Peak chart position: #2
Lady Gaga wants you to think she invented songs about gay rights and self acceptance. However, the song "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera is the ultimate song about self acceptance that came out in 2002. Unlike Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera didn't need to take a 20-year old song, copy it note for note, and just change the words.
I'll never forget driving back from work in October of 2002. After Christina's previously released song "Dirrty" caused a backlash, I wasn't too excited when it was announced that a new Christina Aguilera song was coming up. Once the song came on, I was transfixed. "Wow! This is amazing," I thought. I was so touched by the song I had to pull over. I couldn't believe such a song had a profound effect on me, even though I only heard it once.
"Beautiful" was written by Linda Perry and is often considered one of the best written pop songs of all time. However, it's Christina Aguilera's voice that is the biggest charm in this mega-hit. Too often, Aguilera oversings her songs and leaves them void of an emotional connection. This certainly isn't the case with "Beautiful."
My brother, who was often picked on in high school, told me that the song "Beautiful" changed his life in a profound way. For a generation that grew up in the '00s, "Beautiful" remains their theme song.