Ciara (Ciara Princess Harris, born October 25, 1985 in Austin,
Texas) is an African American R&B performer.
As her father was in the United States Army, she lived
in bases in Germany, New York, California, Arizona, and Nevada. Her family
eventually settled in Atlanta, Georgia. She said after seeing a Destiny's
Child's performance on television it inspired her to pursue a career
in music. In her early teens, she got a piece of paper out and wrote
down her life's goal, to become a professional singer. She joined a girl
group, worked on her songwriting, left the group, landed a publishing
deal, and found a "music soul mate" when she met producer Jazze
Jazze Pha signed her to his Sho' Nuff label after working with her for
five days. Dubbed the "First Lady of Crunk & B" or the "Princess
of Crunk & B" by the producer Lil Jon, Ciara burst onto the
scene with her single "Goodies," the breathy answer song to
Petey Pablo's "Freek-a-Leek." With Garrett, the co-writer of
Usher's hit "Yeah!," Ciara co-wrote "Goodies". LaFace
released the Lil Jon-produced track in the US in the summer of 2004,
and it saw a quick climb to the top of the music charts. Lil Jon produced
the song in the crunk style, his speciality, with Petey Pablo also featured
as a vocalist on the track.
"Goodies" became a hit, reaching the top of the United States
R&B and pop charts and also charting in the United Kingdom (in January
2005, also reaching #1), Australia, Germany, Sweden, and New Zealand.
With help from Pha, Garrett, and Lil Jon, Ciara released her self-titled
album in September 2004. It debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and sold
over 2 milion copies in the United States alone. The second single, "1,
2 Step", featuring Missy Elliott, reached the top 10 in the US,
peaking at #2 in early 2005. "1, 2 Step" was released in the
UK on 11 April of the same year, and charted at #3, benefiting from the
fact that it was the first week that downloads were incorporated into
the singles chart. Ciara charted one place higher than she would have
done if downloads had not been included in the chart formula; she would
have instead swapped places with Elvis Presley's re-issue of "The
Wonder Of You" at #4.
Rumors emerged in January 2005 that Ciara was, in fact, born with a
male body or intersex, and had sexual reassignment surgery at the age
of 11. Many variations of this rumor existed. One variation of the rumours
claims that a doctor told reporters of Ciara's surgery and is being sued
by the singer for violating the confidentiality of a doctor-patient relationship.
Another rumour is that Ciara turned down a lucrative offer from Playboy
for the shame of revealing the remains of male sexual reproductive organs.
However, this rumor has been dismissed as false (view the links at the
bottom of this page). Ciara was also on BET's 106 & Park dispelling
the rumour as she said, "If anyone can prove I'm a man I'll give
them $100,000." Some people have suggested that these rumors may
have started because Ciara shares a name with Ciara of Emerald Isle,
a transwoman with a well-known webpage.
In May of 2005, Ciara's third single, "Oh" featuring Ludacris,
reached #2 on the Hot 100.In August of 2005, Ciara's fourth single, "and
i" was released.
In 2005 Ciara released her DVD of music videos with behind the scenes
footage of her rehearsals for the Soul Train Awards.
Ciara is currently dating fellow hip-hop music star, Bow Wow.