Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle" Turns 15 So Here's 12 Things You Didn't Know About the Hit
The year was 1999: President Clinton's impeachment trial ended, Wayne Gretzky retired from the NHL, people stockpiled canned goods to prepare for whatever hell might break loose New Year's Day 2000, and pop music took zero prisoners. Pop music was at the top of its game, and Christina Aguilera was one of the artists leading the charge. Her self-titled album hit the shelves of Sam Goodys and Virgin Megastores on Aug. 24, 1999, and it was only just the beginning of the future Grammy winner's career.
But before my favorite paper fan-waving goddess's first CD could snag a sleeve in the coveted first page of my gel pen-decorated CD binder (that first page was prime real estate and was reserved for the greatest pop albums of the late '90s/early '00s), "Genie In A Bottle" happened. The song about genies and bottles and rubbing the right way and licking lips and hearts saying "no" was the first single off of Aguilera’s debut album, and its radio takeover began June 22, 1999. To say that song was a big deal is an understatement.
To celebrate the album's 15th anniversary (and the timelessness of the lead single), here are 12 morsels of information about "Genie In A Bottle":
1. “Genie In A Bottle” was written by Pam Sheyne, Steve Kipner, and David Frank, who also penned...
...pop group Dream's smash hit “He Loves U Not.”
2. The song was not specifically written for Aguilera
Three artists duked it out for the track.
3. In her quest to win the songwriters over, Aguilera sang it for Sheyne, Kipner, and Frank
It was game over. (I mean, duh. Her voice is undeniable.) "Genie In A Bottle" would be hers for the taking. I really, really want to know who the other two "Genie" hopefuls were. Alas, I could not find the names. I guess that gossip will forever stay locked up in the bottle, er, vault.
4. It wasn’t love at first listen for Aguilera
According to Pier Dominguez’s 2003 unauthorized Christina Aguilera biography A Star Is Made, Aguilera “wasn’t too crazy” about the demo. Why? She didn’t think it would do her sick-nasty voice justice. (Don’t worry, she was “proud” of the way the song panned out.)
5. The song's original title was...
..."If You Want To Be With Me"
7. In her VH1 Behind The Music special, she said she “found ‘Genie In A Bottle’ to be very vocally stifling”
8. The song snagged the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 before the music video premiered
Yup, that's Mr. Fergie-Ferg in that yellow button-down.
10. Right around the time "Genie In A Bottle" dropped, 18-year-old Aguilera attended her then-boyfriend's high school prom
However, she wasn't exactly a guest of honor: The budding pop star was iced out by the other girls at the dance. AND THEN! When the DJ decided to spin "Genie In A Bottle," THE GIRLS CLEARED THE DANCE FLOOR.
11. According to the Billboard charts, "Genie In A Bottle" was the second highest-selling song of 1999.
What was No. 1? You'd better believe it was "Believe" by Cher.
12. Aguilera has recorded two additional versions of the song: "Genio Atrapado" and "Genie 2.0."
"Genio Atrapado" appears on her 2000 Spanish album, Mi Reflejo. "Genie 2.0" is a Linda Perry-produced revamped version of the track, and it can be found on her 2008 greatest hits album, Keeps Gettin' Better.