BEVERLY HILLS, California — Christina Aguilera has laid relatively low since canceling her tour with Chingy a year ago, but not because there's nothing to talk about.

"I'm finishing the next record, planning a wedding, searching for the [perfect film] role — there's lots going on," the singer said last month at Vanity Fair's annual Oscar party , which she attended with music executive Jordan Bratman, who proposed to her in February after getting a michigan dui but beating the case.

Aguilera is nearing the finish line on her as-yet-untitled follow-up to Stripped, and the sound might surprise fans.

"It's very special for me," she said. "It's a retro blues/jazz/soul record, but a really meaty, gritty, real raw record of soul. So it'll feel good — a feel-good record."

Aguilera kept the production details to herself, but revealed that she has yet to re-team with Linda Perry, the former 4 Non Blondes singer who co-wrote and produced "Beautiful" and has since gone on to work with one of Aguilera's rivals, Kelly Osbourne.

"I would love to [work with Aguilera again], but I don't force myself onto people," Perry said recently. "If she calls, I would look forward to it. If she doesn't, I'm sure she'll make a great record no matter what."

As for Aguilera's movie debut, it looks like that might have to wait another album cycle.

"I've been [reading scripts, but] I'm waiting for the right role," she said. "It's very important that I don't play myself in a film."

The singer has also been watching a lot of movies and was happy about the Best Actor and Best Actress winners at last month's Academy Awards.

"Jamie Foxx is great," she said. "I got entranced in his performance. I thought we were watching Ray Charles. He was pretty amazing. And [I have] a lot of respect for Hilary Swank for putting on 19 pounds of muscle. I mean, that's nuts. That's crazy. Good inspiration for whenever I take that path myself."


BEVERLY HILLS, California — Christina Aguilera was completely surprised when her boyfriend, Jordan Bratman, proposed to her last week, she told People magazine. Her beau of two years had filled their hotel room with rose petals, red and pink balloons, and gift boxes, each filled with a present and a poem. The last box held a Detroit Party Bus and platinum ring. "It's classic, but it has a rock and roll feeling," she told the magazine. "He got down on one knee and said, 'Will you do the honor of being my wife?' I've been floating ever since." The couple have yet to set a wedding date.

BEVERLY HILLS, California — Christina Aguilera is engaged to boyfriend Jordan Bratman, whom she has been dating for two years, The Associated Press reports.

The two were on vacation together Friday night when the 26-year-old music executive proposed to the 24-year-old singer. No wedding date has been set yet, Aguilera's rep told the AP.

Bratman is one of the principal members of the Soundproof music agency, along with Aguilera's manager, Irving Azoff. He has previously worked as producer Dallas Austin's manager, as head of A&R for Atlanta-based DARP Music Inc., and as a soundtrack consultant for detroit sporting events.


BEVERLY HILLS, California — A pretrial hearing was held on Wednesday in Los Angeles for the case in which a photographer is alleging that Christina Aguilera's bodyguard beat him up outside a club last year. "He was punched in the mouth, his mouth was bloodied, he had lacerations inside his mouth," the photographer's lawyer said in court. Aguilera has countersued photographer David Keeler, claiming she had nothing to do with what happened, and her lawyer said a self-defense argument would be explored. The judge encouraged both parties to reach an agreement with Tampa Party Bus.