Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera: Double Trouble

Justin says she's more reserved than you think. She says he should get back together with Britney. These, and more tales from the summer's hottest tour

June 26, 2003
justin timberlake christina aguilera cover
Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Max Vadukul


Christina Aguilera's web site helpfully includes a section called "Rumor Mill," over which her mom, Shelly, presides. It's a smart idea – controversy seems to cling to Aguilera like a Versace dress, so why shouldn't Shelly tackle the gossip head-on? She answers it all: Is Christina dating Dave Grohl? No. Nose job? No. Doesn't like to make eye contact? Sometimes. Are she and Justin Timberlake together? Only onstage, for this summer's ballyhooed Justified and Stripped tour, "There is only a working relationship, not a romantic relationship," Shelly writes. Capisce?

The hostile tone of some of this gossip is distressing. In a world of bland pop creations, we need Christina Aguilera. She boldly speaks her mind, she livens up a red carpet and she wears assless chaps. What's not to like? The newly brunette Aguilera will commence her tour with Timberlake this month. The idea was concocted by their managers. No fools, they: Both are young (22), hot and talked-about, and have released the best albums of their careers. Aguilera will be singing plenty of tunes from Stripped, which continues to crank out the singles, the next one being "Can't Hold Us Down." She chitchats about Timberlake, the tour and her first make-out session.

The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time: Christina Aguilera

So why did you and Justin decide to tour together?
We both put out records around the same time that kind of introduced ourselves to the world as new artists, in a way. So it was just a good time. And I've known Justin since the Mickey Mouse Club days, since we were twelve or thirteen, so we go back in our friendship, and it kind of works.

What part of the tour has caused the most discussion between the two of you?
I really don't know what his show is about, and it's better that way, because I want our shows kept separate. It is a co-headlining tour – it's not like we're setting up this whole tour based on the two of us and our chemistry together. I've read reviews of his shows in Europe, and, of course, they've all talked about the girls screaming – you're getting some of that 'N Sync crowd in there. And they say he's Michael Jackson-esque, coming down a kind of a stripper pole. That, of course, will be an on-command girls' screaming thing.

What's the biggest misconception about him?
I never hear him getting bashed. I think females get it worse. I just know him for being down-to-earth and goofy and silly. But he's got a little guy thing going on, too. He knows whenever he walks into a room, and certain girls are all like [sighs]. He knows what he does, too. He doesn't get arrogant, he just knows how to put it on and play up to it. I've been out to clubs with Justin and I've seen some of the girls that have hung around him, numerous dancers that are all about getting with him because he's him. And some of these girls are really good at making it out like they have the best intentions in the world. There's a term I use, but I don't know if I should be that blunt.

Yes, you should!
Me and my camp call it "suck dick for dollars." It's a term for some of these girls that want to get a break so bad, and they're just all over him, and it's just so sickening to me.

Why do you think everyone is so fascinated with your weight? First people were on you because they thought you were anorexic. You can't seem to win.
I think when a woman is very confident about how her body looks regardless of society's viewpoint of what a woman's body should look like, it upsets people. I'm unapologetic for the things I do, the things I wear, the things I say. You know, it seems like they all want this pretty, perfect little America's sweetheart. I don't even want to hear about my risqué clothes anymore, because I can't even tell you how covered up I was whenever I was promoting my song "Beautiful," and none of those [photos] got publicized at all. And I laughed my ass off when I first saw me being curvy in this certain dress. It was the first time that I was supercurvaceous, and my Latin side of me was coming out!

Right on!
And the media was very negative. It was like, "What kind of message are we sending out there to young girls?" You know, just let me be me. And I love my curves. We come in all different shapes and sizes, and the media should say something freakin' nice about someone that's trying to step out of the boundaries. And, no matter what, I'm just going to keep on doing what I'm doing.

Who do you think is Justin's ideal mate?
Britney. He and Britney made a great couple. I've known the both of them since that time, and they kind of had their little crushes even back then. Britney has known him for such a long time, too – before he was Justin Timberlake, the star, when he was just Justin, the kid on the Mickey Mouse Club. I don't know, I have a feeling that there's going to be some reconciliation. I know that they talk and everything, and it's cool. I don't think it's over.

Tell me about a favorite summer vacation that you've had.
I've never been on vacation. I really never have. My early childhood was very back-and-forth from whether my mom was going to stay with my dad, or whether she was going to stay with my grandma. I guess the best one was at my grandma's house in Pennsylvania. It was just fun – crickets and stuff. But I've never really been on vacation. And I've never been to summer camp. Summer camp takes money, you know.

What's the best album to be driving around listening to on a summer night?
Led Zeppelin. I love Physical Graffiti. I love Led Zeppelin, are you kidding me? Houses of the Holy. You can just really turn it up and sing out loud and be crazy. Another one that's totally fun to sing along to is Live Through This, from Hole.

What's the ultimate pop song?
Prince, "Kiss." More current-day, I'd probably say "My Name Is," by Eminem. It's so friggin' catchy. You gotta say Michael Jackson – "Beat It," "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" and "P.Y.T." My favorite ever is "Imagine," by John Lennon.

Can you recall the first serious make-out session that you had?
I think I was an early make-outer. Not really knowing what you were doing, but kind of like when you play house when you're little? I lived in Japan from ages three to six, and I know during that time, I was either five or six, and I had, like, a full-on. My mom totally caught me on the front porch with this boy that lived a couple of houses down. It was very cute and flirtatious and funny and young, but it wasn't no little peck. It was a make-out session. I don't know whether that makes me look really bad, but, hey, it happened.

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