Christina Aguilera may be an internationally famous pop star, but there was a time when music professionals feared her name wouldn’t catch on.
In an interview with Billboard published Friday, the singer recalled how professionals around her feared her last name was “too ethnic” at the beginning of her career.
“I remember when I was first coming up, there was a big debate around me on changing my last name because all the businessmen around me thought it was too long, too complicated and too ethnic,” she said.
So what name did these men have in mind instead?
“‘Christina Agee’ was an option, but that clearly wasn’t going to fly,” Aguilera continued. “I was dead set against the idea, and I wanted to represent who I really was. Being Latina, it is a part of my heritage and who I am.”
This wasn’t the first time Aguilera was pressured to change her name, the singer said.
“There was another time in my childhood when I was being asked to legally change my name to my stepfather’s to be legally adopted, and I was again dead set against it,” she said. ”I’ve been fighting for my last name my whole life.”
In the Billboard interview, Aguilera also reflected on recording Spanish versions of her hit songs “Genie in a Bottle” and “Come On Over (All I Want Is You)” for her Spanish-language album “Mi Reflejo.”
“I was excited to bring a new life to (these songs) and reinvent some things,” she said of the album. “I was allowed to create and express new ad libs and vocal runs that I wasn’t given the freedom to do on the original record. Everything sounds better in Spanish. Let’s be honest.”