The liberation of Christina Aguilera is finally here.
After years of promising fans that new music was on the way, the 37-year-old singer finally came through on Thursday by dropping the initial single off of her first new album in six years, Liberation.
Her tune, “Accelerate,” is a laid back R&B gem that mixes her powerhouse vocals with rap verses from Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz.
“C’mon babe, pick up the speed,” she sings in the suggestive song. “Stamina. Fill me up. That’s what I need.”
“I love you. I know you’ve been waiting,” Aguilera said in a video on social media Wednesday, one of many she’s been putting out in anticipation of the new music. “It needed to be perfect for you. For me. I’m ready. It’s time. I’m finally feeling liberated.”
“I feel in life when you get to a place where you feel so comfortable and so routine, then you know you need to stop and start from scratch,” she said in another.
Aguilera hasn’t released a new studio album since 2012’s Lotus. That record, her seventh, spawned the singles “Your Body” and “Just a Fool” — the latter a duet with Blake Shelton. Lotus peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, and went on to become one of Aguilera’s lowest-selling records.
Though she hasn’t put out a full LP, there have been singles. In 2013, she guested on Pitbull’s “Feel This Moment,” Mexican singer Alejandro Fernández’s cover of “Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti,” and A Great Big World‘s “Say Something.” That same year, she recorded “We Remain” for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack.
She appeared on a remixed version of Lady Gaga‘s 2014 single “Do What U Want.”
In June 2016, Aguilera released “Change” — a song dedicated to the late Christina Grimmie and the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting. Two months later, she dropped a disco song called “Telepathy” for the soundtrack of Netflix’s The Get Down.
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The “Come On Over (All I Want Is You)” songstress last performed at the 2017 American Music Awards in November, paying tribute to Whitney Houston and the 25-year anniversary of the The Bodyguard soundtrack with powerful renditions of “I Will Always Love You,” “I Have Nothing,” “Run to You,” and “I’m Every Woman.”
Of course, in her time away from music, Aguilera has remained busy in her personal life. In 2014, she got engaged to fiancé Matthew Rutler. The couple are parents to 3-year-old daughter Summer Rain. Aguilera also has a 10-year-old son Max Liron from her first marriage to ex Jordan Bratman.
Professionally, there was a return to The Voice in 2016 for its 10th season, which she won with singer Alisan Porter. The working mom appeared on Nashville and voiced a character in The Emoji Movie, too.
RELATED VIDEO: Christina Aguilera Gets a Makeunder and Poses Completely Barefaced in ‘Liberating’ Photo Shoot
Leading up to the release of her new music, Aguilera has been stepping up her appearances. In March, she appeared on the premiere of season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. And in late April, took a ride with James Corden for Carpool Karaoke.
“I’ve always been someone that obviously loves to experiment, loves theatrics, loves to create a storyline and play a character in a video or through stage,” she told the magazine.“I’m a performer, that’s who I am by nature. But I’m at the place, even musically, where it’s a liberating feeling to be able to strip it all back and appreciate who you are and your raw beauty.”