Since its release in 2002, Aguilera’s “Beautiful” has managed to win numerous awards for its message of self-empowerment and inner beauty—especially as it relates to the LGBTQIA+ community. This accomplishment makes even more sense when you consider the fact that Linda Perry, an openly gay member of 4 Non Blondes, penned the song and handed it off to Aguilera—despite the fact that it was originally intended for Pink.
“When Christina came over to my house to start working, she asked me to play some songs to break the ice,” Perry told the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). “I had a long conversation with my manager about it. We both decided to hear Christina sing it. … I was like, ‘Wow.’ That rough vocal is what is out there on the radio.” That’s right—the original demo is the one that ended up topping the charts for months.