"Genie in a Bottle" is the first single from Christina Aguilera's self-titled debut album, Christina Aguilera. The song was released as the lead single on June 22, 1999. The song debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has sold 1.4 million copies. "Genie in a Bottle" uses sexual references to talk about the theme of self-respect.
After receiving notification that the final season of The New Mickey Mouse Club (1993–94) would air, Aguilera became determined to release her debut studio album by the time she completed high school during 1994–95. She began recording sessions with producers Roberts Alleca and Michael Brown, but was displeased with the current pace of her career. Despite being offered free studio time with Alleca and Brown, Aguilera ventured to Japan in an effort to boost her career. While there, the pair offered her the opportunity to collaborate with Japanese pop star Keizo Nakanishi on the track "All I Wanna Do" (1994), though the experience failed to achieve commercial success. As her international successes broadened, Aguilera caught the attention of future manager Steve Kurtz; she had previously had a spoken agreement with Ruth Inniss, which subsequently never came to be.
Kurtz spent much of his time devoted to finding Aguilera a record deal, sending demos to multiple companies. Just as communications with RCA Records began, she was offered the chance to record "Reflection", the theme song for the 1998 Disney film Mulan. Its success landed her a multi-album recording contract. RCA's financial state prevented them from contending with major labels at the time. In an attempt to encourage Aguilera to sign with them and maintain the hype surrounding "Reflection", they offered to record and release her debut studio album by January 1999, though such an arrangement ultimately failed to happen. Originally, Aguilera "wasn't too crazy" about the demo recording for "Genie in a Bottle", though she eventually became "proud" of the end result. RCA executive Ron Fair sympathized with her reaction to the release and inclusion of the track, finding that the marketing decision would be to release a "sugar candy" number one single, something that wasn't necessarily a "great song" so that her career could strengthen.
"Genie in a Bottle" is written in the key of F minor with a tempo of 88 beats per minute. The song follows a chord progression of Fm – E♭ – D♭, and Aguilera's vocals span from F3 to B♭4.
The music video accompanying the track was directed by Diane Martel in April 1999, who had previously worked on Mariah Carey's "Dreamlover", and was shot in Malibu with surroundings of a beach and a wooden beach house. "I was out on the sand, greased up in, like, baby oil in shorts and a little cut-off top" she recalled, during the video, scenes saw her and others surrounding a campfire and despite this Aguilera recalled the video shoot was "freezing" with crew members all wearing large coats to keep them warm from the cold which Aguilera was struggling with. In most scenes of the video, Aguilera sings and performs a "genie" inspired choreography with her male dancers in front of the beach. As the video advances, the guys (with Christina's love interest in there) join the beach party. Near the end of the video, all the teens go outside and hang out around a bonfire.
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