Ciara Princess Harris, 25 October 1985, Austin, Texas, USA. R&B vocalist Ciara enjoyed immediate commercial success when her debut Goodies, climbed up the US charts to reach the peak position in September 2004. As a child of a military family, Ciara spent an itinerant childhood moving around Europe and the USA. She settled in Atlanta, Georgia, and after leaving high school embarked on a music career. She won a contest to be part of a girl group but quickly decided that she would be better off as a solo artist. Her vocal talent attracted the attention of producer Jazze Pha who signed the singer to his Sho Nuff label. Goodies was co-written by Ciara with Sean Garrett, the songwriter responsible for Ushers transatlantic hit Yeah!. The track was recorded with crunk producer Lil Jon (of Lil Jon And The East Side Boyz fame) and marketed as one of the first examples of Crunk & B, a rather ungainly tag for a very basic idea, mixing in R&B vocals over a bass-heavy southern rap beat. The track was hyped as an answer song to rapper Petey Pablos hit Freek-A-Leek, and conveniently enough Pablo was on hand to provide the male counterpoint to Ciaras breathy assertion of her independence. Jazze Pha recruited a number of other leading urban songwriters and producers to work with Ciara on her debut album, including Jermaine Dupri and R. Kelly. The album was released in September 2004, the same month as Goodies completed its climb up the charts. The single remained in the top slot for seven weeks. The follow-up 1, 2 Step (featuring Missy Elliott) was also highly successful, climbing into the US Top 5 by the end of the year.
In summer 2005, Ciara made her acting debut in the teen movie All Youve Got. Her second album, the rather grandly titled Ciara: The Evolution, debuted at the top of the US charts the following December.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.