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Why Is Christina Aguilera Just Now Deciding To Claim Her Latinidad?

Last night, Christina Aguilera’s long-awaited performance brought the heat to the Latin GRAMMYs. The perfect combination of sexy, edgy and girl power was met for the artists during the presentation of “Pa Mis Muchachas” in the company of Becky G, Nathy Peluso and Nicki Nicole.  For the first time in 10 years, Aguilera performed at the Latin GRAMMYs, making a comeback with a full Spanish-language set. 

Channeling a Jessica Rabbit style look with her red locks, Aguilera opened the performance with a solo of “Somos Nada,” accompanied by the piano. As the song ended, the stage quickly shape-shifted into what seemed like a cantina filled with dancers having tequila shots and moving sensually. Within the crowd of dancers, hid Becky G, Nathy Peluso and Nicki Nicole, who came out one after the other, after Aguilera sang the intro of the song. Sexy vixens, embellished in black latex and strapped in corsets, the four women put on quite a smoke show. 

The best part of that collaboration, is the fact that it’s four women — all at different stages in their careers and from a different heritage, under the Latinx umbrella — with diverse definitions of what a ‘successful artist’ is and with an explosion of talent that together was nothing short of inspiring.

This new era of music should certainly foster more collaborations like these, and inspire other artists to tap into the genre. That seems to be one of Aguilera’s intentions with this Spanish-language project, a comeback holding a very strong presence in her Latinx roots.

But, why now? The Latin market’s global reach is stronger than it has ever been historically. So it comes as no surprise Aguilera, too, wants a piece of the pie. That’s the biggest difference between her presence in the Latin GRAMMYs 10 years ago and her presence yesterday. Many don’t know — because Aguilera hasn’t always made it a priority to represent herself as a Latina in the market — she is half Ecuadorian. Perhaps seeing the success the Latin market has today, she realizes that maybe it’s time to spend more energy representing that part of who she is.

Aside from “Ven Conmigo” (the Spanish version of “All I Want is You”), “Mi Reflejo” and a few collaborations, Aguilera hasn’t made it her mission to rep her Latinidad. Though she has claimed during past interviews that the general market tried to erase her Latinidad, as a Latina who has been following Aguilera since her debut of “Genie in a Bottle,” I haven’t always perceived her desire to market herself too strongly as a Latina, but we’ll never know if this was her choice or not. Not surprisingly, many friends with whom I discussed the performance were not aware of Aguilera’s background, or that she had any linkage with the Latinx community.

So we can speculate all we want about why now, but it’s pretty clear that it’s because the Latin Market is the top trending industry at the moment on a global scale.

Although it’s a bit disappointing that Aguilera didn’t hone her Latinidad earlier, I respect her intention now and admire her as an artist nonetheless.

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