Ever since singer/songwriter Ciara “1, 2 Stepped” her way into the world, she’s carved a lane in which she’s dominated and continues to maneuver through. The superstar mother of three has sold over 23 million albums to date since the release of her debut single and album Goodies, released back in September of 2004.
When many new and unknown artists emerge, their first offerings don’t always hit immediately. This wasn’t the case for then 18-year-old Ciara Princess Harris, who we all affectionately know as Ciara. ”Every day I dreamed of singing my own single on the radio,” she said to Entertainment Weekly. ”But not everybody believed in me.”
That wasn’t until she met producer Jazze Pha, who signed her to his Sho’Nuff label within five days of meeting her. ”What was really lacking is the Janet Jackson, high-energy dance [music],” said Pha on Ciara. ”Ciara fills that void. She’s pretty, she can dance, she can write music, and kids love her. Everyone loves her.”
The “Level Up” singer began to quickly work on her debut, working on the demo of the song with Sean Garrett. When producer Lil Jon heard the record, he began work to fully produce the record. The song would be “Goodies”, the title track to her debut album, and her first single.
Upon the song’s release, it received positive reviews, as well as the accompanying visual. “Goodies” was an empowering record about a young woman rejecting a man’s sexual advances as she holds on to her “goods”, proclaiming lyrics like “if you’re looking for the goodies, keep on looking cuz they stay in the jar.”
“Goodies” would help to skyrocket Ciara’s career, as it debuted at number ninety-four on the Billboard Hot 100, and climbed to the number one spot after 12 weeks on the chart. The song would keep Ciara at the coveted number one spot on the chart for multiple weeks, becoming the longest-running number-one debut single by a female artist since 1977. The song also charted at number one in the United Kingdom and landed in the top 10 on charts in different countries.
Since the release of the song, she’s continued to make waves in the entertainment industry, expanding her resume to acting and hosting. She’s a multiplatinum award-winning artist and has topped the Billboard charts a number of times since then. Recently, the singer launched the Level Up Radio with Ciara on Apple Music, where on one of the episodes she chose to reveal some background information on “Goodies”, mainly how she almost lost one of her signature songs to another pop star, even though she co-wrote it.
“When I had this record, I knew that it was a very, very special record. And I worked so hard on this record and this industry can sometimes bring you incredible challenges, hence why I love the power of having my own record label,” the “Rooted” singer recalled. “Unbeknownst to me, it was myself and a lot of the other artists on the roster, we all went to Jive Records because changes were happening at Arista Records.”
Ciara goes on to say that she had to “re-audition” for the label. “I had to reaudition again, to be picked up and to be made a priority on the label. I did that, had a showcase, rocked it…Okay, boom, check.”
Even though she was involved in creating the record and it was known to already be “hers”, there were talks of passing it off to another one of their top acts, the “Gimme More” superstar, Britney Spears. All this, behind her back.
“There was a conversation about this song being potentially taken from me and given to an artist like Britney Spears, who was on the same roster as me,” she continued. “I learned about the story later, but the crazy thing for me is that if I would’ve known about it then, I would have fought tooth and nail because it’s a record that I actually was a part of creating. I was heavily involved in the writing side of it as well.
The 34-year-old added, “This was my very first song that I put out into the universe. My first song, and by God’s grace, it also was a number one song, and it lasted on the Billboard charts for eight weeks. It was just kind of surreal to see that my dream was coming true. There’s a video out there of me somewhere. I’m graduating from high school a year before that, and they asked me, they said, “Ciara, where do you see yourself a year from now?” And in my super Atlanta country voice, I was like, “I see myself having a number one song on a Billboard chart.”
Indeed a dream come true.