It was the highly anticipated album known for transforming a sugary-sweet pop princess into a feisty, cornrowed, assless chaps-wearing ho-bag who looked like she could've used a couple of STD shots.
Christina Aguilera's sophomoric follow-up to her self-titled debut, Stripped, was released this month back in 2002. From the lead single ("Dirrty") to the provocative black-and-white cover (right), it flaunted its ambition. It was the 21-year-old singer's attempt to break away from the teen pop mold that had its hold on her at the turn of the 21st century. The introductory track made the album's message abundantly clear: "Sorry you can't define me/ Sorry I break the mold/ Sorry that I speak my mind/ Sorry don't do what I'm told." Behold "Xtina" and her bold, new musical change.
Some cynics and critics were quick to dismiss the disc as a kind of schizophrenic mess, jumping from hip-hop-flavored dance anthems (the aforementioned single, which still gets club play today) to rock-tinged foot stompers ("Fighter") to inspirational ballads ("Beautiful," "Soar," "The Voice Within"). Remember though, the girl was 21. What other artist her age had the cojones to experiment with such range?
She was damned if she stayed predictable and damned if she strayed from formula. And now, in hindsight, we're glad she took the risk, showed off those piercings, and layered on the hooker makeup...For more on the 10th anniversary of Stripped jump HERE.