When Jennifer Lopez first signed up for “American Idol,” few thought it would serve as the career comeback vehicle that it has. But since Lopez enlisted to judge hopeful singers in the nation’s biggest karaoke contest, the ratings for the show have improved, and Lopez has landed several film roles and earned her first hit song in years with the Pittbull-assisted “On the Floor,” which peaked at an impressive No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
Now it’s looking like another diva is about to follow in J. Lo’s footsteps. Rumors abound that Christina Aguilera, fresh off the surprise success of “The Voice,” is currently in the studio with producers William Orbit and Brendan O’Brien recording the follow-up to her 2010 misfire Bionic.
As with Lopez, many were surprised that Aguilera signed up to be a judge on “The Voice.” Few expected the NBC singing competition to become the hit that it did, and the pop star found herself suddenly back in the public’s good graces, which included joining fellow judge Adam Levine and his Maroon 5 bandmates on the top ten hit “Moves Like Jagger.” The song marked Aguilera’s first appearance in the Billboard top ten since 2006’s “Ain’t No Other Man.”
If she is in the studio with Orbit and O’Brien, it seems like a smart, Lopez-like move to strike while the iron is hot and reestablish herself as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that Aguilera was topping the charts with songs like “Beautiful,” winning Grammys and selling out arenas.
Working with Orbit and O’Brien could also serve as a move toward more adult material after Bionic’s failure to connect with younger audiences. It was Orbit, after all, who helped push Madonna into the second (or third or fourth, depending on how you look at it), more-adult phase of her career with Ray of Light, which won the Material Girl several Grammys. For his part, O’Brien is best known as a rock producer who has worked his magic on classic albums from Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.