Christina Aguilera Promises Soul, Blues On 'Edgy' Tour

Pop star also discusses social action, digital music in online chat.

Pop singer Christina Aguilera said she sees her music moving in a more bluesy direction and that she'll explore new ground on her upcoming tour.

"I'll be doing songs from my debut album," Aguilera, 19, told fans in an online chat Thursday (April 28) on sonicnet.com. "But I've changed so much from doing that at 17, so we'll put a whole new twist on things from my album. ... There will be a lot of blues and soul inflections, which is what I've wanted to do more of for a long time."

The tour, which will feature R&B quartet Destiny's Child as the openers, will kick off July 31 in Kansas City, Mo., and will hit 37 cities. "It's going to be really great to explore my creativity and let loose on this tour. I'll be giving it an edgy feel and surreal cool theme."

One feature of the coming shows she described involved getting the crowd excited with her hit "What a Girl Wants" (RealAudio excerpt) and then switching to a piano-and-vocal-only song by her hero, blues legend Etta James.

Aguilera also revealed plans to have the tour's sponsors, Sears and Levi, give away $500 grants to 50 contest winners. "We took the single ... 'Come On Over (All I Want Is You)' (RealAudio excerpt) and named it 'Come On Over and Do Something,' " she said. "It helps youths get involved in any issue they want to choose — racism, domestic violence and child abuse and issues that I've personally become involved with."

The singer did not reveal much about her three ongoing recording projects. Her Spanish-language album, she said, will include tracks that blend R&B and salsa, and also will feature duets with Latin singers Luis Fonze and Alejandro Sanz. Aguilera, whose father is from Ecuador, said she can understand Spanish but cannot speak it fluently.

When the chat opened up to questions from fans, Aguilera was asked immediately her opinion on digital music.

"I think it's a great way to check out music and know what's going on out there," she responded, before weighing in on the MP3 controversy, recently inflamed by Metallica's lawsuit against Napster Inc., makers of the popular MP3-trading software by the same name.

"It's great that people can get it for free, and it's cute, but it's not quite honest. I think it's destroying the business a little bit, so if we can get rid of that it would be great."