Flashback to 2002: Christina Aguilera reinvents herself with Dirrty at Number 1

Look back at the chart from 14 years ago this week, including: Sugababes! Blazin' Squad! Kylie Minogue!

Pop is all about reinventions – change is how artists stay relevant and keep audiences interested. You may think of Bowie, Madonna or Gaga as the ultimate pop chameleons, but back in 2002, there was a new kid on the revamp block, and as new looks go, it was a big one.

After her kind-of saccharine debut album, Christina Aguilera decided she'd had enough of being a goody-goody and wanted to let her hair down – and add a gew grungy extensions while she was at it. While the press focused on Christina's newfound adoration for leather chaps, bikini tops (in November!!) and generally looking like she was halfway through an amazing six-day bender, the real reinvention here went farther than clothes – this was very much a musical makeover.

Dirrty, the first single from Christina's edgy, confident sophomore album Stripped, had critics reeling thanks to its raunchy video and vaguely suggestive lyrics, but pop punters across the country loved it. Dirrty cleaned up when it came to chart success, going straight in at Number 1, selling almost 74,000 copies in its first week and staying at the top for two.

The song's success was particularly sweet, as many of the aforementioned critics – mainly the older, more prudish ones from certain pearl-clutching news outlets – had dismissed Christina's change of direction as a desperate attempt for publicity that would alienate her younger fans. Christina was unmoved, saying in an interview at the time, "I think all my fans will have grown with me and appreciate my need to express myself".

And she was right, they did. Dirrty has sold 390,000 copies and Stripped went on to shift 1.98 million. Take that, old farts!

MORE: Christina Aguilera's UK hit singles and albums in her archive

Let's take a look at the rest of the Top 10 that week in 2002. Click on the image for the full Top 100. (If you're wondering why Christina's last week position shows "Re", Dirrty had charted low in the Top 100 on import sales only.)

Love on the Line (6) was Blazin' Squad's second ever Top 10, following debut hit Crossroads, their only Number 1. Sugababes scored a third Top 10 with new member Heidi Range with double-A side Stronger and Angels With Dirty Faces (7) – the band had just scored two straight chart-toppers with Freak Like Me and Round Round. Angels With Dirty Faces featured in the Powerpuff Girls Movie.

Come Into My World (8) was the final single from Kylie Minogue's mega-selling Fever album and, like million-selling Can't Get You Out of my Head, was co-written by Cathy Dennis. The Scientist is the second of fourth Coldplay singles to peak at Number 10 – the others were Trouble (2000), Talk (2005) and Magic (2014). Now, if you're not pub quiz ready after that lot, you never will be.

But today it's all about Dirrty. Grab your chaps and we'll see you in the ring:

Do you remember all these titans of Noughties pop? This gallery takes you back to the decade of hair straighteners, dance routines and fake tan:

[Gallery Module]

Main image: REX

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Sunshine Gal


well, while i did enjoy her 1st album here in america (it went 8x plat. and i believe she had 3 #1's and about 1-2 top 10 hits) she lost me with all this sexual ! in my honest opinion, you don't have to overdo if you have singing talent. i never saw whitney houston or celine dion overdo...they sometimes wore clothes, but never went about it in a desperate way.

this album here dropped significantly in sales in the u.s. from the 1st album @ 8x plat. *and that's 8 mill.!* and then stripped goes to 4x plat. she hasn't been able to match her 1st album's success. and the sad part is many big artists in 2000 were able to build that great momentum on their 1st album and then repeat it for the next one. *britney, bsb, nsync and the dixie chicks all enjoyed 2 back-to-back diamond albums*. but anyway, glad to see a uk throwback to her :)




"Here in America"??? Well here in Europe 'Stripped' was in fact way more successful than her debut album. It is considered to be her best album anyways. I never understood Americans and their "she can sing why does she do this sexual to sell?" !! I actually thought this was quite an old argument! Sexual expression isn't something you should be ashamed of!! or don't kill!! But a gun in a music video or in action movies are just fine, right?? Being proud of your body doesn't mean you have no talent!! But anyways why are you talking like it was a flop in the US?? It might have not reached the success of her bubble gum debut (with mainstream pop songs) but today people associate Christina with Stripped and Back to Basics anyways. Her legacy on these albums are undeniably HUGE and iconic!! Stripped sold over 14 million copies WORLD WIDE becoming a major hit album that inspires to date so many artists like Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande etc.!!

You clearly didn't get the album though if you think this is only about ! It is about figuratively stripping down to her real self!! In her debut album Christina had absolutely no saying in anything, her music was a production of her label she was basically an industry puppet like Britney her entire career. Fortunately she made this change in 2002 all thanks to Linda Perry by discovering the true and brave xtina..her artistry!! With stripped Xtina had full control over her music for the very first time..pulled away from the mainstream and did her own thing! This album is extremely personal!! And it does not only include 'dirrty'!! Stripped touches many important topics that were quite controversial at its time but so important and common!! 'Can't hold us down' - a feminist anthem!! 'Fighter' - a rock break up anthem!! And the grammy winning 'Beautiful' A WORLD and LGBTQ anthem!! And of course 'The voice within'..those were her SUCCESSFUL singles!! Her non commercial songs are even better!!





"Waited a long time for this, feels right now.
Allow me to introduce myself.
Want you to come a little closer.
I'd like you to get to know me a little bit better.
Meet the real me.

Sorry if I ain't perfect. Sorry, I don't give a ..... (what!)
Sorry, I ain't no diva. Sorry I just know what I want.
Sorry I'm not a vigin. Sorry I'm not a .
I won't let you break me, think what you want.

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.
Sorry if I won't fake it. Sorry I come too real.
I will never hide what I really feel.

So here it is.
No hype, no gloss, no pretense.
Just me...


Sunshine Gal


ok first off mate...you need to calm the heck down ok? :D don't blame the messenger and i didn't say it bombed per se', i said it dropped considerably less than it did from her debut album in the u.s. *which it did*. i didn't and still don't agree with the sexual vengence she did with this album.

and what's this about not understanding americans?? i can't have an opinion you don't like? it ain't my fault if she turned off a lot of the u.s. buying public with this album *which she did in fact do*, that's on her and her alone ;). blame me all you want, i was just sharing with the uk commenters on how her 2nd album did in the u.s. but don't come @ me in an angry tone or blame me somehow that this album didn't match her previous album in sales and chart positions.


Sunshine Gal


and mate, i re-read my post, i don't see anything negative or demeaning about it and even said i was glad there was a uk throwback on her ok? calm down...this was 14 yrs ago, ok? those are just my thoughts and i was comparing her 1st two albums' success in america.