Why is Christina Aguilera on Time's '100 Most Influential People in the World' List?

Getty ImagesOn Thursday, Time Magazine released its tenth "100 Most Influential People in the World" list, an annual compilation of inspiring and relevant luminaries in politics, entertainment, and fashion profiled by their industry peers. This year, among notable figures such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, and congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is pop star Christina Aguilera profiled by Celine Dion.

Christina Aguilera. No doubt her voice is timeless but her influence? That's debatable. 

For starters, Aguilera's relevancy in the music world has diminished. Her 2010 album "Bionic" was hyped to death but ultimately flopped as one of her most poorly rated albums. That was followed by the box office failure "Burlesque." In 2012, she released her seventh album, Lotus—what MTV News called her supposed "return to prominence." However, the The New York Times panned it as "unadventurous" with "bland self-help lyrics." Yet a star's influence is more about performance reviews. After all, Jennifer Aniston built a career on making stale movies (ahem, "Wanderlust," "Management," and "The Baster") but she constantly crushes her celebrity peers on the newsstand. The same can't be said for Aguilera, who sells less covers than reality star Nicole Ritchie, according to a report by The Today Show.

What it means to be a pop star has evolved since the days of her breakout single "Genie in a Bottle." Aguilera came up in the late '90s "TRL" era when all it took to be famous was a crop top, a boy band boyfriend, and a flashy music video. But just like models today have to don a business cap (finding the next fashion star and launching low-budget bedding and clothing lines), pop stars also need to diversify. In other words, merely singing (and judging three seasons of the singing competition "The Voice") won't cut it.

Jay-Z, also on Time's list, gets it. When he's not racking up Grammy awards (17), he's pursing the Russell Simmons business model: he co-owns New York City's 40/40 nightclub, clothing brand Rocawear, owns a piece of the Brooklyn Nets NBA team (he relocated them to Brooklyn and helped spearhead the Barclay's Center development before he announced he would sell his share), and serves as co-brand director for Budweiser. His image all the more potent because of his marriage to Beyonce (also included on Time's list) who's a brand ambassador for Pepsi, was Golden Globe nominee for Best Actress for her performance in 2006 film "Dreamgirls," and is an Obama family favorite, not to mention her 17 Grammys. Step it up, Christina.

Meanwhile, the response to Aguilera's inclusion on the Time list has been met with confusion. @Elizabeth Murray tweeted, "This year in Time's questionably influential person: Christina Aguilera." @DPD tweeted, "Influential is kind of a stretch though" and "hahaha and yet Aguilera's most recent album 'Lotus' goes... quietly unmentioned."

Other honorees include pioneers Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo!, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg, "It girl" actress and America's bestie Jennifer Lawrence, "voice-of-a-generation" writer/actress/director Lena Dunham, and commoner-turned-princess, Kate Middleton. See the full list here.