You Probably Didn’t Know This About Christina Aguilera’s Iconic Ballad, “Beautiful”

Songwriter Linda Perry reveals how the track came to be.

Stripped is one of the greatest pop records of all time (fight me), and it features the powerfully persuasive ballad, “Beautiful.” The track thwarts negative thinking about one’s own self. Incessant personal judgement is toxic, so Linda Perry penned a song to fight it.

In a clip making the rounds online, Perry opens up about writing the song for her, but after getting to know Christina Aguilera at that time, it was obvious Xtina could take the song and its meaning to new heights.


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“It wasn’t until this hot little Christina who’s singing this song that I realized, ‘Oh she’s f–ked up, too. She’s insecure. She’s just as dark as you are, Linda. Let her have [the song],'” Perry said.

She adds that the version we know today was recorded in one take, and the famous intro, “don’t look at me,” was never meant to be part of the song.

Click play below two find out why Christina whispered those words, then let us know what you think of “Beautiful” in the comments. Register an account and use your voice.

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Responses

    1. I will never stop feeling like Christina Aguilera is one of the most under-rated artists of the last decade. When Lady GaGa came to prominence standing for the LGBT community, and Christina’s ‘Bionic’ subsequently flopped due to the times, everyone acted like Christina was trying come for Gaga’s newly acquired throne or something. It drove me nuts at 23 years old, because I’m sitting there not only enjoying all the layers to ‘Bionic’, but also looking back on my 8th grade self, remembering so clearly the first time I copped the ‘Stripped’ album and hid it from my parents. Christina has been standing in for the LGBT community and every one in general who’s ever felt insecure or oppressed, and she is so powerful. ‘Beautiful’ was a gut punch. I look back at that era, and then the total morph she did in 2006 with ‘Back to Basics’, and it’s astonishing to me that people even place other pop-stars from the 2000s on the same playing field.

  1. Oh hell yea Christina’s f–ked up, and insecure, and dark. And she has a lot to be at the time – you know being in Britney’s shadow all the time.

    1. Sad thing is … Britney ended up being the one who truly needs help. Christina held her own, found her own way, and she’s never done anything on anyone’s terms but her own. That’s something to be incredibly proud of.

      1. It’s truly the darkest times that mold us into becoming amazing human beings. Look how she slayed during the BTB era and it wouldn’t have happened had she not go through all those therapy writing sessions and experimenting for Stripped.