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Opinion: The Cost of the Celebrity Life, Gaga Breaks Up Aguilera & Husband

Celebrity marriages crumble on regular occasion. This is not news. Part of the paparazzo’s success is that normal people, whom the world isn’t lusting after, exist in stable, committed relationships where equality bemoans all sides. There’s nothing sexy about that. With celebrity relationships, this is not the case. Cheating, drugs, lying, on set romances and money change all of the average laypersons life altering mistakes into every day occurrences for someone with fame in their back pocket. If a person totally screws up and does their partner wrong, does the incriminate person genuinely care? On some level, I’m sure, but mostly, it’s questionable when they could pretty much sleep with the hottest person in any bar, anywhere they choose.

Chrstina Aguilera & Jordan Bratman

That’s apart of the gig of fame. Drama always ensues while the results of a night drinking away a knock down, drag out fight splash across the covers of every supermarket rag coast to coast. People who drown in their own mediocrity on a routine basis love to see someone who’s tasted fame at any level squirm under the microscope of having “real problems” just as they do. As much as women pretend to love Jennifer Aniston, most women understand the chances that she’ll die cold and alone are quite strong. Essentially, they’re rooting for the underdog. Aniston is like the Chicago Cubs of emotionally crippled, frigid celebrities who can’t find “true love” and the magazines people devour do nothing but propagate this idea.

When I first heard the word of Christina Aguilera’s divorce, can’t say there was a shock. No point did I think the homely Jewish dude was going to walk down and into the sunset with one of the most beautiful women in the world. That’s just not reality. If the mighty DiMaggio couldn’t tame the fame of Marilyn, this guy certainly couldn’t handle Christina.

As the details of the breakup trickle in, the picture will become clearer: Lady Gaga caused it to happen. Now, I’m not saying Gaga hopped on the phone with Mr. Bratman, but what I am saying is her monstrous shadow is something Christina has been clawing at for a long, long time.

Lets get back to the genesis of the problem. For as long as Christina has been around, she’s been looked at as the proverbial Robin to Brittney Spears’ Batman. No matter what Aguilera has done, somehow Spears has topped her, and most of the time without even trying. When “Genie in a bottle” came out, Aguilera had arrived on the pop scene with a song that was perfectly catchy while eliciting a coy sexiness that teenaged girls obsessed over replicating while they boys watched her gyrate on mute. And then came “Baby one more time….”, a track that literally changed the playing field from that day forward.

As Brittney Spears was sexy on a Coke can, Aguilera was right behind on a Pepsi. Back and forth, the frenemy’s battled in the charts and in the eye of the press while making loads of cash in the process. But as Brittney Spears morphed into this white trash/hot mess hybrid thing that we’re still trying to figure out, Aguilera took a few risks that showed her potential above all of the Pink’s and Jessica Simpson’s of the following musical class. The undeniable fact is she has talent.

On the track, “Beautiful” Aguilera let the listener inside, she allows a degree of vulnerability that she hadn’t prior, dancing around in her underwear trying to crack the shock value route with the whole “X-Tina” thing, which was ultimately hot, but downright retarded. But, again those kinds of mismatched choices are the bane of existence that is Christina Aguilera’s career. One minute she played it safe and released a few hokey tracks that no one actually liked (candyman, fighter, etc) and then she’d do something artistically enriching like “Hurt”. It just never added up.

So, after a few million records, Christina Aguilera decides to get married and have a kid, be an adult for a while and discover what she truly is, as a person. Generally there isn’t a problem with this kind of behavior, but in this case, it was a terrible career move. In the five years, Aguilera has been out of the spotlight the music business, and the world, in general has thoroughly changed. Where Christina wanted so desperately to be the height of the pop mountain, she is now at the base. In a world of Youtube news, and cell phones that can do pretty much anything, the public’s relationship with their artists has changed, and Christina failed to embrace it in her absence.

Lady Gaga

Who slithered onto the scene and did, in fact, embrace this idea, is Lady Gaga, the artist Christina’s handlers wouldn’t allow her to become or her business savvy couldn’t comprehend, but the fact remains Gaga is who Aguilera always wanted to be. In the ten years, Christina Aguilera and Brittney Spears have been in the spotlight; neither has reached the pinnacle of what Lady Gaga has in just two. Aguilera is a star whereas Gaga is an icon. Gaga takes significant risks, and those risks pay off. She isn’t the brainchild of a team of executives or primed to say this or that, so the media has the perfect clip. Gaga admits to taking drugs, to messing around with girls, Gaga wears meat as a social statement and loves the world and doesn’t bat an eye at a person’s flaws. Where Aguilera, on the other hand, is conditioned to provide hollow Republican answers to any topical question, limits her in many ways in the new era of constant information.

Gaga sits at keyboards with Yoko Ono and gets to play John Lennon’s white “Imagine” piano, a moment most of the musical minded world would kill for. Gaga headlines Lollapalooza one day and hangs out at an art gallery, the next. Aguilera can do none of these things because she’s shackled to the all-but-dead concept of “Star Material”. Christina Aguilera is oozing with a vocal range and ability, but the fact remains is that she never took any risks. There aren’t any interesting or riveting videos of her floating around on the web. Aside from a Maxim spread when she was in her Darth Vader meets prostitute phase, that’s about it for edgy content.

As “Bionic” hit the stores this summer, Aguilera felt the change in how the business, in fact, had changed without her. The album is a series of misfires that inherently solicit a new generation of fans to accept that she can be a Madonna or a Lady Gaga and do what she pleases, without previously having a track record promoting such an idea. Everyone from the currently hot Ester Dean to Le Tiger and MIA came in to pepper up an artist who’s been out of the game, and the result was lackluster at best.

As Aguilera has professed her love for Etta James and Nina Simone, and other classic soul, the question is, why hasn’t she embraced it and moved into directions that could marry her sound with the likes of Bjork or Portishead? Her generic description of “fun music” is and was a garbage term. When someone with the staggering talent she professes, is using their gifts at their minimum, something is wrong, and albums like “Bionic” happen. Whom, you may ask was responsible for “Bionic”? Mainly her husband. Christina Aguilera is one of the best selling artists of the 00’s, and with 46 million records sold, having the last one fail; one would assume the reaction more than likely wasn’t pretty. Living in the shadow of the idea you’ve always wanted to be and to see it flashed on every thing that cares about pop culture must be enraging.

Like all things, the failure of a business venture, Aguilera being the capital and her emotions being the investment, someone had to pay. The husband was essentially the broker who made the terrible call and sank the market. A diva is not going to have a behind the scenes guy ruin her career. There’s no way.

Christina Aguliera will bounce back. That’s a given. Let’s just hope the flip side of the coin is forgiving because the Sex Kitten approach is running out of lives and someone is dying to put it up for Daniel Tosh to make fun of. The world changes like that.

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