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Remember The Record

The 10 Best Christina Aguilera Performances From the 'Back to Basics' Era

Christina's transformation into "Baby Jane" for her homage to the R&B and blues greats resulted in some of her best vocal performances ever! Watch some of our favorites from the era

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To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Christina Aguilera's third studio album, Fuse brings you Remember the Record: Back to Basics at 10, a whole week dedicated to the chart-topping release. Stay tuned for Back to Basics fun all week, and share your memories with us! Start off with an essay reminding you why the LP was a true risk, and our ranking of every song off the album, 10 years later.

It's no secret Christina Aguilera has one of the best voices in pop music history–almost any performance from the songstress is sure to give you chills. Xtina grew up listening to (and mimicking) soul and blues legends, so it makes sense that Back to Basics' throwback R&B flavor resulted in countless amazing live performances during the album's promo run.

We revisited numerous Christina performances from the BTB era, and picked our 10 favorite, presented here in chronological order, because it would be impossible to rank them. Let us know if we missed any of your faves in the comments!

1 / 10

"Ain't No Other Man" at MTV Movie Awards (June 2006)

THIS is how you kick off an era! Christina debuted the blaring, funky, DJ Premier-produced "Ain't No Other Man" with this explosive performance at MTV's annual movie awards. The jazzy intro set the tone for the performance and era: When the silhouette of Baby Jane (Christina's BTB alter ego) appeared and belted out that now-famous opening note, it was game on. – Mark Sundstrom, Senior Digital Producer

2 / 10

"Understand" at MTV's 'Back to Basics' Special (Aug. 2006)

With "old Hollywood" curls in her hair and a flirty dress (check out that sexy leopard print accent!), Christina looked every bit the ‘30s starlet for her MTV Back to Basics special. She commanded the audience with just a microphone, her passionate vocals and a backing band. When you have the talent, you don’t need distractions. – Bianca Gracie, Associate Writer

3 / 10

"Candyman" on 'Good Morning America' (Aug. 2006)

This is one of the few times Xtina really went for that big note at the end... and slayed it! The whole Good Morning America show was great and helped kick off the era with a bang. – Jeff Benjamin, Features Editor

4 / 10

"Hurt" at NBC's 'Christmas in Rockefeller Center' (Nov. 2006)

I explained why "Hurt" is one of my favorite Christina ballads in our BTB song ranking list, but a performance like this does the explaining for me. "Hurt" is not an easy song to sing, let alone outside, on a cold November night in New York City, but Xtina's seamless transitions between power belts and gorgeous soft falsettos demonstrated her impressive vocal ability. – Mark

5 / 10

"Hurt" on 'Wetten, Dass..?' (Dec. 2006)

Christina so flawlessly pulled off this performance on long-running popular German variety show Wetten, Dass..? that people still argue to this day about whether or not she lipped it. For the record, she didn't. Whew! – Mark

6 / 10

"Makes Me Wanna Pray" on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' (Feb. 2007)

Christina performed "Makes Me Wanna Pray" a few times toward the end of the BTB era and it made me realize how much single potential it had. It's such a feel-good jam and I think with the right radio edit it could have been a breath of fresh air at Top 40. – Jeff

7 / 10

"It's a Man's Man's Man's World" at the '49th Annual GRAMMY Awards' (Feb. 2007)

What else is there to say about this legendary GRAMMY performance? The look on Jamie Foxx's face at the end sums it up. After music icon James Brown passed way on Christmas day 2006, the GRAMMYs knew a tribute was in order for the Godfather of Soul. When they asked Christina to be part of it, she knew she had to nail it, and she did. A career-defining moment for Aguilera. – Mark

8 / 10

"Ain't No Other Man" at the NBA All-Star Game (Feb. 2007)

The MTV Movie Awards debut of "Ain't No Other Man" may be the definitive performance for most fans, but this high-energy, spot-on staging of the hit song gave people a taste of Xtina's Back to Basics Tour opener... lit-up staircase, matching suits and all! – Mark

9 / 10

"Oh Mother" from 'The Back to Basics Tour' (July 2007)

Xtina has always been open with her fans, and she continued to expose her soul on her Back to Basics tour. “Oh Mother,” one of the singer’s most honest songs to date, is about the domestic abuse she witnessed as a child. This performance brings the chilling lyrics to life, as Christina's heartbreaking emotions read clearly on her face. Her high note at the 3:03 mark takes the performance to another level!
– Bianca

10 / 10

"What a Girl Wants" from 'The Back to Basics Tour' (July 2007)

While the original "What a Girl Wants" is damn-near flawless, sometimes a new spin on a classic is welcome. Christina did just that when she gave the 1999 hit a reggae makeover for her Back To Basics Tour in 2007. This performance, taken from Aguilera's Back to Basics: Live and Down Under tour DVD, shows Xtina owning her past and having fun with it. Fun fact: She didn't even perform breakout smash "Genie in a Bottle" on this tour. – Mark

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