Christina Agee’ was an option, but that clearly wasn’t going to fly.”

Christina Aguilera at the 42nd Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles, CA on Febuary 23, 2000
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Throughout her over 20 years as a musician, Aguilera has implemented her culture into her songs. While she’s mostly known for her pop hits, the singer released her only Spanish-language album, Mi Reflejo in 2000. The album earned her a Latin Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Album.

After the song was released, Aguilera’s album also earned a No. 1 spot on the Top Latin Albums and Latin Pop Albums charts. According to Us Weekly, she also re-recorded some of her chart-topping hits in Spanish. By adding a new twist to the songs, she said she was able to be more creative with the original song and turn it into something she hadn’t heard before.

“I was excited to bring a new life to [these songs] and reinvent some things,” Aguilera said. “Everything sounds better in Spanish. Let’s be honest.”

Aguilera’s father is Ecuadorian while her mother is of European descent. She’s shared in the past how being a mixture of the two ethnicities has affected her through the years. The musician once said she felt stuck in the middle growing up and felt the need to embrace both cultures. While she didn’t speak the language at the time, she has remained proud of her Latinx roots and will celebrate it whenever possible.

Even though Aguilera has earned a massive following for her work, the singer related that she wants to continue challenging herself through music. The mother-of-two said she wants to produce another Spanish-language album that will reflect where she is today as an adult. Instead of reworking her older tunes, Aguilera said she wants to be more personal with her fans while continuing to pay homage to her culture.