Inside Christina Aguilera's Return to Music (Exclusive)


A source tells ET that the singer's upcoming album is the 'change she has been yearning for in her music.' 

Christina Aguilera is ready for the next phase of her career. 

The 37-year-old singer announced her upcoming new album, Liberation, on Thursday, which a source tells ET is the "change she has been yearning for in her music." 

In a video posted to her YouTube account on Friday, Aguilera described the album -- her first in six years -- as an attempt "to get back to that little girl who just wants to be inspired again by truth and by that sense of passion for music and singing and just feeling free and alive again." In an effort to find her voice again, the singer recruited a few famous friends like Demi Lovato, Ty Dolla $ign, 2 Chainz and Kanye West. 

West serves as a producer on her new song, "Accelerate," and while Aguilera revealed she's "always been a huge fan" of the 40-year-old rapper in her Billboard cover story, ET's source says the two actually have a personal connection. Aguilera's manager, Irving Azoff's daughter, is the childhood best friend of West's wife, Kim Kardashian West. 

"[Christina] and Kanye have known each other for a long time and have respected each other's work, and the two of them working together is no surprise to their closest friends and family," ET's source explains. "Kim loved the idea of Christina and Kanye working together. It's truly a tight-knit group and they all love the final results."

"Christina was looking for a whole new sound. She wanted to take a chance and work out of her comfort zone and Kanye was exactly what she needed. She chose to get in touch with him and talk about a collaboration of sorts and Kanye was excited because he is always up for change and new sounds," the source continues, adding that the GRAMMY winner isn't concerned about West's recent controversial interviews. 

"She doesn't at all regret working with him. She has the utmost respect for Kanye's artistic and musical talents," the source says. "Christina loves his creative thinking when it comes to music. She also thinks he is a creative genius."

One artist she's not collaborating with on her new album, however, is Pink. "Everyone wanted them to work together and 'make up' and they felt a lot of pressure to do it," ET's source reveals. "Christina and Pink have always had a difficult relationship, and the music world was totally aware of that and everyone seemed to want to mend that. Christina and Pink want to put their tumultuous relationship behind them."

Along with the June 15 release of her album, Aguilera is also putting The Voice behind her. ET's source says that after her departure from the show -- which Aguilera said wasn't "about the music" -- she "finally felt free." 

"She chose to leave The Voice because TV was not the life she wanted for herself and she felt trapped, as if she couldn't be herself," the source shares. "She felt creatively suffocated. She hated the rules and felt as if they told her what to say and do. She even felt controlled in how to dress. Christina was used to more freedom having worked in music and wanted to express her true feelings. She wants to keep it real, and felt that is tough on a reality music show."

"The Voice was difficult for her to quit because she was loved by the fans," the source adds. "She kept coming back because she was a hit and it was a great deal. Despite that, and the amazing exposure it gave her, she ended up hating it."

See more on Aguilera's exit from The Voice in the video below. 

Reporting by Adriane Schwartz.