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

Plus see what else was in the Official Singles Chart Top 40 this week in 2002, including new entries from Kylie Minogue, Blazin' Squad and Sugababes.

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 new grungy extensions while she was at it. While the press focused on Christina's newfound adoration for leather chaps 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 493,000 to date across all formats (including 9 million streams) and Stripped has now reached, Official Charts can confirm, sales of 2 million in the UK. To show what she thought of her detractors, watch back this memorable entrance she made to the song at the MTV EMAs in 2003: 

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. 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 four 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.

View the Top 100 Official Singles Chart from this week in 2002

Listen to the UK Top 40 from this week in 2002 on our streaming channels! Subscribe to our weekly Flashback playlist on SpotifyDeezerApple Music or click the image below:

Image: Rex/Shutterstock