With her new album, "Lotus," debuting at No. 7 on this week's Billboard 200 chart, Christina Aguilera has once again transmitted her bold pop stylings to a wide audience. It shouldn't be a surprise: the 31-year-old has been commanding the spotlight for nearly two decades, first as a Mouseketeer, then as a pop superstar, and now as a reliable voice in the world of film, television and music. Aguilera has said that "Lotus" is a rebirth, but rarely has a pop music career been so alive for so long.
In honor of Christina Aguilera's return to the spotlight and the arrival of "Lotus," check out the 10 moments that have thus far defined her career. Read all about the multifaceted achievements of the singing star, and tell us what you'll always remember about Xtina in the comments section below.
'Mickey Mouse Club' Welcomes a New Mouseketeer:
Christina Aguilera enjoyed major performance opportunities when she was a tween, most notably on "Star Search," but joining the cast of "The Mickey Mouse Club" was her first major step toward stardom. After getting turned down due to age requirements in 1991, Aguilera joined the "Club" two years later as a precocious vocal talent, and co-starred alongside future superstars like Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling and a little-known singer named Britney Spears. The "Club" was cancelled in 1994, but its legacy lives on -- not just via YouTube, but through the careers of its final cast.
Christina Sees 'Reflection' on 'Mulan' Soundtrack:
One year before summoning her genie in a bottle, a 17-year-old Aguilera scored her first mainstream breakout opportunity following her "Mickey Mouse Club" days as a child star. With the help of label executive Ron Fair, Aguilera displayed a more grown-up side -- as well as those incredible pipes -- on "Reflection," a single from the soundtrack for the 1998 Disney animated hit "Mulan." Aguilera's performance guided the track to a Best Original Song nomination at the Golden Globes that year, and before her bubblegum pop took over airwaves in 1999, the teen singer had already established her impressive range.
'Genie in a Bottle' Hits No. 1 on Hot 100:
Christina has scored other Hot 100 chart-toppers over the course of her career -- from "Come On Over (All I Want Is You)" to "Moves Like Jagger" -- but none have been as defining as "Genie in a Bottle," the lead single from her 1999 self-titled debut album. A carefully constructed pop blast that allowed the 18-year-old to deliver catchy-as-hell hooks and flirtatious vocal gymnastics, "Genie" became Aguilera's breakout radio hit and "Total Request Live" staple upon its release. Once the song had cemented Aguilera as the yin to Britney Spears' yang, more hit singles followed from "Christina Aguilera," including "What a Girl Wants" and the ballad "I Turn To You."
Christina Wins Best New Artist Grammy:
The battle for teen pop supremacy made its way to the Grammy Awards in 2000, when Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were both nominated for the Best New Artist prize. Both singing stars had issued hit albums in 1999, and while Spears had scored smash singles like "...Baby One More Time," "Sometimes" and "(You Drive Me) Crazy," Aguilera ended up walking away with one of the night's top prizes. "I'm shaking right now!" Aguilera told the audience at the 2000 ceremony, also admitting that she did not have a speech prepared for the event because she didn't think she would win. Aguilera has since taken home three more Grammys, for the songs "Lady Marmalade," "Beautiful" and "Ain't No Other Man," respectively.
Christina Teams With Mya, P!nk & Lil Kim for Another Smash:
"Lady Marmalade," a remake of Labelle's 1975 single of the same name for the soundtrack to the 2001 film "Moulin Rouge," corraled female vocal talent far and wide -- from pop (Pink) to R&B (Mya) to hip-hop (Lil Kim) -- with Aguilera's spectacular vocals front and center for the finale. The single, produced by Missy Elliott and Rockwilder, was an international smash and another No. 1 for Christina. Meanwhile, its music video, in which all parties involved got to play dress-up and Aguilera's hair became a teased behemoth, took home the MTV VMA for Video of the Year.
The 'Dirrty' Transformation:
For her second album, "Stripped," Christina Aguilera more or less vanished and was replaced by the entity known as "Xtina." With her hair dyed black, nude photographs on magazine covers, and a more sexually explicit persona front and center, Aguilera rearranged her image for the 2002 release of "Stripped," which was led by the raunchy pop track "Dirrty" featuring Redman. Despite causing controversy within the pop universe, "Stripped" was another hit, and led to the Justified/Stripped tour alongside her former "Mickey Mouse Club" co-star, Justin Timberlake.
Christina's 'Beautiful' Collaboration With Linda Perry:
Along with the dirrtier side of the pop star that it presented, "Stripped" was also notable for pairing Aguilera with producer/songwriter Linda Perry, who contributed to four songs on the project. None was quite as poignant as "Beautiful," the soaring ballad that served as the album's second single and arguably the best song of Aguilera's career. With a message of acceptance radiating from its core and a music video that touched on LGBT issues, "Beautiful" lived up to its title, and further legitimized Aguilera as a serious pop talent.
Christina Visits the Acting World in 'Burlesque':
Aguilera had popped up in a few acting cameos before "Burlesque," but the 2010 film represented a bold foray into the acting world for the pop singer, as well as a chance to learn a new craft from Cher, one of the most successful crossover singer/actresses ever. ""Cher taught me about how, for your off-camera scenes, [you should] be just as good if not more of an actor [for] the person you're in the scene with. It's going to make the whole thing better -- to really be a giving actor," Aguilera recently said at the Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Conference. During a year in which her fourth album, "Bionic," underachieved, "Burlesque" offered a bright spot for Aguilera, who received positive reviews in her first major role.
Christina Finds 'The Voice':
Five months after the release of "Burlesque," Aguilera hopped from film to TV on "The Voice," a new reality competition executive produced by Mark Burnett. Starring alongside Cee Lo Green, Maroon 5's Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, Aguilera was given the opportunity to coach prospective vocal talent on a weekly basis, as well as showcase her personality on a fresh platform. Now in its third season, "The Voice" remains a ratings giant, while Aguilera and Levine used the show to help launch their collaborative single "Moves Like Jagger," another Hot 100 chart-topper for the pop star.
The 'Lotus' Rebirth:
With her fifth album, "Lotus," Aguilera has synthesized the various shades of her career into a single color: first single "Your Body," produced by new collaborator Max Martin, offers the sexy playfulness of "Dirrty," while "Army of Me" is the "Fighter" for a new generation of pop fans. The album gave Aguilera another Top 10 debut on the Billboard 200, and after exhibiting her stage prowess at the 2012 American Music Awards, Aguilera plans to take "Lotus" on the road in 2013. It's a fresh start for a veteran artist who continues to redefine her legacy.