Ciara

Last updated

Ciara
Ciara AMAs 2019.png
Ciara at the 2019 American Music Awards
Born
Ciara Princess Harris

(1985-10-25) October 25, 1985 (age 35)
Education Riverdale High School
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • dancer
  • model
Years active2002–present
Spouse(s)
(m. 2016)
Partner(s) Future (201314; ex-fiancé)
Children3
Awards Full list
Musical career
Genres
InstrumentsVocals
Labels
Associated acts
Website onlyciara.com

Ciara Princess Wilson [1] ( /siˈɛərə/ see-AIR; [2] née Harris, born October 25, 1985) [3] [4] is an American singer, songwriter, model and business woman. [5] Born in Fort Hood, Texas, [6] her family eventually settled to Atlanta, Georgia, where she joined the girl group Hearsay. She later signed a publishing deal and befriended producer Jazze Pha, who recorded demos that would appear on her debut album. With his help, Ciara signed a record deal with LaFace Records.

Contents

In 2004, Ciara released her debut studio album, Goodies , which spawned four singles: "Goodies" (featuring Petey Pablo), "1, 2 Step" (featuring Missy Elliott), "Oh" (featuring Ludacris) and "And I". "Goodies" topped the Billboard Hot 100, and also topped the charts in the United Kingdom, while "1, 2 Step" and "Oh" both peaked at two on the Hot 100 and charted within the top five in the UK. The album was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and garnered two nominations at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards, while also establishing Ciara as a teen idol. Ciara was also featured on Missy Elliott's "Lose Control" and Bow Wow's "Like You", both of which reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2006, Ciara released her second studio album, Ciara: The Evolution , which spawned the hit singles "Get Up" (featuring Chamillionaire), "Promise", "Like a Boy" and "Can't Leave 'em Alone" (featuring 50 Cent). The album reached number one in the U.S. and was certified platinum.

Ciara's third studio album, Fantasy Ride (2009) was less successful than her first two albums. However, it produced the international top-ten single "Love Sex Magic" (featuring Justin Timberlake), which received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. The following year, Ciara released her fourth studio album Basic Instinct , which included the R&B top-five single "Ride" (featuring Ludacris), but was met with low sales, continuing a downward trend in her commercial performance. Ciara signed a new record deal with Epic Records in 2011. In 2013, she released her fifth studio album, Ciara , which spawned the R&B top-ten single "Body Party". The Album sold over a million units globally as of 2019, [7] and debuted at number 2 on the billboard 200 chart. It re-established Ciara's commercial viability, and both singles were eventually certified by the RIAA. Her sixth album, Jackie (2015), included the singles "I Bet" and "Dance like We're Making Love". Her seventh album Beauty Marks (2019) included the hit single "Level Up".

In 2006, Ciara made her film debut in All You've Got , and later appeared in the films Mama, I Want to Sing! (2012) and That's My Boy (2012). In 2013, she had a recurring role in the US TV series, The Game . In 2016, Ciara signed a signed a modeling contract with IMG. [8] That year, she became a Global Brand Ambassador for the cosmetics giant Revlon. [9] Since making her musical debut in 2004, Ciara has attained eight Billboard Hot 100 top-ten singles and four Billboard 200 top-five albums. She has also received many awards, including three BET Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, three MOBO Awards, and one Grammy Award. As of 2019, Ciara has sold around 20 million albums and over 70 million singles worldwide. [10] [11] In 2016, she married quarterback Russell Wilson. [12]

Early life

Ciara Princess Harris was born on the Fort Hood Military Base in Killeen, Texas, [13] on October 25, 1985, [3] the only child of Jackie and Carlton Clay Harris. [14] An army brat, she grew up in Germany, New York, Utah, California, Arizona, and Nevada. [15] She was named after the Revlon fragrance Ciara which was introduced in 1973 and is still sold today. [16] During her teens, Ciara and her family settled in Atlanta, Georgia. [15]

In her mid-teens, Ciara formed the all-girl group Hearsay with two of her friends.[ who? ] The group recorded demos, but as time went on, they began to have differences and eventually parted ways. [15] Despite this setback, Ciara was still determined to reach her goal and signed a publishing deal as a songwriter.

Her first writing credit was on Blu Cantrell's debut album, So Blu for the song "10,000 Times". She also wrote the song "Got Me Waiting" for R&B singer Fantasia Barrino's debut album, Free Yourself . [15] It was when she was writing songs that she met music producer, Jazze Pha, whom she called her "music soulmate". In 2002, the two recorded four demos, "1, 2 Step", "Thug Style", "Pick Up the Phone", and "Lookin' at You", which all appeared on her debut album, which was released two years later. "1, 2 Step" was the second single released from it and became a hit. [15]

Career

2003–2005: Goodies

After graduating from Riverdale High School in Riverdale, Georgia in 2003, she was signed by LaFace Records executive, L.A. Reid, whom she was introduced to by Jazze Pha. [17] She began production on her debut album later that year. In early 2004, she wrote a demo with record producer, Sean Garrett, which came to the attention of Lil Jon and became her debut single "Goodies". Lil Jon stated later that he knew it would be big seeing how it sounded similar to Usher's international hit, "Yeah!." [15]

Ciara released her debut album Goodies on September 28, 2004. The album debuted at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 124,750 copies in its initial week [18] and topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Following the release of the album, Ciara was hailed as the "First Lady of Crunk&B", as well as being labeled as a teen idol. Goodies had a 71-week run on the Billboard 200, and was certified three times-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 10, 2006. [19] The album has sold around nearly 3 million copies in the United States as of June 2010. [20] Charting at twenty-two on the Canadian Albums Chart, it was certified Platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association. [21] The album charted at 26 on the UK Albums Chart, and spent 20 weeks on the chart. [22] It was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry, remaining to be Ciara's sole certified album in the UK. [22]

Goodies' lead single, the title track, featuring Petey Pablo, was released on June 8, 2004. Conceived as a crunk female counterpart to Usher's "Yeah!", the lyrical content goes against the grain, speaking of abstinence, rejecting advances because "the goodies will stay in the jar." Critics hailed it as an "anthem of the summer" and one of the best singles of the year, complementing its dance-feel and beat, and the irony of the "clever" lyrics. The single performed well worldwide, topping the charts in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, and charting in the top 10 of other charts, receiving Platinum certification in the United States. [23] [24] "1, 2 Step" featuring Missy Elliott was released as the album's second single. [25] The song peaked in the top 10 of many countries, topping the charts in Canada, and went on to become Platinum or Gold in many countries. [23] [24] "Oh" featuring Ludacris was released as the third single on March 5, 2005. The song performed well worldwide, appearing in the top 10 of seven charts, and certified either Platinum or Gold in multiple regions. [23] [24]

Following the success of the album, Ciara released a CD/DVD entitled Goodies: The Videos & More in the United States on July 12, 2005, which featured remixes to "1, 2 Step" and "Oh", as well as two new songs. The release was certified platinum in the United States. She made guest appearances on Missy Elliott's single "Lose Control" and on Bow Wow's single "Like You", which both peaked at number three in the United States and obtained worldwide success. She was an opening act for Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers Tour 2005 and went on tour with Chris Brown and Bow Wow on the Holiday Jam Tour in December 2005. At the 48th Annual Grammy Awards, Ciara received four nominations for Best New Artist, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "1, 2 Step", Best Rap Song for Missy Elliott's single "Lose Control", and won her last nomination, Best Short Form Music Video for "Lose Control". [26]

2006–2007: Ciara: The Evolution and acting debut

On December 5, 2006, Ciara released her second studio album, Ciara: The Evolution . According to the singer, the title of the album is "about so much more than just my personal growth – it's about the evolution of music, the evolution of dance, the evolution of fashion." [27] The source of the album's creativity such as the sound and edge comes from Ciara in general. [28] Ciara: The Evolution became Ciara's first number one album on the U.S. Billboard 200 and second on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts with sales of more than 338,000 becoming her highest first week of sales to date. The album went on to be certified platinum by the RIAA in the United States, within only five weeks of its release, and has sold 1.3 million copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. [20] It sold over two million copies worldwide. [29]

Ciara performing during her debut tour Ciara: Live in Concert in November 2006 Ciara Live 2.jpg
Ciara performing during her debut tour Ciara: Live in Concert in November 2006

The album's international lead single, "Get Up", which features Chamillionaire, reached number seven in the United States and gained a platinum accreditation. It reached number five in New Zealand. [30] The song was used for the film Step Up (2006) and featured on the film's soundtrack. The album's US lead single, "Promise", reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became her third number one single on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Like a Boy" was released as the second international single which reached within the top 20 in the UK, [31] Finland, [32] France, Ireland, Sweden [33] Switzerland, and also in the United States. [34] The fourth and final single from the album, "Can't Leave 'em Alone", reached number 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. [35] The song became Ciara's fifth single to peak in the top in New Zealand, peaking at number 4. [36] The song achieved moderate success in other international markets.

In support of the album, Ciara went on her first headlining tour in October 2006. The tour went to seventeen different clubs in cities throughout the United States. The tour was met with mixed to positive reviews; critics were divided regarding the pre-recorded backing tracks and remarked that Ciara was slightly under-prepared to host her headlining tour, but ultimately praised her energetic choreography. In August 2007, she headlined the Screamfest '07 tour with fellow rapper, T.I.. Critics praised her performance for her gracious dancing and being able to command a sold-out arena. [37] Ciara, along with Chris Brown and Akon, was a support act for Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad Tour in the United Kingdom. She made a guest appearance on "So What" by Field Mob. The single went on to become a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. She also appeared on Tiffany Evans' single "Promise Ring". The song achieved little success on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

In addition to her music, Ciara made her acting debut in the MTV Films production All You've Got in May 2006. In the movie she played Becca Whiley, a teenager who is competing in a volleyball tournament. The movie received mixed to positive reviews; critics said the movie was predictable but still enjoyable. [38]

2008–2011: Fantasy Ride, Basic Instinct and label change

Ciara at the Maxim Magazine's 10th Annual Hot 100 Celebration in 2009 Ciara 2009.jpg
Ciara at the Maxim Magazine's 10th Annual Hot 100 Celebration in 2009

In October 2008, Ciara was honored as Billboard's "Woman of the Year", because of her success as a recording artist and leadership in embracing the changing music business. [39] Although her third album was originally scheduled for a September 2008 release, Fantasy Ride was released after several delays in May 2009. The album combines her R&B and hip hop sound from her previous albums along with a new pop and dance sound. While talking to MTV News, Ciara said, "I'm having a bit more fun with my lyrics. I'm not afraid. In the beginning, I was conscious and really protective and somewhat scared about doing some things. With this album I'm not holding back, there's freedom. It's just the space I'm in right now." [40] It became Ciara's first top ten album in the UK and Canada. In the United States, Fantasy Ride debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, becoming Ciara's third consecutive album to debut within the top three on the chart. As of mid-2019, Fantasy Ride pulled over 1.2 million unit globally. [41]

"Go Girl" was the first single released from the album. It was originally the lead single from the album, but the single achieved minimum success and was later deemed a promo single. However, the single managed to reach the top of the charts in Japan. The album's official lead single, "Never Ever", which features Young Jeezy, was released in the United States in January 2009 and reached a peak of number nine on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The second single, "Love Sex Magic", featuring Justin Timberlake, became a worldwide hit, peaking within the top 10 in 20 countries including the U.S., where it peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. It went on to be certified platinum in Australia [42] and received a gold accreditation in New Zealand. [43] It received a nomination for "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals" at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards and also for Best Choreography in a Video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. "Work", the final single, achieved moderate success in international markets.

In July 2009, Ciara headlined the Jay-Z & Ciara Live tour with Jay-Z. Her performance received mixed reviews; critics said although her dancing was top-notch, she seemed disconnected from the crowd. [44] She was also the support act for Britney Spears's Circus tour, where she performed eight nights at London's prestigious O2 Arena during June 2009. [45] Her performance received rave reviews from critics and fans alike, who noted her dancing skills as being spectacular and arguably better than Britney Spears'. [46] Ciara made a guest appearance on Nelly's single "Stepped On My J'z" from his album Brass Knuckles . The song achieved minimal success in the U.S.. Ciara was also featured on Enrique Iglesias' single, "Takin' Back My Love", from his Greatest Hits album. The song became an international hit, peaking in the top 10 of over 15 countries, and being certified Gold in Russia, with sales of over 100,000. In February 2010, Ciara along with Pitbull was featured on the remix to Ludacris' hit single "How Low". The following month, Ciara made a cameo appearance in the music video of Usher's single, "Lil' Freak".

Ciara released her fourth studio album, Basic Instinct , on December 14, 2010. She told Pete Lewis of Blues & Soul magazine that the album is about her trusting her instinct and going back to the R&B/urban basics, in the days of "Goodies" and "1, 2 Step". [47] It was executively produced by the singer alongside her A&R agent Mark Pitts and writing/production duo Tricky Stewart and The-Dream who also produced records for her previous album, Fantasy Ride . Basic Instinct debuted at number forty-four on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 37,000 copies, becoming her only album to not peak within the top three. [48] On the U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, the album opened at number 11, [49] her only album to not peak within the top two of the chart. The lead single, "Ride", which features Ludacris, was released on April 26, 2010. It peaked at number 42 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, number three on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, [50] becoming her twelfth top ten hit on the chart, [51] and number seventy-five on the UK Singles Chart. [52] The accompanying music video won the award for "Best Dance Performance" at the 2010 Soul Train Music Awards. [53] "Speechless" was released as the second single from the album and achieved minimal success, peaking at only number 74 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. [34] "Gimmie Dat", the third single from the album was praised by critics but failed to become a hit, peaking at only 63 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, [34] and number 27 on the urban charts in the UK. [54] In November 2010, Ciara performed at the Summerbeatz tour alongside Flo Rida, Jay Sean, Akon, Travie McCoy and Ja Rule. [55] In the summer of 2011, Ciara was a part of the Malibu Rum Tour. She performed in seven shows across the US. [56]

In February 2011, following rumors that Ciara had been dropped by Jive Records, she released an official statement to her Facebook page complaining of inadequate promotion and funding from the label. She stated that she received a lack of support from the label, and even paid for the promotion of some singles, such as "Gimmie Dat", herself. The frustration she felt while working with her third and fourth albums led her to request that she be released from her contract. [57] In May 2011, Ciara was removed from the Jive Records website roster. [58] On July 12, 2011, it was reported that she had reunited with L.A. Reid by signing with his record label Epic Records, [59] and was confirmed in September 2011. [60]

2012–2013: Ciara and further acting

Ciara in 2012 Ciara 2012.png
Ciara in 2012

During an interview with Sway in the Morning in February 2012, Ciara revealed that she would be taking her time recording her fifth studio album, stating: "It's just really about the vibe, and I'll just tell you that it's a good vibe going. It's really important for me to take my time with this record and it's important for the whole team. It's really, really good energy." [61] She has been working on the album with a number of producers and songwriters, including Hit-Boy, Soundz, Diane Warren, Tricky Stewart, and The Underdogs. [62] [63] [64] In an interview, Ciara said "I worked with some people that are very fresh, which I'm excited about... When it comes to artists, when it comes to writers, when it comes to producers, I really wanted to push. We pretty much reached out and worked with a lot of people that I've never worked with before, which is really fun." [65]

During a press conference with MTV in May 2012, Ciara announced her fifth studio album would be titled One Woman Army and said the lead single, "Sweat", would be out very soon. [66] [67] The single, which features rapper 2 Chainz, premiered online on June 4, 2012, and was to be released via iTunes on June 19, 2012. [68] However, the release of the single was scrapped at the last minute for unknown reasons. On August 13, 2012, Ciara revealed that the official lead single for the album would be titled "Sorry". [69] On September 13, 2012, the official music video for "Sorry" was premiered on BET's 106 & Park as well as VEVO. "Sorry" was made available for purchase as a digital download on September 25, 2012, and impacted U.S. Urban contemporary and Rhythmic radio stations on October 9, 2012. [70] In the United States, "Sorry" reached a peak at 40 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart [71] while charting at number 22 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart listing of the top 25 songs that have yet to enter the Billboard Hot 100.

On October 21, 2012, Rap-Up magazine posted a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of "Got Me Good", the second single from the album. The song and video, which was directed by Joseph Kahn, premiered on the Sony JumboTron in Times Square in New York City on October 25, 2012. The single was released via digital download on November 6, 2012. [72] "Got Me Good" impacted rhythmic radio on November 13, [73] and mainstream radio on December 4. [74]

On April 15, 2013, the same day the album's track listing was revealed, it was also announced that the album is not titled One Woman Army anymore and that the new title is Ciara . Due to their low performance on the charts, the label decided not to include "Sweat", "Sorry", and "Got Me Good" on the tracklist. Instead, it was later announced that a new song titled "Body Party" would serve as the lead single. It was released in March 2013 and reached number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the U.S. Billboard "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs" chart. The second single was "I'm Out" featuring Nicki Minaj. The album was released on July 9, 2013. [75] The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 59,000 copies in the U.S. [76] The album became Ciara's fourth album to chart within the top three of the Billboard chart. [76] The album charted at number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums [77]

Aside from music in 2012, Ciara also starred in two movies during this time. She starred in the straight-to-DVD film, Mama, I Want to Sing! . She played Amara Winter, a preacher's daughter who was discovered by a well-established musician. [78] She appeared as Brie in the 2012 comedy film, That's My Boy . Ciara made an appearance as herself playing Lauren London's best friend on the Season 6 premiere of BET's The Game which aired on March 26, 2013, she continued to be a recurring cast member throughout the season. [79]

2014–2016: Jackie and motherhood

Ciara with Cesar Arevalo in 2015 Cesar Arevalo y Ciara.jpg
Ciara with Cesar Arevalo in 2015

In September 2013, producer Mike WiLL Made It revealed that Ciara had begun work on her sixth studio album. [80] In December 2013, Ciara confirmed she was in the process of making a new album. [81] During an interview with Rap-Up magazine Ciara revealed that recording for her sixth album began around Thanksgiving of 2013 and she would be releasing new music "really soon". [82] In late January 2014, Ciara premiered a live version of a song entitled "Anytime" at the Degree Women Grammys Celebration in Los Angeles, on February 2, 2014, Ciara premiered the studio version, produced Boi-1da and Katalyst featuring her then-boyfriend and rapper Future. [83] After her engagement to Future, Ciara revealed to W in April 2014 that her sixth studio album would be predominantly inspired by her then-fiancé. [84] Ciara gave birth to her first child in May 2014, a boy fathered by Future. After claims of Future's infidelity during their relationship had surfaced, it was reported that the couple's engagement had been called off. [85] Following their very public break-up, Ciara's album release was further postponed to 2015, [84] and during this time the singer "quietly" recorded new music, while concentrating on motherhood. [86]

"I Bet", the lead single from her album Jackie , was released on January 26, 2015. [87] [88] In May 2015, Ciara embarked on her first headlining tour in six years. The month-long Jackie Tour kicked off on May 3, 2015, in Chicago and included stops in New York, Boston, New Orleans, Dallas, and Los Angeles. The first round of US dates wrapped May 31 in San Francisco. [89] [90] Ciara's sixth album, Jackie, was released on May 1, 2015. [91] It includes the singles "I Bet" and "Dance like We're Making Love". The album debuted at number 17 on the Billboard 200 with 25,000 units (19,900 in sales), and has the lowest first-week sales amongst her first six albums. [92]

After appearing in the US talent show, I Can Do That, she host the 2016 edition of the Billboard Music Awards. [93] A few months later, she announced during the red-carpet of the American Music Awards that she was pregnant. [94]

2017-present: Beauty Marks and entrepreneur projects

Ciara in 2019 Ciara 2019.png
Ciara in 2019

During 2016, Ciara worked on her seventh studio album and stated that the album would feature her undertaking a new musical direction. [95] On January 27, 2017, it was announced that Ciara had signed a deal with Warner Bros. Records. [96] [97] On July 17, 2018, Ciara released the single and its accompanying music video, "Level Up". The song was the first single from her seventh studio album [98] Beauty Marks , released on May 10, 2019. [99] In addition to "Level Up", the album spawned the singles "Freak Me", "Dose", "Greatest Love" and "Thinkin Bout You". [100] Ciara performed "Thinkin Bout You" at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. [101]

In July 2019, it was announced that Ciara would appear as a judge alongside David Dobrik and Debbie Gibson in a new musical competition on Nickelodeon titled America's Most Musical Family . [102] On December 23, 2019, Ciara featured on the remix of longtime friend Blanco Brown's "The Git Up". [103]

After taking a break from music to focus on her pregnancy, Ciara released a new song and video titled "Rooted", featuring Ester Dean, on August 13, 2020. [104] Between 2020 and 2021, Ciara and her housband Russell Wilson embarked on several projects as an entrepreneur, opening the fashion house The House of LR&C, [5] and signed a first look deal with Amazon Studios to start Why Not You Productions. [105]

Artistry

Vocals and musical style

Ciara is known for her often "breathy soprano" vocals. [106] [107] With the release of her debut single "Goodies", Ciara was referred to as the Princess of Crunk&B. [108] Allison Stewart of The Washington Post commented that she has a "reedy, agile voice, capable of conveying the only three emotions (sexy, sassy, sad) an R&B singer needs. [109] Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times said that she "has been the most synthetic of the R&B divas over the past decade, an electro-leaning vocalist whose instrumental palate has heavily favored stark 808 beats, sassy and seductive vocal lines." [110] In reviewing her second album Ciara: The Evolution , Jody Rosen of Entertainment Weekly wrote: "Ciara's comfort with rave-inspired beats sets her apart from Cassie, Amerie, Rihanna, and other would-Beyoncés...[Her] singing is nimble throughout: She whispers, coos, wails, and reels off speedy syncopations worthy of Beyoncé herself." [111] Her third album, Fantasy Ride , saw the singer showcasing a new pop and dance direction. Ciara's music is generally contemporary R&B, but it also incorporates other genres including hip hop, crunk, dance-pop, electropop and funk. Critics have described her singles "Goodies", "1, 2 Step", "Get Up", and "Go Girl" as club bangers. [112]

Ciara's debut album featured production from Jazze Pha who discovered her. Critics compared the album to late singer Aaliyah [113] [114] and said it had qualities of Destiny's Child. [114]

Influences

Ciara has cited Michael Jackson as one of her biggest influences. Michael Jackson1 1988.jpg
Ciara has cited Michael Jackson as one of her biggest influences.

Ciara said that watching Destiny's Child and Janet Jackson perform on television inspired her to pursue a career in music, [15] and cites Jackson and her brother Michael as her biggest inspirations. [115] Ciara considered herself to reach "a career pinnacle" when she featured on Janet Jackson's 2008 album Discipline . Ciara also cites Sade as one of first introductions to music and primary vocal influences. [116]

Ciara spoke of Michael Jackson's legacy, "Whenever someone asks me who inspires me to do what I do, I always say Michael. That's it for me. He's everything to me. He's really a part of the reason why. He's going to be remembered in so many ways for me. I feel it's important for me to continue to let my generation know how important he was to music." [117] Ciara also cites Whitney Houston, Aaliyah, TLC, SWV, Monica and Salt-N-Pepa, as influences. [118] Her second studio album Ciara: The Evolution (2006) was influenced by Michael Jackson, Prince, and pop singer Madonna. [119] During the recording of her fifth self-titled album Ciara (2013), she was inspired by Al Green and Missy Elliott. [120]

Stage presence

Ciara performing her opening act for Bruno Mars' 24K Magic World Tour Ciara Opening for Bruno Mars at the Prudential Center in Newark (31196092508).jpg
Ciara performing her opening act for Bruno Mars' 24K Magic World Tour

"Super C is a character that people will learn more about on this record. That is my alter ego. Super C doesn't hold back. She is definitely aggressive. She goes hard. Super C can do some magical and funky things. She works hard. She dances to the 10th power. She does everything to the 10th power."

— Ciara, speaking on her alter ego Super C. [121]

Ciara has received praise for her stage presence and routines during live performances. Dalondo Moultrie of The Morning Call 's praised Ciara's stage presence saying that she "put on one of the best performances I have seen yet at [Crocodile Rock]". [122] Moultrie continued to call her dance steps "incredible", noting that it was in sync with the music, "each pelvic thrust or body-bending twist" and the periodic bursts of light. In conclusion, Moultrie praised Ciara's live performances and their "high-energy songs, sexy dance moves, flawless vocals, and a top-flight light show". [122]

Sia Michel of The New York Times praised Ciara's relentless professional presence stating: "Ciara led a squad of hip-hop dancers through stylishly choreographed routines. Striding about in a headset, she was a commanding and relentlessly professional presence." [123]

At the time of the release of Fantasy Ride (2009) Ciara introduced her alter ego "Super C". Ciara said that Super C is her "inner strength and aggressive persona" – a futuristic, superhero-esque woman, loosely based on the robotic character Ciara portrayed in the "Go Girl" music video. Ciara described her reasoning for developing an alter ego, "There's so much negative energy in the world, especially within the blogging world, they try so hard to tear you down. [With the superhero concept] it's like, 'I refuse to let you and that negative energy tear me down or stop any blessing that I know is there for me.' That's when the inner superhero comes out." [124]

Legacy and influence

With the release of her debut single "Goodies", Ciara was referred to as the Princess of Crunk&B. [108] Allison Stewart of The Washington Post commented that she has a "reedy, agile voice, capable of conveying the only three emotions (sexy, sassy, sad) an R&B singer needs. [109] Randall Roberts of Los Angeles Times commented that "Ciara has been the most synthetic of the R&B divas over the past decade, an electro-leaning vocalist whose instrumental palate has heavily favored stark 808 beats, sassy and seductive vocal lines." [125] In the early to mid-2000s, some crunk music hits like "Get Low", "Goodies", "Yeah!" and "Freek-a-Leek" produced by Lil Jon climbed to the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Both "Yeah!" and "Goodies" were the first tracks to introduce the substyle of crunk music and contemporary R&B, called crunk&B, to the public. Both of those tracks (performed by Usher and Ciara, respectively) were the main mainstream hits of 2004. [126] Since then, crunk&B has been one of the most popular genres of sung African-American music, along with electropop, the genre that replaced crunk and crunk&B in the charts in 2008. After the album's lead single reached the summit of the US Billboard Hot 100, it spent seven weeks at number one, becoming the longest-running number-one debut single by a female artist since 1977 [127]

The album's lead single's success exemplified urban music's commercial dominance during the early 2000s, which featured massive crossover success on the Billboard charts by R&B and hip hop artists. [128] In 2004, all 12 songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100 were African-American recording artists and accounted for 80% of the number-one R&B hits that year. [128] Along with Usher's streak of singles, Top 40 radio and both pop and R&B charts were topped by OutKast's "Hey Ya!", Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot", Terror Squad's "Lean Back", and Ciara's "Goodies". [128] Chris Molanphy of The Village Voice later remarked that "by the early 2000s, urban music was pop music." [128]

Ciara has directly influenced many artists, including but not limited to Tinashe, [129] Normani, [130] Kehlani, [131] Lil Mama, [132] Chloe × Halle, [133] Keke Palmer, [134] Iza, [135] Sevyn Streeter [136] and Latto (formerly known as Mulatto). [137] She is regarded as a southern icon by hip hop artists Ludacris, [138] Nelly, [138] Lil Baby [139] and Lil Nas X. [140] More recently, artists Layton Greene and HSM have attained moderate hits through the sampling of her hit records "Can't Leave 'em Alone" and "And I".

Personal life

Ciara and her now-husband Russell Wilson meeting Barack Obama and Shinzo Abe at the White House in 2015 Obama & Abe Greet Russell Wilson & Ciara 2015.jpg
Ciara and her now-husband Russell Wilson meeting Barack Obama and Shinzō Abe at the White House in 2015

Ciara was in a relationship with rapper Future and gave birth to their son on May 19, 2014. [141] She and Future were engaged in October 2013, but ended the engagement in August 2014. [142]

Ciara began dating Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in early 2015. They announced their engagement on March 11, 2016, [143] [144] and were married on July 6 at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire, England. [145] Ciara took Wilson's last name when they married. [1] Their first child, a daughter, was born on April 28, 2017, [146] and their second child, a son, was born on July 23, 2020. [147]

In June 2019, Ciara attended Harvard Business School, completing the 4-day intensive Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports program. [148] She stated her motivation for enrolling: "It was a short course, but it will have a long-lasting impact on my life. I wanted to have that tacit experience of attending Harvard while learning how to run my business the most effective way. It was imperative to have that experience and commit to it". [149]

Other ventures

Ciara became the face of Jay-Z's Rocawear clothing line and spokesperson for the women campaign titled "I Will Not Lose", which debuted in the summer of 2007. In the October issue of Vibe Magazine , she appeared, apparently nude, on the magazine cover but claimed Vibe had airbrushed her clothes off. She told MTV News that she was hurt by the photos and was quite shocked when she finally got her hands on the month's issue. She later confirmed that she was in fact clothed. [150] In September 2008, Ciara contributed to the song "Just Stand Up!" with fifteen other female artists, who shared the stage to perform the song live on September 5, 2008, during the "Stand Up to Cancer" television special. The proceeds from the single were given to the fundraiser. [151] The television special helped raise $100 million for cancer research. [152]

In 2009, Ciara became the face of Dosomething.org's "Do Something 101" campaign to raise school supplies for those in need at the start of the school year. [153] She filmed a public service announcement to endorse the campaign. [154]

In 2009, Ciara signed a multimillion-dollar deal with the modeling agency Wilhelmina Models. After signing the deal she has been in many magazine spreads. In addition to that, she also has her eyes set on beginning a new clothing line. In June 2008, she was in talks with the department store Steve & Barry's to create an affordable clothing line, [155] but it never happened. On November 9, 2009, it was announced that Ciara would be modeling in the German edition of Vogue. [156] During that time, it was also announced that Ciara would be the new face of a major multimedia ad campaign for Verizon's smartphone the LG Chocolate Touch. Ciara filmed a commercial for the campaign, which features her dancing to her 2009 single, "Work". [157] In March 2010, it was officially confirmed and announced that Ciara was the spokesperson in the new ad campaign for Adidas Originals. A commercial for the campaign was released the same month, featuring numerous other celebrities. [158]

On May 12, 2016, it was announced that Ciara signed a modeling contract with IMG. [8] Later that year, she became a Global Brand Ambassador for the cosmetics giant Revlon. [9]

In August 2019, she and her husband Russell Wilson became part of the ownership group of Seattle Sounders FC in Major League Soccer. [159]

In 2020, along with her husband and entrepreneur and mentor Christine Day, she founded the fashion house The House of LR&C, combining the Good Man Brand, LITA by Ciara and Human Nation collections. [5] In 2021, Ciara releases the Dare To Roam collection of recycled plastic backpacks and bags. [160]

Ciara, along with her husband, owns the television entertainment, advertising, and film production company Why Not You Productions, which has been affiliated with Amazon Prime Video since 2021. [161]

Discography

Tours

Headlining

Supporting act

Festivals

Filmography

Films
YearTitleRoleNotes
2006 All You've Got Becca Watley MTV
2012 Mama, I Want to Sing! Amara WinterFilmed in 2009
2012 That's My Boy Brie-
Television series
YearTitleRoleNotes
2009 America's Next Top Model Herself: modelSeason 12, episode 8
2012 Idols South Africa Herself; guest judge Season 8 Top 2 – Final [162]
2013 The Game Herself; friend of KeiraRecurring role (season 6)
2015 I Can Do That HerselfCelebrity contestant
2015 Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn HerselfSpecial guest; episode: "Go Hollywood"
2016 Billboard Music Awards HerselfCo-host with Ludacris
2019 America's Most Musical Family Herself; judgeJudge; season 1
2019 47th American Music Awards HerselfHost

See also

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Goodies (song) 2004 single by Ciara

"Goodies" is the debut single by American singer Ciara featuring hip-hop rapper and Jive recording artist Petey Pablo for her debut studio album of the same name. The song was released as the album's lead single on June 8, 2004, through LaFace Records. It was written by Ciara, Sean Garrett, LeMarquis Jefferson, and Craig Love, and Lil Jon the song's producer. The song was recorded as an answer song to the featured performer's hit single, "Freek-a-Leek." The song's lead woman refuses men's sexual advances, proclaiming that they will not get her "goodies" because "they stay in the jar."

1, 2 Step 2004 single by Ciara

"1, 2 Step" is a song recorded by American singer Ciara featuring hip-hop rapper Missy Elliott for Ciara's debut album, Goodies. Written by Ciara and Missy Elliott and produced by Jazze Pha, it was released as the album's second single on November 1, 2004, in the United States. It peaked within the top 10 of the charts in several countries worldwide, including Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The song is heavily inspired by 1980s electro music production. Throughout the song, Ciara gives a description of how the song's beat feels as she exhorts party-goers to dance to the music. "1, 2 Step" was ranked 59th on Billboard's Top 100 Songs of the 2000s. In the United States, the song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for seven weeks.

<i>Goodies</i> (Ciara album) 2004 studio album by Ciara

Goodies is the debut studio album by American singer Ciara. It was released on September 28, 2004, via Jazze Pha's Sho'nuff Records and LaFace Records. After writing songs for several established acts, Ciara's talents were noticed by Jazze Pha, and she began to work on what became Goodies. The album's conception came through the title track, produced by Lil Jon and created as a female crunk counterpart to other singles produced by Lil Jon such as Usher's "Yeah!" and Petey Pablo's "Freek-a-Leek". Ciara worked with additional writers and producers on the album, including Jazze Pha, Bangladesh, R. Kelly, Johntá Austin, Sean Garrett, and Keri Hilson, among others.

Oh (Ciara song) 2005 song by Ciara

"Oh" is a song recorded by American singer, Ciara who wrote the song with Ludacris, Andre Harris, and Vidal Davis. "Oh" was produced by Harris and Davis, who work as Dre & Vidal. The song was released on March 1, 2005, as the third single from her debut album, Goodies. The downtempo R&B song features hip-hop elements and a heavy bassline, and can be seen as an anthem to her hometown, Atlanta, Georgia. Ciara sings about the many things the city has to offer, while Ludacris raps the third verse.

Get Up (Ciara song) 2006 single by Ciara featuring Chamillionaire

"Get Up" is a song by American recording artist Ciara. Released on July 25, 2006, the song serves as the first single from the original soundtrack to the film Step Up (2006), as well as the lead single for her second album, Ciara: The Evolution. It features American rapper Chamillionaire. The song was written by the singer and rapper with her mentor Jazze Pha, who produced the song. The song is a hip-hop number, accompanied by dance music sounds, while integrating a crunk beat. The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, who compared it to her previous work, namely "1, 2 Step."

<i>Ciara: The Evolution</i> 2006 studio album by Ciara

Ciara: The Evolution is the second studio album by American singer Ciara, released on December 5, 2006, by LaFace Records. The album is separated into five sections, with each showcasing a different side of Ciara's artistry. The first features crunk&B and uptempo records, which mainly deal with feminine independence, while its successor, entitled The Evolution of Music features ballads dealing with the positives and struggles of love. The Evolution of Dance features dance tracks, The Evolution of Fashion deals with self-expression, while the last, entitled The Evolution of C, features tracks that discuss how Ciara has evolved as a person since the start of her career.

Ciara discography

American singer Ciara has released seven studio albums, one extended play, one DVD, one promotional single, 39 singles, including ten as a featured artist, and 28 music videos, including seven as a featured artist. She made her debut in 2004 with her debut album Goodies which debuted at three in the US and charted within the top 40 in several international markets. The album's title track peaked at number-one in the United States for seven weeks and gave the singer the title of "The First Lady of Crunk&B", while singles "1, 2 Step" and "Oh" reached the top three in the US. All three singles reached the top 10 in many international markets, with "Goodies" topping charts in the UK. Goodies was certified triple-Platinum in the United States, Platinum in Canada, and sold over five million copies worldwide. Ciara also participated in a number of successful collaborations, including US top five hits "Lose Control" with Missy Elliott, and "Like You" with rapper Bow Wow, as well as the US top 10 "So What" with group Field Mob.

Promise (Ciara song) 2006 single by Ciara

"Promise" is a song performed by American recording artist Ciara from her second studio album, Ciara: The Evolution (2006). It was written by Ciara, Jasper Cameron, Polow da Don and Elvis Williams and produced by Polow da Don. The remix features singer R. Kelly. The song was released as the album's official lead single on October 16, 2006, through LaFace Records. The song was selected as the first single as Ciara wanted to put out a single with a slower pace, noting that her previous releases had been up-tempo. According to Ciara, the song represents the album's theme of evolving and symbolizes her growth as a songwriter and artist.

Im Out 2013 single by Ciara featuring Nicki Minaj

"I'm Out" is a song recorded by American recording artist Ciara, for her eponymously titled fifth studio album (2013), featuring guest vocals from Trinidadian-American rapper Nicki Minaj. It was written by Ciara, Minaj and Rock City brothers, Timothy and Theron Thomas. Rock City and The Co-Captains provided production. "I'm Out" made its premiere on May 22, 2013 on Ciara's official SoundCloud account and was serviced to urban radio in the United States on June 3, 2013 as the second single from Ciara through Epic Records. Lyrically, it incorporates themes of breakups and making an ex-boyfriend regret leaving.

<i>Fantasy Ride</i> 2009 studio album by Ciara

Fantasy Ride is the third studio album by American singer Ciara, first released on May 3, 2009, by RCA Records and LaFace Records. The album was recorded between 2007 and 2009. Ciara was executive producer on the album along with co-executive Mark Pitts and, Ciara worked with several record producers, including Blac Elvis, Benny Blanco, Blade, Jasper Cameron, The Clutch, Darkchild, Danja, Dr. Luke, Jason Nevins, Jim Beanz, Los da Maestro, Ne-Yo, Osinachi Nwaneri, Polow da Don, The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Justin Timberlake, T-Pain. The album featured several guest vocalists, including Justin Timberlake, Ludacris, Chris Brown, Young Jeezy, The-Dream, Missy Elliott.

Never Ever (Ciara song) 2009 single by Ciara featuring Young Jeezy

"Never Ever" is a song performed by R&B singer Ciara. It is the first single released from her third studio album, Fantasy Ride. The song features rapper Young Jeezy, was produced by Polow da Don, and was co-written by Ciara and Elvis "BlacElvis" Williams, who both produced and co-wrote Ciara's single, "Promise", from her second album, Ciara: The Evolution.

<i>Basic Instinct</i> (album) 2010 studio album by Ciara

Basic Instinct is the fourth studio album by American singer Ciara. It was released on December 10, 2010, by LaFace Records and Jive Records. Executive-produced by A&R agent Mark Pitts, Ciara, Tricky Stewart and The-Dream, Basic Instinct returns Ciara to her urban roots with mid-tempo R&B cuts and bass-heavy pop and dance songs. Aside from production by Stewart and The-Dream, Ciara collaborated with production by Soundz, Infinity and T-Minus. Frequent collaborator and friend Ludacris makes a guest vocal appearance, as does labelmate and fellow Atlanta-native, Usher. After her previous album, Fantasy Ride, suffered numerous leaks and pushbacks, information about Basic Instinct was kept confidential until the first single was released and album was complete.

Gimmie Dat 2010 single by Ciara

"Gimmie Dat" is a song by American singer-songwriter Ciara. The song was written by Ciara, along with its two producers Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and Kenneth "Soundz" Coby for her fourth studio album, Basic Instinct (2010). "Gimmie Dat" is an uptempo dance song, featuring speedy, kinetic beats and a sensual-breathy tone. The song has been compared to her previous hip hop-flavored dance songs, "Goodies", and "Work", and has also been compared to Missy Elliott's "Work It". "Gimmie Dat" was released as the third single from Basic Instinct on October 15, 2010. In some countries, the song was released alongside "Speechless", as a dual single.

<i>Ciara</i> (album) 2013 studio album by Ciara

Ciara is the eponymous fifth studio album by American singer Ciara, which was released on July 9, 2013. This album is the artist's first release under Epic Records, since publicly asking the now-defunct Jive Records to release her from her contractual obligations. The singer cited a lack of label support and financial funding for her previous albums Fantasy Ride (2009) and Basic Instinct (2010). On this fifth studio album, Ciara is reunited with her long-term mentor and friend L.A. Reid, chairman of Epic Records. Reid is credited with discovering Ciara in 2003 along with signing her to his LaFace Records label and executive-producing her debut studio album, Goodies (2004).

Sweat (Ciara song) Song performed by 2 Chainz, Ciara

"Sweat" is a song recorded by American recording artist Ciara for her self-titled fifth album Ciara (2013), originally titled One Woman Army. Featuring guest vocals from rapper 2 Chainz, "Sweat" is Ciara's debut release under Epic Records after publicly asking to leave previous label Jive Records. The label failed to support Ciara creatively and financially on previous albums, Fantasy Ride (2009) and Basic Instinct (2010), contributing to poor performance of both albums. Ciara's contract with Epic Records reunited the singer with her mentor L.A. Reid, who is credited as originally signing the singer to his LaFace Records label during the beginning of her career in 2004, as well as having a hand in producing her debut album, Goodies (2004).

Sorry (Ciara song) 2012 song by Ciara

"Sorry" is a song recorded by American singer Ciara. It was written by Ciara, Elvis "Blac" Williams, and Jasper Cameron, and produced by Harris and Cameron. The song premiered alongside its music video on September 13, 2012, and was released as a digital download two weeks later on September 25, 2012. Epic Records serviced the single to urban contemporary and rhythmic radio in the United States on October 9, 2012. "Sorry" is a midtemp R&B ballad with production akin to Ciara's previous single, "Promise" (2006). Lyrically, the song speaks on a relationship gone bad, and has been described as an autobiography.

Body Party 2013 single by Ciara

"Body Party" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Ciara for her self-titled fifth studio album, Ciara (2013). It was written by Ciara, Jasper Cameron, Nayvadius "Future" Wilburn, Michael Williams, Pierre Ramon Slaughter, Carlton Mahone, Rodney Terry, and was produced by Mike Will Made It. The song premiered on March 4, 2013, via Billboard.com and was released as a digital download on March 8, 2013, as the lead single of her fifth album. Epic Records serviced the single to Rhythmic contemporary radio in the United States on April 9, 2013. Musically, "Body Party" is a down-tempo R&B song that samples "My Boo" by Ghost Town DJ's.

<i>Beauty Marks</i> (album) 2019 studio album by Ciara

Beauty Marks is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Ciara. It was released on May 10, 2019, through her own independent label, Beauty Marks Entertainment with distribution from Alternative Distribution Alliance. It is her first album since Jackie (2015). The album was preceded by five singles "Level Up", "Freak Me", "Dose", "Greatest Love" and "Thinkin Bout You".

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