Christina Aguilera was one of the biggest pop stars of the ‘00s, with hits like “Genie In a Bottle” and “Dirrty.” One of her biggest songs, “Beautiful,” is an anthem for self-love, but did you know the song started a feud between Aguilera and another A-list singer?
The Creation Of Hit Song ‘Beautiful’
“Beautiful” was written by Linda Perry, lead singer for 4 Non Blondes and writer of hits like “Candyman” by Aguilera and “Get The Party Started” by Pink. Perry’s work with Aguilera actually led to a feud between the Pink and Aguilera.
Before giving the song to Aguilera, Perry intended to record the song for one of her own projects, thinking it was too personal to hand off to another artist. She previewed the track for Pinkwhile the two worked on “Missundaztood,” the latter’s 2001 album.
Perry began working with Aguilera on her new album, and on their first day of work, Perry played Aguilera some of her music to get things started. One of those tracks was “Beautiful.” In an interview with ASCAP, Perry revealed why she decided to give Aguilera the song: “I had a long conversation with my manager about it. We both decided to hear Christina sing it. We demoed the song with her singing it, and I was like, ‘Wow’. That rough vocal is what is out there on the radio. It was that vocal that got her the song.”
Why Aguilera Got The Song
The demo version’s vocals are what ended up as the official version of the song, even though Aguilera wanted to re-record it. Perry refused because the message of the song was all about imperfection and vulnerability; the rougher version fit that theme perfectly.
In addition to the demo vocals, the track also includes a line spoken by Aguilera before she started singing. When she stepped into the vocal booth, she told a friend, “Don’t look at me.” Besides keeping that on the final version of the track, that’s also what helped Aguilera get the song. Perry told Rolling Stone, “I knew I was going to keep that on the record, and I knew she was the right person for the song. I realized, ‘Oh, she’s insecure. She’s one of those beautiful people who’s got everything but is super insecure. Okay, this song is hers.'”
The Feud Between Aguilera And Pink
This choice to give “Beautiful” to Aguilera meant a hit song for the former Voice coach — and a feud with Pink. The song helped revive Perry’s career as a songwriter, leading her to work on more albums and making her an in-demand songwriter. Pink took Perry’s partnership with Aguilera personally.
“I took it really personally when she started working with other artists, particularly artists I didn’t like,” the singer said, referring to Aguilera. “I don’t think imitation is the highest form of flattery, I think it’s annoying… We had a falling out and I took it personally.”
The two had clashed previously while collaborating on the 2001 track “Lady Marmalade,” along with Lil Kim and Mya. Pink claimed one of Aguilera’s label executives was rude and insistent that Aguilera get the best singing part on the song. Things remained tense throughout the music video shoot, and the two exchanged public barbs for years before finally making up in 2017.