"Beautiful" is a song recorded by American singer Christina Aguilera for her fourth studio album, Stripped (2002). It was released as the album's second single on November 16, 2002. A pop and R&B ballad, "Beautiful" was written and produced by Linda Perry. Lyrically, it discusses inner beauty, as well as self-esteem and insecurity issues. Aguilera commented that she put "her heart and her soul" into the track, which she felt represented the theme of Stripped. The song was later re-recorded in an electronic style for her first greatest hits album Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits (2008).
Upon its release, "Beautiful" received universal acclaim from music critics, who have ranked it among Aguilera's strongest material. It won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and was also nominated for Song of the Year at the 2004 ceremony. "Beautiful" was also a commercial success, topping the charts in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, where it was certified Gold for 500,000 units shipped. It was kept from the number one spot by "Bump, Bump, Bump" by B2K featuring P. Diddy.
"Beautiful" has been widely embraced as an anthem by the LGBT community for its message of self-empowerment and inner beauty. An accompanying music video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, and earned Aguilera a GLAAD Media Award for its positive portrayal of gay and transgender people. In 2011, UK LGBT rights organization Stonewall named "Beautiful" the most empowering song of the previous decade for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. In 2009, Rolling Stone and VH1 listed it as one of the best songs of the 2000s (decade). The song is widely recognized as one of Aguilera's signature songs and has been covered on numerous occasions and featured on several television shows.
"Beautiful" was written and produced by Linda Perry. Aguilera recorded the song at two studios: The Enterprise Studios in Burbank, California, and Conway Recording Studios in Hollywood. Prior to the collaboration with Aguilera, Perry had written the song and originally wished to keep the "personal" record for her own singing career. Perry initially previewed the song for Pink during the recording sessions of Pink's second studio album Missundaztood (2001), on which Perry is a producer. However, after hearing Aguilera sing the song at Perry's house to "break the ice", Perry was very impressed and allowed Aguilera to include the track on her then upcoming record Stripped, effectively deciding not to pursue a solo career. The choice resulted in a feud between Pink against Aguilera and Perry, with the former commenting that it was "annoying" for the latter to collaborate with artists " didn't like". Perry later revealed to ASCAP, "When Christina came over to my house to start working, she asked me to play some songs to break the ice. I had a long conversation with my manager about it. We both decided to hear Christina sing it. We demoed the song with her singing it, and I was like, 'Wow'. That rough vocal is what is out there on radio. It was that vocal that got her the song". Perry's wife Sara Gilbert confirmed on her show The Talk that the final version was "just a demo" and Aguilera wanted to rerecord the song which Perry denied the request because the song is supposed to be about imperfection and being vulnerable.File Hashes
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