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Budding Paparazzo

One teenager learned what a girl definitely doesn't want after the pop star Christina Aguilera visited his high school—but he did it anyway.

Eric Powell, a 16-year-old student at Avonworth High School in Pittsburgh, was chosen to take pictures of the teen idol, who performed her hit single "What a Girl Wants" and other tunes at the school April 17 as a reward for the students' charity fund-raising efforts. But when Mr. Powell attempted to sell the pictures to a tabloid newspaper, the melodies went flat.

The school's 430 students had held various fund raisers recently for a children's hospital, Principal Frank McClard said.

Avonworth High had worked out an agreement with Ms. Aguilera, a Pittsburgh native, stipulating that only the school newspaper would be allowed to take pictures.

The singer herself may have planted the seed of commerce in Mr. Powell's mind. During a question-and-answer session after her performance, Ms. Aguilera mentioned that she felt the media had been kind to her, with one exception—the Star tabloid.

Afterward, Mr. Powell, apparently unaware of the agreement with Ms. Aguilera, sent copies of the pictures to the Star and tried to negotiate a deal. When school officials heard all this, they demanded that the photos be returned.

Tabloids are not exactly known for caving to pressure, but perhaps their youthful contributor's predicament found a soft spot. A few days later, the Star agreed not to publish the pictures and sent them back.

—Joetta L. Sack

Vol. 20, Issue 33, Page 3

Published in Print: May 2, 2001, as Take Note

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