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Christina Aguilera's Lady Gaga talk: For real, or for show?

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lady-gaga-aguileraImage Credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns/Getty Images; Frank Micelotta/Getty ImagesAnother decade, another dance-pop death match? Years after the belly-chained Mouseketeer rumble that was Britney vs. Christina, Aguilera has goosed the media’s thirst for blond-on-blond battles once again with her recent comments to Out magazine on Lady Gaga—but says now, She Was Not Herself That Night (or more accurately, was “taken out of context”).

The Out quote (“’Oh, the newcomer? I think she’s really fun to look at”) is, of course, not Xtina’s first time addressing the topic;  In 2008, she famously claimed not to be familiar with Gaga, or even know whether she was a she at all: “”I’m not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don’t know if it is a man or a woman. I just wasn’t sure. I really don’t spend any time on the Internet, so I guess I live a little under a rock in that respect.”

And several weeks ago, when asked about the comparisons, she told an Atlanta radio station: I’ve been around for over a decade and I think my work speaks for myself. [When I was younger] I would have engaged, been a little upset [about the comparisons]. There’s a bigger picture out there. I’ve got my son, my family, my work.”

“You know what I love about the new breed of newcomers,” she told another station, “is that they’re risk takers. They’re doing things that aren’t so safe. … I always had the guts and passion to do things like that. … I’m happy to see that people have come full-circle and are now accepting it and are into it and these girls have the guts to do it.”

Aguilera also took to her own website yesterday to address the Out comments in an open letter, saying:

I would like to take a moment to clarify something that has been brought to my attention this morning. It is very easy for comments to be taken out of context and create unnecessary drama-especially between us women. So I would like to tell you all directly so my words can not be misconstrued to sell someone else’s story…I have absolutely nothing against Lady Gaga or any other female artist in this business. I think she is great, and I appreciate any woman fearless enough to go against the norm. She has earned her success with hard work and a clear focus and I have nothing but respect for that.
There is room for all of us on everyone’s iPods.

This is not the first time I have been unfairly pitted against another female artist but it will be the last time I comment on the matter.

“Can’t hold us down….”

With love,
C/X

Gaga herself has yet to respond; her only real on-the-record comments regarding Aguilera came in December 2008, when she described the press’s comparison of the two as “very flattering…She’s such a huge star and if anything I should send her flowers, because a lot of people in America didn’t know who I was until that whole thing happened … What it showed me was, even though I’ve only been on the commercial market for seven or eight months, I’ve really burned graphic images of my visuals onto the irises of my fans.”

What do you think, readers—is this the kind of media maelstrom meant more to grab pageviews and reduce these women’s considerable accomplishments (and pop music’s long, hallowed history of borrowing and sharing influences) to copycat catfights, or does it deserve genuine debate?

Originally posted May 18 2010 — 12:38 PM EDT

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