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Top 10 Best Christina Aguilera Performances

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Script written by Michael Wynands Christina Aguilera’s got a voice that doesn't around very often. For this list, we’ll be looking at the long and remarkable career of Christina Aguilera to highlight some of the very best live performances she’s ever given. We’ve included performances like “Say Something” (2013) at the 41st Annual American Music Awards (2013), “I Will Always Love You” (2017) at the 45th Annual American Music Awards (2017), “I’m Okay” (2010) at the “VH1 Storytellers” and more!

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Top 10 Christina Aguilera Performances

A voice like this doesn't come around very often. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Christina Aguilera Performances.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the long and remarkable career of Christina Aguilera to highlight some of the very best live performances she’s ever given.

#10: “Candyman”
“Good Morning America” (1975-)

Not every artist can pull off a retro sound… but Christina Aguilera sure can. The “big band” style instrumentation brings undeniable and infectious energy to the performance, while the military-style call and response backups bring a dash of old timey fun. Add to that the thematic costumes and the backup dancers and you’ve got more than a musical act… it’s a theatrical performance. Of course, all of this is just a backdrop for the starring attraction, Christina Aguilera. Though the song might be more vocally tame than some of her other material, there’s a pristine quality and clarity to her voice that draws you in nonetheless. And there’s NOTHING tame about last big note.

#9: “Say Something”
“41st Annual American Music Awards” (2013)

Taking things in a very different direction, Christina Aguilera’s 2013 performance at the American Music Awards saw her teaming up with indie pop group, A Great Big World, for a unique rendition of their mega-hit “Say Something”. With this understated but deeply moving performance, Aguilera dials back her usually deep, show-stealing vocal style in favor of a softer, cleaner sound to better match her collaborators.The end result is an emotional punch to the gut, and might just move you to tears. The pained expression on Aguilera’s face says it all: this is a moving experience for everyone involved.

#8: “You Lost Me”
“American Idol” (2002-)

In 2016, Christina Aguilera became the first female coach to have their contestant win The Voice, proving yet again that she knows what it takes to be a musical star. Of course, there was never any doubt about her abilities. Be it recorded, in concert or performing in front of a live studio audience, Aguilera always stuns. Before she became a judge on The Voice, Aguilera left her mark on singing competition shows with this awe-inspiring performance on the season 9 finale of American Idol. The soulful quality of her voice is on full display as she plays with volume and showcases her awesome range. It’s truly a chill-inducing performance.

#7: “At Last”
Etta James’ Funeral (2012)

There are few voices in the history of music as influential or inspiring as that of Etta James. And in 2012, at the blues singer’s funeral at the City of Refuge Church in Gardena, California, Christina did her musical idol proud with this passionate and staggering performance of “At Last”. You can see that Aguilera is giving it her all, and channeling the power and spirit of Etta James with this performance. It is confident, heartfelt and deeply, deeply badass. Despite the somber occasion, even the mourners can’t help but let out a few whoops of appreciation as Christina growls and bellows her way through the song. That big note at the end? Mindblowing.

#6: “I’m OK”
“VH1 Storytellers” (1996-)

This decades-spanning live music series has been showcasing some of the best and brightest musical talents since it first debuted in 1996 with a performance by Ray Davies. The intimate setting and smaller crowd makes for a truly one-of-a-kind musical experience, and when Christina Aguilera visited the set, her powerful voice filled the space. There’s a haunting quality to this song, and the acoustics of the room, paired with the string section, only emphasizes that feeling. It’s a painful but beautiful song, and as it reaches its climax, you can see that Aguilera is really giving it her all - both vocally and emotionally.

#5: “I Will Always Love You”
“45th Annual American Music Awards” (2017)

Another iconic and hugely influential singer sadly taken from us too early, Whitney Houston was commemorated at the 2017 American Music awards with a jaw-dropping rendition of this hit song, as performed by Christina Aguilera. She starts off quiet, almost in a strong whisper, before building to a crescendo that has the crowd absolutely losing it. Seriously, just look at Pink’s face as she hits that final series of high notes. Don’t worry Pink, we’re all shaking our heads in disbelief right there with you. Though no one can perform “I Will Always Love You” like Whitney Houston, Aguilera makes a strong bid for second best.

#4: “Beautiful”
“46th Annual Grammy Awards” (2004)

Come awards season there’s always a lot of discussion and argument as to who really deserved to win this or that award. When Christina Aguilera took home the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2004 however, she followed it up with a performance that silenced the naysayers and second-guessers before they had the chance to speak. Performing an alternative version of “Beautiful”, the song for which she won the award, Aguilera starts off acapella - a bold approach that puts her unadulterated vocals front and center. Then, joined by a choir and an orchestra, she builds to a powerhouse of a climax. Well over a decade later, people are still talking about this performance.

#3: “Ain’t No Other Man”
“15th MTV Movie Awards” (2006)

You gotta give it to Christina Aguilera. Pop princess though she may have been marketed as to sell records, she’s always stood out from the pack with her soulful voice and deep appreciation for blues, R&B and jazz. At the 2006 MTV Movie Awards, Aguilera performed her hit “Ain’t No Other Man” with the support of a live band, including a brass section, and a collection of perfectly-vintage dressed backup dancers. Aguilera brought both class and energy to the stage, delivering the sort of commanding performance that likely left other pop stars in the audience envious. Heck, she even got a standing ovation from Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton Jr.!

#2: “Hurt”
"Christmas in Rockefeller Center" (2006)

The very same year that she blew everyone away at the MTV Movie Awards, Christina Aguilera gave a one of a kind holiday performance at the Rockefeller Center in New York City. As she hits one jaw-dropping note after another, professional figure skater Sasha Cohen performs an equally impressive figure skating routine. Together, they craft a multidisciplinary performance, that, coupled with the decorations, makes for a truly surreal experience. This is classic Christina Aguilera, belting out powerful notes one second, and slipping into a delicate falsetto the next. Talk about a Christmas gift to viewers everywhere.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions

“Lift Me Up”
“Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” (2010)

“I Have Nothing”
“The All-New Mickey Mouse Club” (1989-96)


“CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” (2007-)

#1: “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”
“49th Annual Grammy Awards” (2007)

This is Christina Aguilera at her absolute best. She’s done a number of incredible tributes over the years, but the one she performed in memory of James Brown at the 2007 Grammys is without a doubt the most memorable and awe-inspiring. Aguilera doesn’t hold back here - she’s practically oozing with soul and presence. She quickly and flawlessly transitions from a deep growl to staggering high notes seemingly effortlessly. And then, just when you think the performance couldn’t possibly get any better, she hits the sort of piercing high note we rarely get to hear her deliver. Seriously, this would’ve made James Brown proud.

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