Christina Aguilera had to put up with two years of abuse from jealous school bullies as she started to make a name for herself at talent shows - nasty kids would try to ambush her performances and slash the tires on her mum's car. The "Beautiful" singer recalls school thugs would resent her success after she first hit the national scene on TV talent show "Star Search" in 1990.
Aguilera wasn't a winner but the positive feedback she got from the show's producers drove her to perform more - and between 1990 and 1992 she was always competing and showing off her talent. Meanwhile, her personal life was a hell of bullies.
In a new "Behind the Music" documentary, the star recalls, "There was a lot of resentment and I think there was a bit of jealousy involved... There were threats that were made on me and my mum. They would thrash my tires if I would win a certain competition... I just remember (thinking), 'I gotta get out of here, I gotta go make my dream out there.' "
And the singer's mother, Shelly, admits the tactics of jealous schoolkids often went far beyond the schoolyard - and into talent shows. She explains, "We would have to watch her equipment - the school's equipment - because when it was her turn (to perform), it would have somebody (sic), like, look the other way and unplug her."
"By sixth grade, she was having nightmares. Therapy was involved, it was crazy. That's how intense (it was)." But salvation was coming in the form of The Mickey Mouse Club - Aguilera attended an open call for Mouseketeers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1992, and was a regular TV star by the following spring after sailing through the auditions.
There she became fast friends with other talented kids, like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears: "It was the first time that I felt, 'OK, I've found my people,' and it felt so good to have that support."