CHRISTINA AGUILERA has established herself as the real princess of pop.
For years she stood in the shadow of her former Mickey Mouse Club pal Britney Spears – widely regarded as Britney’s cheaper and paler imitation.
But Christina has proved she has the talent and brains to outshine not only Britney but just about every other star, too.
And all the while she has kept her feet firmly on the ground.
Her secret engagement to Jordan Bratman, a normal boy outside the showbiz circuit, is a sure sign that she is determined to remain as grounded as possible.
Christina, 23, has climbed to the top of the pop ladder and is now playing catch-up to Britney in both album sales and wealth.
Britney has amassed a £60million fortune – double Christina’s – and her sales outshine Christina’s 20million by more than 10million.
But critics say Christina is on the up, while Britney shows signs that she has already peaked.
Jonathan Shalit, the man behind Charlotte Church’s success, is convinced Christina is the new Madonna.
He said: “Christina is possibly the most exciting female artist out there. She has concentrated on her career and made herself a global superstar.
“Boyfriends and drugs could have got in the way but she didn’t let that happen.
“I have seen her work schedules and they are gruelling. She’s at it 14 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Her voice is like a gymnast, jumping all over the place with an amazing range.
“Nobody in her generation can compete – certainly not Britney.”
In a flurry of boozy benders and a sham marriage, Britney appears to have been gobbled up by the fantasy world of fame.
Meanwhile, Christina has kept it real. She owns a £3million Hollywood home – but chooses to share it with her mum.
She takes seriously her responsibilities as a stepsister to little brother Casey, prefering to spend weekends with him and Jordan, leaving her rivals to hang out in A-list haunts.
Christina often seems older than her 23 years – many of her chosen friends are twice her age, among them style queen Donatella Versace.
Agreeing to wed Jordan signals the end of a traumatic battle against childhood demons which left Christina convinced she would never find love.
But out of the spotlight she is still tormented by memories of a brutal past in New York.
As she grew up she regularly witnessed her Ecuadorian father Fausto beat up her Irish mum Shelly – an experience Christina admits has left her emotionally scarred.
During the beatings Christina would sing loudly in her bedroom to drown out her mother’s screams.
Fausto also hit Christina – once belting her lip so hard it scarred her for life.
The childhood trauma was blamed for her breakdown less than two years ago.
She said recently: “It was not just the physical abuse I feared but the mental abuse. It’s a very sad thing to go through as a child.
“It created a defence mechanism in me. I never took love all that seriously.
“I wanted to play the tough role. I was like, ‘No guy’s ever going to break my heart. I’ll never be helpless to a guy,’ to the point where I didn’t even get what love was about.
“I’ve learned to try to break down some of my walls that I have up. When success first hit, my father tried to get back into my life.
“But I’m a smart, no-bulls*** girl. I can smell it a mile away and if you haven’t been in my life before then I’m not going to be too keen on letting you in now.
“Even so, there is always room for forgiveness and I do forgive my father for the past. But I learned a lot from what I witnessed and it was rough.
“On the positive side I thank God for the times I’ve been hurt, because it forces you to fight your way out of a rough situation.
“I have definitely come out a stronger and wiser person from it. You need those hard times in your life to better yourself as a person.”
In the four years since her first album, Christina has gone from squeaky-clean teen to a daring diva who revels in shock tactics and raunch.
Her first taste of fame came when she was recruited to American TV’s long-running Mickey Mouse Club in 1994.
Wearing mouse ears and a toothy grin, she danced alongside Britney and Justin Timberlake.
In 1999 she had her breakthrough hit, Genie In A Bottle, though Britney’s Hit Me Baby overshadowed her debut.
Three years later her goody-two-shoes image was thrown out of the window when she posed naked on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine – later to be copied by Britney.
Record company BMG marketed her as a trashy version of Britney, and it soon paid dividends – in 2000 she won a Grammy award for Best New Artist.
In 2002 she made a lasting impression with millions of men when she wore a bikini and chaps for her Dirrty video.
Then there was that infamous snog with Madonna at the MTV awards in New York last summer.
But it was at last November’s MTV Europe awards in Edinburgh that Christina stole the pop crown from Britney once and for all.
She hosted the bash in a frenzy of 16 costume changes and an X-rated performance – while keeping her cool and ensuring the show ran smoothly.
Her shock tactics have been criticised as trashy and cheap – but Christina does not care.
She said: “If people want to call me a slut and insult me, let them. If being a slut makes me a strong woman, then let it be.
“If you have a dream, totally go for it, never give up. When I was little, I watched Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston on TV and cried because I wanted it so much.”
There is no doubt Christina’s dream has come true.
Source: The Sun
OMG, This article is total crap, it doesn’t make sense..Britney WILL last longer than Christina. Britney had a hard life too, aren’t they forgetting that? Why do they side with Xtina just because she decides to get married..its so annoying! And how can they say Britney is a “cheap imitation” when Britney was known BEFORE christina, and if anything, I would say it was XTINA that has copied Britney!