Christina Aguilera - Hurt

Christina Aguilera Hurt
Christina Aguilera - "Hurt". Courtesy RCA

Reviewed September 2006

The Bottom Line

"Ain't No Other Man" was good, but "Hurt" vaults Christina Aguilera directly into competition for the title of pop single of the year. The fruit of symbiotic collaboration between Aguilera and producer/songwriter Linda Perry, "Hurt" is a stunning evocation of pain and guilt that can accompany the loss of a loved one. It is an instant classic.

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  • One of the best voices in all of pop music
  • Lyrics that pack a serious punch
  • Gorgeous piano-based arrangement


  • None


  • Begins with simple piano line backed gently by strings
  • Dramatic builds as the emotion of the lyrics kick in
  • Christina Aguilera's powerful, technically stunning, vocals
  • Lyrics that will be remembered by those who have been touched by this type of pain

Guide Review - Christina Aguilera - Hurt

A single piano with the backing of strings gives way to one of the most technically stunning voices in pop music singing words of pain, guilt, and grief in the loss of a loved one. The words work their way to a climax accented by percussion then gently fade away again leaving the listener in stunned silence from the beauty of the moment. This is "Hurt," the centerpiece of the second disc of Christina Aguilera's powerful double album Back to Basics.

"Hurt" originated out of Christina Aguilera's desire to record a song about losing someone. She asked collaborator Linda Perry to help out, and Perry developed the first draft of the song. Christina Aguilera rewrote some of the lyrics, but the final version is a tribute to the pair's symbiotic teamwork. Linda Perry worked on the idea thinking about her relationship with her father who had died less than a year before writing "Hurt."

"Hurt" is the type of big production that does not always fit easily into the typical pop radio playlist, but the song is already taking off in airplay. It is a song that is very likely to generate significant listener requests. Don't be surprised if "Hurt" is near the type of the pop singles chart by Christmas 2006.

Commercial Success

"Hurt" was released as the second single from the album Back To Basics in an effort to have a pop ballad smash by Christina Aguilera similar to the success of her previous hit "Beautiful." However, "Hurt" failed to climb higher than #19 on the pop singles chart. It peaked at #10 on mainstream pop radio and had even bigger success at adult contemporary radio peaking at #6. Remixes of the song took it to #1 on the dance chart. "Hurt" has sold in excess of one million copies.

The song was a top 10 hit for Christina Aguilera in many countries around the world including Australia, France, Germany, and Sweden.

Music Video

The music video for "Hurt" was co-directed by Christina Aguilera and Floria Sigismondi, who is perhaps best known for her work on Justin Timberlake's celebrated "Mirrors" music video. The clip has a circus theme. It shows a young Christina Aguilera, performed by Laci Kay, and her father, performed by Timothy V. Murphy. When the older Christina Aguilera finds success in the circus, she is distracted from spending time with her father by adoring fans and photographers. When she hears about his death, she regrets the time lost interacting with him.