THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a series of posts, producing my 100 favorite songs of all time. The master list is here, and I update it about every two weeks or when I have another 10 songs or so.
The song Beautiful was really the tune that put Xtina on the map. She’s already had a hit with “What a Girl Wants,” but this was the one that proved she had the vocal chops to crush Britney, Pink, and even Beyonce. Writer Linda Perry is an extraordinary singer/songwriter, whose “What’s Up” (by 4 Non Blondes) made her an international superstar and drove her out of the music business as a performer and into the shadows of songwriting. The song won a Grammy and probably set both Christina and Linda up for life. Supposedly, Aguilera had to compete with Pink for the right to record the song—which Linda Perry had intended to keep for her own solo album—and when Pink lost, she got bitter and lashed out at the women in the press.
Here’s the origin of the song…
Unlike most of her other songs, “Beautiful” is a slow ballad with a powerful message. It stands alone as Christina’s one big contribution to the world of music—she may have had multiple other hits, but none hold a candle to this one.
Further listening: By Christina Aguilera: What a Girl Wants, Dirrrty. Neither of these are Greatest of All Tunes caliber, but they’re good songs. By Linda Perry: What’s Up (4 Non Blondes), Get the Party Started (Pink).