LOS ANGELES - MAR 9: Christina Aguilera at the "Mulan" Premiere at the Dolby Theater on March 9, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA
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The People’s Choice Awards Confirm Christina is an Icon

The People's Choice Awards recognized Christina Aguilera as the first-ever winner of the Music Icon award. It's about time.
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At the 2021 People’s Choice Awards, Christina Aguilera was honored with the inaugural Music Icon award. She performed an explosive medley of her hits during the ceremony, proving that her voice is just as powerful as ever. But it was her speech that left a lasting impact on fans as she thanked them for fighting all these years.

“Thank You For Fighting”

During Tuesday’s telecast, Aguilera took to the stage–and burned it down. Her versatility, power, and presence were undeniable. Despite evident problems with her earpiece, which she fiddled with throughout the performance, Aguilera soared through more than 20 years of hit songs.

https://youtu.be/Kkg7oW25PWc

Becky G., who collaborated with Aguilera on her new Spanish-language single “Pa’ Mis Muchachas,” praised her as a “goddess” when presenting the award. Wrapped in gold satin, Aguilera delivered a speech that touched on her gratitude to her fans and her goals as an artist.

“Believing in yourself is often the biggest obstacle of all, and throughout the years I’ve heard your stories about the impact of songs like ‘Beautiful,’ ‘Fighter,’ ‘Can’t Hold Us Down,’ and yes, even ‘Dirrty.’ Thank you for your stories. Thank you for listening. And thank you for fighting. You inspire me every day.”

“I have always strived for my music to communicate messages of empowerment, whether it’s speaking my own truths or giving voice to those unable to do so on their own,” she said. “My artistry has always been for the fighters in this world, for those who face adversity, for those wanting to evoke change, my music is for you.”

You can watch her entire speech below:

Don’t Call It a Comeback–She Never Left

The pop star, now 41, is not the same blonde ingenue who sang “Genie in a Bottle” or the chaps-wearing hellraiser from ‘Dirrty.”

Aguilera has been in the public eye since she was twelve years old. She starred in The Mickey Mouse Club at the same time as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Ryan Gosling, and with “Genie in a Bottle,” she seemed poised to follow the same bubblegum pop path as Britney.

LOS ANGELES - NOV 6: Christina Aguilera at the premiere of '8 Mile' at the Mann Village Theater on November 6, 2002 in Los Angeles, California
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But with Stripped, Aguilera took control of her image. Like Madonna, she reinvented herself multiple times, from bad girl to retro bombshell. By the time Aguilera joined the cast of The Voice in 2011, she had more than earned her place as one of the most successful artists of all time. So why didn’t she get the respect she deserved?

Although Christina Aguilera’s fans never deserted her, she received much of the same tabloid treatment as her fellow popstars. Like Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson, Aguilera’s appearance was monitored–and often mocked–by gossip blogs. Her public struggle with sobriety often overshadowed her achievements. Despite her incredible talent, piles of industry awards, and her extensive philanthropy work, it seemed that more people were interested in framing her personal life as a trainwreck than in respecting her as an artist.

Thankfully, the conversation around 90s pop icons has changed. With Britney finally free, Jessica Simpson sitting on top of a billion-dollar fashion empire, Mandy Moore starring in a hit TV show, and Janet Jackson finally getting the justice she deserves… well, isn’t’ it Xtina’s turn?

Want more? Find out all the big winners from the People’s Choice Awards right here!