Shelly Loraine Kearns is the mother of pop icon Christina Aguilera, and although she mostly stays out of the spotlight, she’s always remained at her daughter’s side. Below we break down all you need to know about the singer’s mom and their close relationship.
Shelly Dealt With Abuse From Christina’s Father
Christina has learned to be a fighter, and she has her mother to thank for that. The “Genie in a Bottle” singer grew up in Staten Island, New York, the eldest of two daughters to Shelly and Fausto Xavier Aguilera, a United States Army soldier. Unfortunately for Shelly and the family, Fausto was physically and emotionally abusive, causing a young Christina to find solace in music. The singer has discussed her abusive past in her music, releasing the song “Oh Mother” on her 2006 album Back to Basics.
In a 2018 Paper magazine interview, the “Candyman” singer explained how her mom’s strength helped her throughout her life. “I watched my mom have to be submissive, watch her Ps and Qs or she’s gonna get beat up,” she told the outlet. “You can either be, unfortunately, so damaged by it that you take a turn for the worse, or you can feel empowered by it and make choices to never go down that route.”
Shelly ultimately ended up leaving Fausto when Christina was six, and she moved herself and her daughters into their grandmother’s home in Rochester, a Pittsburgh suburb. She later remarried Jim Kearns and had a son with him named Michael.
Both Christina & Shelly Have Grown From The Past
Although Shelly and Christina’s siblings faced difficult trials in the Aguilera household, Christina was able to learn a lot from the situation while remaining supportive of her mother. “I made a decision very young that I would never put myself in a situation where I would feel helpless to a man and that I would be able to make money for myself and my future children so they wouldn’t have to suffer at the hands of abuse,” Christina told TODAY in 2015.
“Now, I’m a mother of a 7-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter and it’s very important to me to provide them with an environment to feel safe and loved. I want to give my children the gift of loving music without having to use it as an escape, like I had to.”
Christina ultimately turned that escape into an extremely successful career. During the interview, she emphasized the importance of every mom to find a creative outlet.
“As much as we all love our kids, ultimately we all have ourselves that are separate and it’s important to have a release just for yourself,” she added. “We literally give so much of ourselves, it’s important to make time some to be able to find a creative release or pampering release.”
She’s Always Been Supportive Of Christina
Christina’s star has grown immensely since her Mouseketeer days, and Shelly has consistently remained by her daughter’s side, through thick and thin. In addition to always remaining by Christina’s side through her various transformations and sexual revolutions, Shelly was there to witness her daughter be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.
Christina noted how, in watching her mother struggle, she learned she didn’t need to let others dictate her life — a lesson that helped when she faced backlash following the release of the highly sexual “Dirrty.”
“It was a very interesting and controversial time for me,” she said. “Either women are not sexual enough or we’re not fulfilling enough of a fantasy for you, but then if we’re overtly sexual or feeling empowered in a certain kind of way, then we’re shamed for it.” Lucky for Christina, her mom’s experience and how she raised her daughter helped shape her into who she is today.