Christina Milian - Biography & Career
Christina Milian is a multi-talented phenomenon whose resume includes film, television, theater and music. With starring roles in two upcoming feature films this year and hard at work on her highly-anticipated debut album, Milian is poised to take the entertainment industry by storm.
You know her from the infectious single "AM To PM" which hit the top position on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart in 2001, yet that was just a taste of what this multi-faceted young woman is capable of. An accomplished singer, songwriter, dancer, TV personality and actress, Christina has become a star of international proportions. She?s gone platinum, written hits for a slew of international acts, hosted MTV?s 'Wannabes,' enjoyed two Top 5 hits on the UK charts, recorded a smash that was #1 on RadioDisney for 12 weeks, had roles in several feature films and brought her intoxicating pop/R&B grooves world wide.
Add to Christina's amazing list of accomplishments this; her long-awaited Island release It's About Time. Featuring production from some of the heaviest hitters in R&B including Warryn Campbell (Alicia Keys, Brandy), Corey Rooney (Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey), Polli Paul (Black Eyed Peas), Bryan Cox (Usher, Lil Bow Wow) and songs co-written by Christina, It's About Time is a sizzling indication of who Christina is and where she's at.
As Christina explains it, "Obviously the title refers to the length of time that it took me to complete this and finally have an album available in the US. But the other meaning is that I've learned that everything in my career has to do with timing. Clearly I could have rushed to put an album out two years ago when I first had a hit single, but because I had to wait, it worked out for the best. Everything happened for a reason, and it's made me who I am. Which means that this album is really a reflection of me."
One listen to It's About Time and it is clear that Christina is in a decidedly more mature space. "I'm older now. When "AM To PM" came out I was a teenager. Now I'm 22 and so songs on this album have a little more depth to them." The depth is evident by the album's R&B vibe and lyrics that have a bit more edge. You can feel the sexy point of view on cuts like the uptempo "Love." Produced by Warryn Campbell and featuring labelmate Joe Budden, "Love" vibrates with a retro 80's dance club feel.
Another track guaranteed to make you move is the rhythmic "Peanut Butta and Jelly," produced by KP and EZ Tommy. "I love that song," Christina offers. "It's got this real energized beat; it totally makes you wanna dance. It's gonna be a great song for my live shows". Equally propulsive is the first single "Dip It Low," which came via new comer Polli Paul. Although Christina is one of the industry's most in-demand songwriters (she co-wrote Jennifer Lopez?s hit "Play"), sometimes she seeks out inspiration elsewhere. With her album nearly completed Christina knew that something was missing and as fate would have it a friend turned her on to a hot producer. "When I met Polli and he played me "Dip It Low" I just flipped. The song was crazy, so I just went right back into the studio to record it and everyone just loved it."
Yet it's not just on up-tempo jams where Christina shines. Listen to the lovelorn ballad "Someday Oneday," produced by Corey Rooney or the emotional "Oh Daddy," and you will hear an introspection that can only come with growth." I've been through a lot these past few years, both good and bad, so it's natural that my songs are going to reflect my thoughts."
Born to Cuban native parents in New Jersey and raised in Maryland, Christina has had her eyes on the prize since she was only four years old. "I remember as a kid watching TV and I'd try to get inside of the television. That's how much I wanted to be a star!"
While still young, Christina landed a role in a musical theater play and later parlayed that into a recurring part on the Disney Channel's 'Movie Surfers.' At 13 Christina and her mom (who she cites as a major support) moved to Los Angeles so that Christina could pursue acting. Christina landed guest spots on TV shows such like 'Charmed' and 'Sister Sister' and provided voice over work for the #1 film A Bug's Life.
In 2000 Christina gained worldwide fame when her girlish vocals were showcased on Ja Rule's #1 hit "Between Me and You". Soon everyone was wondering who was that girl singing the hook and Christina's star began to rise.
Propelled by the overwhelming success of the Bloodshy produced "AM To PM" Christina started recording the collection that was slated to be her debut. Suddenly, Christina was a huge star in places she'd only dreamed of and her music was loved by fans that didn't speak English. "I'd grown up watching people like Michael and Janet Jackson. People who were universal superstars, so for me, being able to conquer different territories was a very big deal. The whole experience made me more confident and proud that I could reach so many people. Sure it was hard not having an album available back home but in the end it all worked out for the best. I had the chance to tour (she hit 17 countries between 2001-2002) and work on my songwriting. So everything happens for a reason and I know I'm blessed."
The blessings also manifested itself when it came to Christina's acting career. In 2002 Christina was tapped to host MTV's widely popular 'Wannabes' and it was on an episode that she met director Joseph Kahn. Kahn asked her to audition for his highly-anticipated feature film Torque opposite Ice Cube. She secured the part, which subsequently landed her the coveted lead role opposite Nick Cannon in Love Don't Cost a Thing. Christina's star continues to rise on the silver screen with a lead role in Cheer Up opposite Tommy Lee Jones. With a thriving film career, Milian continues to be passionate about making music. "Singing and acting are both my passions and they go hand in hand."
She might have undergone a circuitous route, but it seems that in 2004 Christina Milian is ready to stand in the spotlight and go for hers. As her album title would indicate, in the end it's often about timing and with Christina Milian, that time is now.
Christina Milian is already used to being the center of attention. Although the self-titled release is her Def Soul debut album, the urban pop sensation has been preparing for her celebrity for quite a while. "I remember being 4 years old, and I would watch TV and try to get inside the television. That's how much I wanted to be a star," she excitedly recalls. But it's hard for Christina to believe that 15 years later, before her 20th birthday, she would actually be on the verge of taking the music industry by storm.
Born to Cuban-native parents in New Jersey and raised in Waldorf, Maryland, Christina has an extensive resume. At a young age, she landed a role in a musical theatre play of Annie Warbucks. Later, Christina became a junior journalist on the Disney's Channel Movie Surfers. She explains, "My mom brought me to California when I was thirteen years old to pursue my acting career. It was there that I met Rodney Jerkins, who inspired me to get into recording music." Before igniting her musical journey, Christina had appeared as a guest on several TV shows, such as "Clueless," "Sister, Sister," "Smart Guy," "harmed," "The Steve Harvey Show" and as a recurring character on "Get Real." She also has done a voiceover character role in A Bug's Life, as well as an appearance in the film The Wood. The wheels to Christina's success are already in motion.
But it was Ja Rule's #1 single "Between Me and You" that introduced Christina Milian to the mainstream. When listeners caught a glimpse of R&B's next cutie softly singing on the hook, they sat up and took notice. "Ja Rule didn't even know who I was when I recorded the song. After I did it, he loved the result," Christina says with a laugh. The video started a whirlwind of anticipation for Christina's music, exemplified by a flurry of fan web sites as well as an official Yahoo! Club. Her official site, www.christinamilian.com, is already getting numerous hits from all over the world. She also toured with *NSYNC this summer.
But Christina Milian is not just another singer. She is an entertainer, incorporating choreographed dance into each performance. "I grew up watching Madonna and Janet Jackson dancing, and after seeing them, I knew that was what I wanted to do." And with Christina, you get the total package: singing, dancing, and songwriting. "I almost require that I write, with every song, because I like to be involved in the creative process. And I know I'm liable for the lyrics I sing. I just love to write anyway," she declares. And her writing has attracted attention from others as well. Christina's talent was noticed by J-Lo herself; Christina co-wrote the Jennifer Lopez hit "Play," as well as PYT's first single "Same'Ol Same Ol'."
Christina's energetic personality comes across on her debut. Christina assures, "The album is based on experiences that I know teenagers go through. My album isn't too dramatic, it's an album that most young people can relate to." No doubt. The down-to-earth concepts and up-tempo production provide danceable beats for almost anyone. And with production wizards like Jermaine Dupri ("A Girl Like Me") and hot up-and-comer Bloodshy, the album is a sure winner.
On "AM to PM," produced by Bloodshy and remixed by Irv-Gotti (who produced "Every Little Thing That We Do"), Christina proves that she can rock just about any crowd. The song showcases her distinct singing talent and candid star quality. Then there's "You Make Me Laugh," another hot track that will work for the radio or the clubs. Anyone who's ever had a friend talk behind his or her back will immediately relate. And on the ballad "It Hurts When" Christina takes her songwriting to an even higher level with this poignant relationship story, when one finds that an ex has moved on and is in love with another.
With a diverse musical background, Christina Milian takes a different step than many of her peers. By incorporating myriad influences from her background, Christina's sound reflects the pop arena and much more. "I grew up on a lot of oldies. We only had AM radio in my parents' car back then, so I listened to a lot of old school, from Diana Ross to Elton John. I love a mixture of music, I'm not set on any one kind of music," she admits. Her music is the perfect blend of urban, latin and pop sounds.
On "Satisfaction Guaranteed," Christina Milian's universal appeal is obvious, as her voice flows naturally over the mid-tempo beat. This song is produced by the Artful Dodger (the English super-producer behind U.K. megastar Craig David). Although the Artful Dodger's production talents are in high demand, Christina is the only American artist he has produced thus far, as he strongly feels that she is a truly exceptional talent who will reach audiences worldwide. As a whole, the album features a number of songs destined to top the charts. The production is top notch, and Christina's realistic subject matter, on songs like "When You Look At Me," will earn her a host of new fans.
So get ready for her smashing debut album, because this talented young singer is about to descend upon audiences everywhere with her unique sound and style. Her music is cutting edge, with a wide range of influences, and with her distinctive sound and personality, Christina will inspire people everywhere.