Ciara

  • Singer and songwriter born Ciara Harris in Austin Texas in 1985.
  • Ciara was the only child of a military family that moved frequently. As a teen, she settled in the Atlanta area. She loved music and decided to try a career in the industry, putting off her ambition to become a lawyer. In her mid-teens, she joined with two of her girlfriends to form the group Hearsay. They recorded demo tapes, but they split up without any recognition for record companies. Still in high school, she wrote music for other artists, and at 16 years old, she had her first writing credit for 10,000 Times, a song on an album by Blu Cantrell. In 2002, she befriended Jazze Pha, a local R&B music producer, and they collaborated on four demo songs. Pha promoted Ciara with other music industry executives, and in 2003, Ciara was signed to a recording contract, just out of high school.
  • In early 2004, she wrote a song called Goodies and made a demo of it. Artist Lil John heard the demo and was so impressed that he agreed to produce it, bringing Petey Pablo in to help with vocals. The song was released in the summer, and it was an immediate hit, reaching the top of the Hot 100 and the R&B charts. It remained at #1 on the Hot 100 for seven weeks – the longest for a debut single by a woman since 1977.
  • Later in 2004, Ciara’s debut album, also called Goodies, was released. The R&B album incorporated dance, pop and hip-hop (the genre was called “Crunk&B”), and it became one of the biggest albums of the year. It debuted at #3 on the album chart, and eventually was certified 3x platinum. Her follow-up singles to Goodies were 1,2 Step (featuring Missy Elliot) and Oh (featuring Ludacris) – both songs peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 chart.
  • Now a superstar, in 2005 she was a featured artist in releases by rappers Missy Elliott (Lose Control) and Bow Wow (Like You) – both songs peaked at #3 on the Hot 100, and Like You topped the R&B/Hip-Hop chart. She received four Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist, and she won a Grammy for Best Short Form Video for Lose Control. 
  • Her second studio album was released in 2006 – Ciara: The Evolution. It topped the album chart and was certified platinum in sales within five weeks of its release. The album had three hits in the Hot 100 top 20 – Get Up, Promise and Like A Boy, with Promise reaching #1 on the R&B chart. Ciara co-wrote all of the songs – true for nearly all of her work.
  • In 2008, Billboard chose her as “Woman of the Year” because of her success and leadership in embracing change in the music industry. The following year, she released her third album, Fantasy Ride. She utilized even more dance and pop sound into the R&B/Hip-Hop album. Singles were less successful compared to her first two albums, though the song Love Sex Magic (featuring Justin Timberlake) peaked at #10 on the Hot 100, and in the top ten of 19 other countries. The song was a complete style change for Ciara, abandoning hip-hop for electronic funk.
  • In the 10s decade, Ciara released four albums. Singles from these albums were not as successful – her best selling song during the decade was 2013’s Body Party, which peaked at #22 on the Hot 100 and at #6 on the R&B chart. While no longer a hit factory, Ciara began other activities – she had a multi-million dollar modeling contract and in 2019 she hosted the 47th American Music Awards. And…oh yeah…she got married to football superstar Russell Wilson in 2016.
  • Ciara has received much praise for her live performances. Lots of energetic dancing to go with her hip-hopping. Here’s a clip from a performance on The Ellen Show – the songs are Level Up and Dose, from her 2019 album Beauty Marks. 

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