Should Have Been Bigger: Christina Aguilera’s “Express”
Long before Lady Gaga generated Oscar buzz for playing Ally in A Star Is Born, Christina Aguilera paved the way by bringing another Ali to life in Burlesque. Sharing the silver screen with Cher in the underrated classic, Xtina taught a generation of gays everything they needed to know about air rights. She also delivered a multitude of brilliant performances including the Grammy-robbed “Express.” Arriving several months after Bionic, the slinky anthem deserved to be a huge hit.
“Express” is a seriously sexy song that wouldn’t sound out of place on 2006’s seminal Back To Basics. “It’s a cold and crazy world that’s raging outside, well, baby, me and all my girls are bringing on the fire,” Christina coos. “Show a little leg. Gotta shimmy your chest. It’s a life, it’s a style, it’s a need. It’s burlesque.” What follows is a tribute to the lifestyle. “It’s a passion, an emotion, it’s a fashion. Burlesque,” she belts on the chorus. The 38-year-old’s rendition of “Express” is not only an underrated bop but also delivers one of the movie’s most iconic moments — a performance that lands somewhere between a Pussycat Dolls concert and RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Unfortunately, “Express” failed to set the charts on fire. After Bionic, radio refused to support the song and it failed to crack the Billboard Hot 100. Happily, the Burlesque soundtrack’s second single, “Show Me How You Burlesque,” had a bit more luck. However, neither received the acclaim they truly deserve. Revisit one of Xtina’s hidden gems below.