Years later, the five-time Grammy winner's father begged for her forgiveness, but the abuse she survived in her tender years was too traumatic to forget.
Imagine being so traumatized as a child that the day your parents got divorced feels like the greatest gift you could have asked for. Imagine having a father who terrorized his wife and child to the extent that they would rather not have him in their lives. And, then imagine having only music as a way to escape the violence at home you wished nobody had to experience. Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer Christina Aguilera had exactly that kind of childhood.
Music became an escape and comfort for the talented singer, who was physically abused by her Army Sergeant father Fausto as early as the age of four. Once, her mother, Shelly, found her with blood pouring from her face when the singer was just four years old. According to Daily Mail, Shelly said in an interview, "I scooped her up and said, 'Oh my God. What's wrong?' She told me, 'Daddy wanted to take a nap and I made too much noise.'"
The violence wasn't just directed at her but her mother as well. "I witnessed a lot of unpleasant things - a lot of pushing and shoving and fighting and quarreling. Growing up I did not feel safe. Feeling powerless is the worst feeling in the world. I turned to singing as an outlet. The pain at home is where my love for music came from," Aguilera said.
The Genie in a Bottle singer has been forthright about the trauma she faced in her childhood, and she knows that her father has heard about them. She told Us Weekly that when her parents' marriage broke was when their life improved.
"I grew up in a household where domestic violence occurred and the greatest gift for me, as a child, was the day my parents got divorced," said the singer. She doesn't want her children to ever face what she had. "The key to having a happy child is having a happy parent. Kids are like sponges: they take on everything," she added.
Growing up in a harsh situation made her decide early on in life that she would not be with anyone who was going to push her around. "My dad was very dominant with my mom, and I always knew I was never going to let a man take advantage of me like that," she told Cosmopolitan. "I'm not going to allow myself to be in a situation where I have to rely on this man or that person for financial means," Aguilera told Women's Health.
Her personal relationships have been guided by that philosophy. "I made up my mind at a really young age that I had to do for myself. I never wanted a man to tell me what I could and couldn’t do, what I could and couldn't spend. I always knew I had to be the queen of my castle," she said.
The young singer, who started her career when she was just a teen, has worked hard and long to get that financial and personal freedom where she is the master of herself. "I strived to be that workhorse. I felt like, 'Okay, I can't be weak; I can't say no. I always have to be strong. I'm going to get the work done,'" she told Cosmopolitan.
Now, with a net worth of $130 million, she is truly her own master and nobody can tell her what to do. And, with that she's learned to slow down and take care of herself as well. "It's taking care of myself so I can take care of everybody else," said she.