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Christina Aguilera Addresses R. Kelly, Working with Gaga Again


Could Vegas bring us another live “Do What U Want” performance?

Christina Aguilera is finally sharing her thoughts on R. Kelly after her version of "Do What U Want," a remix of Lady Gaga's original track with Xtina replacing Kelly, is now the only version that remains available.

The date was December 17, 2013 for what the Los Angeles Times's Amy Reiter called a "riveting -- and unexpectedly inspiring" performance when pop divas Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga joined together on The Voice stage to perform Gaga's track "Do What U Want."

It was a historic moment, not just to witness the pair together in song, but to do so over a track originally written as a duet between Gaga and R. Kelly. To remove an alleged sexual predator from the track in favor of a woman who has long spoken out against domestic violence (Aguilera, having witnessed domestic violence at the hands of her father) was a powerful -- not to mention homoerotic -- statement.

The track received new attention when, following the airing of Surviving R. Kelly earlier this month, efforts were made to get high-profile collaborators of Kelly's to rebuke the singer. Gaga tweeted her support of Kelly's victims, writing: "I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously ... I'm sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner."

In the same post, Gaga announced that she would be pulling the song from iTunes and streaming services. What would remain, however: was the studio track of the Xtina remix. Shortly thereafter, that version re-entered the U.S. charts, prompting Aguilera to issue a public response on Instagram and Twitter.

"Cool to see the version of this song I did with Lady Gaga on the charts again -- this is a reminder of women sticking together -- and not letting a man take ownership of a great song/moment," Aguilera wrote. "And if anything the message of this song remains that although you may have had my body, you will never have my heart, my voice my life or my mind. Being a survivor of past predators myself, these lines spoke to me, which is why I did the song. I embrace all survivors of sexual and domestic violence and abuse holding a special place in my heart, and you Lady Gaga, for doing the right thing!"

Aguilera finally addressed it all in public during her debut appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. I (a longtime worshipper at the House of Aguilera) called into the show to ask my queen diva about her response to Gaga pulling the original track and the possibility of a new live performance now that they are both in Vegas.

"First of all to address the R. Kelly thing, I was extremely moved by that whole show," the singer said, referencing Surviving R. Kelly. "It was very heavy for me. I actually went through a lot of ... um ... yeah ... let's not really go there."

"It touched you," Cohen interjected.

"It absolutely did," Aguilera said. "When you're in this business you're so exposed to so many predators and so many things and watching what had happened to Aaliyah -- you're exposed to so much at such an early age. It's still an uphill battle."

With regard to Gaga, Aguilera said, "I love that she spoke and addressed it and showed her support. Sharing that stage with her for that performance of 'Do What U Want' ... It was almost like we were flipping it as one on the ear of everyone else. You can have this, you can have that, but you'll never have my integrity, my voice. And I was like 'Wow, it's actually very fitting that we engage together in this song having been in the business together as two females.' I would always share the stage with her because she's a blast because she does know how to let go and have fun and sky's the limit and I enjoy performers like that."

Other juicy tidbits from the show:

  • She's consider adding "Your Body" to her set for her upcoming Vegas residency.

  • She's started to embrace Burlesque and will watch it if it comes on television while she's flipping through channels. "It's a classic," she admitted. (She's right.)

  • She thinks Britney Spears "Breathe On Me" is "sexy" and jams out to it. (Same.)

  • Her Housewives tagline would be: "I'm a genie in a bottle. You don't want to rub me the wrong way."

  • She doesn't remember swinging a punch at Pink (despite Pink's memory.) In fact, according to Aguilera, it all centered around Pink rejecting a kiss from Xtina.

  • "It's definitely getting back to my roots again," she said when asked about an extra special album she teased on Instagram. "The follow-up Spanish album has been on my to-do list forever and now is the time for that."

  • If she were to recast "Lady Marmalade" today, the first girls she thought of were Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson. We just need two more!

You can watch the clip below:

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Evan Ross Katz