Christina Aguilera’s latest album is a celebration of her heritage ― in more ways than one.
Unveiled this spring, “Aguilera” is the five-time Grammy winner’s second Spanish-language album following 2000’s “Mi Reflejo.” Though the 12-song set’s title seems almost like a no-brainer, the pop star said in an interview timed to Billboard Latin Music Week that it was partly inspired by her early days in the music business, when record executives repeatedly suggested she drop her surname.
“I’m proud to be an Aguilera,” she explained to HOLA! magazine. “Something that I really embody and understand is that, you know, this is a name that has been tried to be taken away from me on numerous occasions coming up in this business.”
At first, Aguilera wasn’t too fazed by the suggestion, acknowledging that her surname has “been butchered a lot” as it’s “not the easiest name for everyone to pronounce.”
She also didn’t identify any specific executives who’d pushed for the change, and noted that she’d prefer to keep the “bad names that I could have been” to herself.
Christina Aguilera in 1999. (Photo: Walter McBride via Getty Images)
Still, changing it was never an option.
“But I was like no, I’m Aguilera, I’m proud of where I come from,” she said. “My father being from Ecuador.” As for the new album, she added, “Why not come full circle in all of the chapters and close it on a name, my name.”
Of course, any doubts that Aguilera could conquer the music business as her true self were quickly proven unfounded. Her 1999 self-titled debut album went on to sell 14 million copies worldwide, according to Billboard, boosted by the No. 1 singles “Genie In A Bottle” and “What A Girl Wants.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.