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Stripped
Studio album by Christina Aguilera
Released October 26, 2002 (2002-10-26)[1]
(see release history)
Recorded September 2001–2002
The Enterprise Studios
(Burbank, California)
Conway Studios
(Hollywood, Los Angeles, California)
The Hit Factory
(New York City, New York)
The Record Plant
(Hollywood, Los Angeles, California)
NRG Recording Studios
(North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California)
Genre Pop, adult contemporary, urban,[2] R&B, rock
Length 77:48
Label RCA
Producer Christina Aguilera (also executive), Glen Ballard, Jasper Cameron, E. Dawk, Rob Hoffman, Heather Holley, Steve Morales, Balewa Muhammad, Linda Perry, Rockwilder, Scott Storch, Alicia Keys
Professional reviews
Christina Aguilera chronology
My Kind of Christmas
(2000)
Stripped
(2002)
Back to Basics
(2006)
Alternate Cover
Indonesian and Chinese Edition Cover
Singles from Stripped
  1. "Dirrty"
    Released: September 16, 2002
  2. "Beautiful"
    Released: December 24, 2002
  3. "Fighter"
    Released: March 18, 2003
  4. "Can't Hold Us Down"
    Released: August 26, 2003
  5. "The Voice Within"
    Released: December 23, 2003

Stripped is the second English studio album by American Pop singer Christina Aguilera, released in 2002. It reached the top two of the album charts in both the United States and United Kingdom and features two UK number-one hits in "Dirrty" and "Beautiful". Aguilera supported the album with the Justified/Stripped Tour and Stripped World Tour in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

With this album, Aguilera took creative control over a project for the first time, being influenced by many different subjects and music styles, including rhythm and blues, gospel, soul, pop rock, and hip hop. She co-wrote fourteen songs was involved in the production of the record, which was mainly produced by Scott Storch and Linda Perry.[3] During the promotion of the album, Aguilera's public appearance had been criticized heavily in the US, due to her sexual videos and revealing outfits.

Aguilera had four nominations for the Grammy Awards in the categories Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Dirrty" and "Can't Hold Us Down", Best Pop Vocal Album, Song of the Year ("Beautiful") and won the category of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance ("Beautiful").

Billboard ranked "Stripped" at number 77 on the magazine's Top 200 Albums of the Decade.

Contents

Background

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 2001, Aguilera stated that she wanted to make a record that reflected her personality as much as possible, desiring "nothing superficial, no hype, no gloss." Additionally, she described the upcoming album as her 'baby'.[4] Two years later she stated in an interview with Blender Magazine that with this album, she had evolved into an 'artist', moving away from the appellation of 'entertainer', signifying her having become an adult. Additionally, she revealed that she wouldn't have cared if the album sold "one or two million copies". Instead of commercial success, her desire was that "it just had to be real".[5]

Former chief executive of the RCA Records Music Group Bob Jamieson explained that this time Christina helped write the songs and choose the producers. She knew she wanted to move away from her old sound and her "super-clean, cookie-cutter" image and anyone with old-fashioned ideas about what the album should sound like was quickly left behind.[6] At the same time, Aguilera presented her new image and started calling herself "X-Tina".[7]

Production

According to MTV News, Aguilera started recording her second studio album in a Los Angeles studio in September 2001. She declared on multiple occasions that she wanted to take time between her first album and Stripped, stating a disbelief in trying to release an album annually in a bid to keep up with the output of her contemporaries.[8]

The producer who worked on most tracks of the album was Dr. Dre associate Scott Storch, who, according to Entertainment Weekly, made the album sound like a genre-jumping mix tape.[9]

Aguilera performing "Beautiful" on the Back to Basics Tour.

The album found Aguilera working with former 4 Non Blondes member Linda Perry for the first time. When they first met in Perry's L.A. studio, Aguilera asked Perry to entertain her with a song. Perry responded by playing an early draft of "Beautiful", which eventually became Aguilera's second single for Stripped, never thinking that Aguilera would want to record it.[9] Aguilera told MTV that Perry helped her unload a lot of frustration and she also learned to relieve stress by screaming and to accept mistakes. She added; "She taught me that imperfections are good and should be kept because it comes from the heart. It makes things more believable and it's brave to share them with the world."[10]

The first single, "Dirrty", was a hip-hop-influenced track, based on rapper Redman's 2001 single "Let's Get Dirty (I Can't Get in da Club)", which features DJ Kool. As a play on the similarities, Redman was featured on the Rockwilder produced track, rapping for one verse of the song.[9] Glen Ballard, who had previously worked with Aguilera on "The Voice Within", is featured as another writer and producer. When he was interviewed on the work by Aguilera he explained "I think she's a wonderful writer. We already know she's a great singer, but I think we'll be able to add to that. She's a really incredible writer".[11] One track, entitled "Impossible", was produced by R&B artist Alicia Keys. MTV reported that Keys and Aguilera had been wanting to work together for a while, but Keys wanted to socialise and party, "to vibe off each other before" as she explained it, before penning the track. Afterwards they took three sessions to produce the song at the New York's Electric Lady studios in May 2002.[12]

Lyrical content

The song, "I'm OK", is a personal account of her emotionally distressing childhood. She speaks about her father and her painful memories from her early life. She explained that she recorded this song for a healing process and to give people in the same situation a voice to relate to.[10] Perry stated in an interview, that Christina started crying while recording.[13]

Two songs on the album, "Infatuation" and "Underappreciated",Both written by herself and co writer Ramon Santana talk about the relationship with former boyfriend Jorge Santos, who was one of her dancers during live performances and videos like "Dirrty". In "Infatuation" she explains how she felt in love with Santos, while in "Underappreciated" she talks how she fell out of the relationship.[10] The song "Can't Hold Us Down" is a feminist anthem sung to a hip-hop beat, which features artist Lil' Kim. Aguilera described the song as following:

"Should I be quiet just because I'm a woman? Soon, the grudge match has escalated into a battle of the sexes. The guy gets all the glory, the more he can score / But the girl do the same thing, you call her a whore.[6]

This is directed to any male who puts down a female for stating her mind. It's definitely to make women feel empowered to do and say what they want to."[10]

"Make Over" is unedited on the album and the only lyrically explicit song on the album. In the chorus Aguilera sings "Savin' all your bullshit for another day."

Reception

Critically, the album got average reviews with a rating of 55/100 on the website Metacritic[14] and is Aguilera's lowest reviewed album to date, receiving lower praise than her Spanish album Mi Reflejo[15] or her third studio album Back to Basics.[16] Allmusic called it "as a sound of an artist who's given too much freedom too early and has no idea what to do with it" and describes it as a mixture between the sexiness of Britney Spears and the "dance-rock confessionals" of Pink. The writer says "she seems desperate to not just catch-up with these two, but surpass them in the sex and confessions".[7] Instead, Yahoo Music described the album as sophisticated and an artistic input into the album from the artist herself.[17] Rolling Stone magazine called it as an album for grown-ups and despite giving the album 3 stars out of 5, it said "Aguilera's voice continues to grow richer and on belters such as "Cruz" she can out-Whitney Whitney".[18] The album was nominated for the Best Pop Vocal Album and the lead single "Dirrty" was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2003, while "Can't Hold Us Down" got the same nomination a year later. The second single "Beautiful" received a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.[19].

Positive acclaim

The Jonas Åkerlund-directed music video for "Beautiful" garnered much attention, as it touched on the subjects of anorexia nervosa, homosexuality, bullying, self-esteem and transgender issues.[20] "Beautiful" stayed in the U.S. top forty for twenty-four weeks, and topped many other Billboard magazine charts. It was equally successful elsewhere, and reached number one on the charts in the UK (where it was her fourth number-one single), Australia (where it was her first) and Canada (where it was her second). Simon Cowell noted that it is "one of the best pop songs ever written."[21]

Controversies

In Fall 2002 the video of the lead single "Dirrty" premiered on MTV and featured a scantily-clad Aguilera, dancing lecherously with members of both sexes in a run-down, underground boxing venue. Due to the relatively sexually explicit nature of the video, it was heavily criticized by other musicians, as well as the media. In response, Aguilera pointed out the video is more about power and control, later stating, "I may have been the naked-ass girl in the video, but if you look at it carefully, I'm also at the forefront. I'm not just some lame chick in a rap video; I'm in the power position, in complete command of everything around me. To be totally balls-out like that is, for me, the measure of a true artist."[5]

Songwriting issue

"Make Over" became the subject of controversy in the UK when critics commented on its similarity to a 2000 Sugababes' single called "Overload".[22] When Stripped was originally released, Aguilera and Linda Perry were listed as the song's writers. Some time later ASCAP also gave additional credits the writers of "Overload" - Keisha Buchanan, Mutya Buena, Siobhan Donaghy, Jonathan Lipsey, Felix Howard, Cameron McVey, and Paul Simm. The link was never publicly admitted, but "Make Over" was removed from the track listing of Aguilera's subsequent DVD, Stripped Live in the UK.[22]

Chart performance

Stripped debuted at number two in the U.S. selling over 330,000 copies[23] but quickly began to slide down the charts. The first single, "Dirrty" was an international success, but failed to reach the top forty in the U.S., and Aguilera's record label quickly released "Beautiful" as a follow-up single to prevent the descent of the album on the charts. "Beautiful" and as well as the proceeding singles "Fighter", "Can't Hold Us Down" and "The Voice Within" helped Stripped become one of the steadiest selling albums in 2003, coming in at No. 10 on the Billboard year-end list of the top selling albums of the year. To date, the album has sold over 4.2 million copies in the US.[24]

The staying power of Stripped was also shown in the U.K.. Even though it debuted at a disappointing No. 19[25] and continued its decline on the charts despite "Dirrty" being a No. 1 hit for two weeks,[26] it eventually reached its peak position of No. 2 with the release of "Beautiful"[27] and consistently stayed in the top twenty during 2003 and early 2004. It was certified 5× Platinum,[28] became the 3rd best-selling album of 2003[29], and eventually sold 1,850,852 copies ranking it at number seventy-three on the list of The UK's 100 best-selling albums of all time.[30] In December 2004, Stripped was certified 3× Platinum by the IFPI[31] for shipments of more than 3 million copies inside Europe and is also 4× Platinum in Australia[32] despite only reaching a peak of number seven.[33] It is 2× Platinum in Canada.[34] Stripped has been certified 4x Platinum in the United States for shipments of over 4 million copies and sold more than 11 million copies worldwide.[35][36][37][38][39][40] It is number 23 in the best-selling albums chart of the 2000s in the United States.[41] In March 2008, the track "Walk Away" entered at number 35 on the official Danish Singles Chart.[42]

Billboard ranked "Stripped" at number 77 on the magazine's Top 200 Albums of the Decade.Rolling Stone placed "Stripped" at number 13 on the magazines 100 albums of the decade.

Promotion and tour

Aguilera performing "Infatuation" during her Stripped World Tour.

Aguilera started promotion of Stripped on August 29, 2002, when played a piece of album's lead single "Dirrty" and new dirrty look for Christina at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City. Aguilera supported the album with two different tours. The Justified and Stripped Tour with singer Justin Timberlake took place in North America, while the Stripped World Tour took place in Europe, Japan and Australia. The concert tour consisted in 85 shows.[43] In late 2004 the concert DVD called Stripped Live in the U.K. was released. In the UK on December 8, 2008 the Stripped album was re-released featuring the Stripped Live in the UK DVD.[44]

Track listing

  1. Stripped Intro - 1:39
  2. Can't Hold Us Down (featuring Lil' Kim) - 4:15
  3. Walk Away - 5:47
  4. Fighter - 4:05
  5. Primer Amor Interlude - 0:53
  6. Infatuation - 4:17
  7. Loves Embrace Interlude - 0:46
  8. Loving Me 4 Me - 4:36
  9. Impossible (featuring Alicia Keys) - 4:14
  10. Underappreciated - 4:00
  11. Beautiful - 3:58
  12. Make Over - 4:12
  13. Cruz - 3:49
  14. Soar - 4:45
  15. Get Mine, Get Yours - 3:44
  16. Dirrty - 4:58
  17. Stripped, Pt. 2 - 0:46
  18. The Voice Within - 5:04
  19. I'm OK - 5:19
  20. Keep On Singin' My Song - 6:29
  • The Latin American edition of Stripped does not contain "Get Mine, Get Yours" but instead its Spanish-language version, "Dame Lo Que Yo Te Doy" ("Give Me What I Give You"). It also appears as a B-side to the "Beautiful" CD single.
  • Also, the Chinese edition excluded "Get Mine, Get Yours, due to strict Chinese censorship laws, but instead, it had a different artwork and all lyrics were printed in both English and Chinese. [45]

New Zealand Limited Edition - Bonus DVD[46]

  1. "Genie In a Bottle" (Music Video)
  2. "What a Girl Wants" (Music Video)
  3. "I Turn to You" (Music Video)
  4. "Come On Over (All I Want Is You)" (Music Video)
  5. "Dirrty" (Music Video)
  6. "Beautiful" (Music Video)
  7. "Fighter" (Music Video)
  8. "Can't Hold Us Down" (Music Video)
  9. "The Voice Within" (Music Video)

Singles

Charts

Weekly charts

Chart (2002-03) Peak
Position
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[47] 7
Austrian Albums Chart[48] 10
Belgian Flemish Albums Chart[49] 7
Belgian Walloon Albums Chart[50] 46
Canadian Albums Chart[51] 3
Danish Albums Chart[52] 5
Dutch Albums Chart[53] 3
European Top 100 Albums Chart[54] 3
French SNEP Albums Chart[55] 49
German Albums Chart[54] 6
Hungarian Albums Chart[56] 39
New Zealand RIANZ Albums Chart[57] 5
Norwegian Albums Chart[58] 10
Swedish Albums Chart[59] 13
Swiss Albums Chart[60] 9
UK Albums Chart[61] 2
U.S. Billboard 200[51] 2

Certifications

Country Providers Certification Sales or
shipments
Argentina CAPIF 2× Platinum[62] 80,000[62]
Australia ARIA 6× Platinum[63] 420,000[64]
Austria IFPI Platinum[65] 30,000[64]
Brazil ABPD 2× Platinumj[66] 120,000[64]
Canada CRIA 4× Platinum[67] 400,000[64]
Europe IFPI 3× Platinum[68] 3,800,000+[68]
France SNEP 240,000+[69]
Germany IFPI Platinum[70] 300,000[71]
Hungary MAHASZ Platinum[72] 20,000[64]
Mexico AMPROFON Gold[73] 75,000[64]
New Zealand RIANZ 3× Platinum[74] 45,000[64]
Norway IFPI Platinum[75] 40,000[64]
Spain AFYVE Gold[76] 50,000[64]
Sweden IFPI Platinum[77] 60,000[64]
Switzerland IFPI Platinum[78] 40,000[78]
United Kingdom BPI 5× Platinum[79] 1,900,000+[80]
United States RIAA 4× Platinum[81] 4,234,000[24]

Personnel

Production

  • Christina Aguileraexecutive producer, writer, composer, piano
  • Ron Fair – executive producer, A&R
  • Scott Storch – producer, writer, composer
  • Linda Perry – producer, writer, composer, engineer
  • Rob Hoffman – producer, writer, composer
  • Heather Holley – producer, writer, composer
  • Steve Morales – producer, writer, composer,
  • Alicia Keys – producer, writer, composer
  • Glen Ballar – producer, writer, composer
  • Rockwilder – producer
  • Jasper Cameron – writer, composer
  • Balewa Muhammad – writer, composer
  • R. Noble – writer, composer
  • David Siegel – writer, composer,
  • D. Stinson – writer, composer
  • Matt Moris – writer
  • Tony Black – recording
  • Oscar Ramirez – recording
  • Wassim Zreik – recording
  • Shane Stoner – recording
  • David Guerrero – engineer, assistant mix engineer
  • Dylan Dresdow – engineer, mix engineer
  • Andrew Chavez – assistant engineer, assistant mix engineer
  • Davy Vain – assistant engineer, pro tools engineer
  • Brian Douglas – assistant engineer
  • Alex Gibson – assistant engineer
  • Jay Goin – assistant engineer
  • Mark Kizula – assistant engineer
  • Aaron Leply – assistant engineer
  • John Morichal – assistant engineer
  • Rafael Serrano – assistant engineer
  • Kevin Szymanski – assistant engineer
  • Scott Whitting – assistant engineer
  • Tony Maserati – mixing
  • Peter Mokran – mixing
  • Dave Pensado – mixing
  • Rich Balmer – assistant mix engineer
  • Tony Flores – assistant mix engineer
  • Anthony Kilhoffer – assistant mix engineer
  • Jamie Sickora – assistant mix engineer
  • Ethan Willoughby – assistant mix engineer
  • Jolie Levine-Aller – production coordinator
  • Stephanie Kubiak – production assistant
  • Joann Tominaga – music contractor
  • Brian Gardner – mastering
  • Jeri Heiden – art direction & design
  • Glen Nakasako – art direction & design
  • Miranda Penn Turin – photography

Musicians

  • Christina Aguilera – vocals, background vocals, vocals producer & arranger
  • Lil Kim – vocals, flow
  • Redman – vocals, flow
  • E. Dawk – vocals producer & arranger, choir vocals arrangement
  • Balewa Muhammad – vocals producer and arranger
  • Alicia Keys – background vocals, piano, other instruments
  • Maxi Anderson – background vocals, choir vocals arrangement,
  • Alexandra Brown – background vocals
  • Crystal Drummer – background vocals
  • Charlean Hines – background vocals
  • Erica King – background vocals
  • Nolie Robinson – background vocals
  • Alfie Sillas – background vocals
  • Toya Smith – background vocals
  • Maxine Waters-Willard – background vocals
  • Linda Perrybass, guitar, piano, strings arrangement & conduction, programming
  • Alex Al – bass
  • Uriah Duffy – bass
  • Mike Elizondo – bass
  • Rufus Jackson – bass
  • Tarus Mateen – bass
  • Steve Morales – drum programming, arranger
  • Matt Chamberlaindrums
  • Brian Frasier-Moore – drums
  • Kameron Houff – drums
  • Paul John – drums
  • Brian McLeod – drums
  • Mike Stinson – drums
  • Ahmir Thompson – drums
  • Darryl Dixon – horns
  • Gary Grant – horns
  • Jerry Hey – horns
  • Daniel Higgins – horns
  • Fred Maxwell – horns
  • Bill Reichenbach – horns
  • David Watson – horns
  • Rob Hoffman – guitar, programming, orchestral percussion, rhodes
  • Glen Ballar – guitar, arranger, keyboardist,
  • Aaron Fishbein – guitar, electric guitar
  • John Goux – guitar
  • Michael Landau – guitar
  • Dave Navarro – guitar
  • Arthur White – guitar
  • Dwayne Wiggins – guitar
  • Ramon Stagnaro – acoustic guitar
  • Damon Fox – keyboards
  • Randy Kerber – keyboards
  • David Siegel – keyboards
  • Greg Phillinganes – piano
  • Richard Dodd – cello
  • Lily Haydn – viola, violin
  • Shanti Randall – viola
  • Eric Gorfain – violin
  • Larry Gold – strings arrangement & conduction
  • Ron Fair – strings arrangement
  • Bill Ross – orchestra arrangement
  • Anson Dawkins – choir vocals arrangement
  • Eric Dawkins – choir vocals arrangement

Release history

Country Date
Italy[82] October 26, 2002
Sweden[83]
UK[84]
Germany[85] October 28, 2002
Denmark[86]
Australia[87]
Hong Kong[88]
Spain[89]
France[90] October 29, 2002
US[91]
Japan[92]
Canada[93]
Russia[94]

December 8, 2008 - UK re-release with Stripped Live in the UK DVD.[44][95]

Awards

2003

Awards ceremony Award
Blender Magazine[5] Woman of the Year
GLAAD Media Awards[20] Special Recognition Award
HX Awards[96] Dance Song of the Year - Beautiful (Peter Rauhofer Mix) (Peter Rauhofer)
MOBO Awards[97] Best Video - Dirrty
MTV Europe Music Awards[98] Best Female
TMF Awards (Belgium) Best Female Singer
TMF Awards Best Album
TMF Awards Best Video: Fighter
Q Awards[99] Best Single - Dirrty

2004

Awards ceremony Award
Glamour Women of the Year Awards[100] Woman of the Year
Grammy Awards[101] Best Female Pop Vocal Performance - Beautiful
JUNO Awards[102] Video of the Year - Fighter (Floria Sigismondi)
Musicnotes[103] Song of the Year - Beautiful (Linda Perry)
MTV Asia Awards[104] Favorite Female Artist
MVPA Awards[105] Best Pop Video - Fighter (Floria Sigismondi)
MVPA Awards[105] Best Styling - Fighter (Carol Beadle & Trish Summerville)
MVPA Awards[105] Best Make-Up - Fighter (Francesca Toulet)
MVPA Awards[105] Best Cinematography - Fighter (Christopher Soos)

References

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