Ciara

Dubbed early on as "the First Lady of Crunk & B" by the producer who knew, Lil Jon, singer Ciara was born in Austin, Texas, but with her father in the Army, she spent time living in Germany, New York, California, Arizona, and Nevada before landing in Atlanta, Georgia. 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 Pha. With Sean Garrett, the co-writer of Usher's massive hit "Yeah!," Ciara co-wrote "Goodies," and when Lil Jon heard the demo, he knew it was going to be big. LaFace released the Lil Jon-produced track in the summer of 2004, and its quick climb to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 was remarkable. With help from Pha, Garrett, and Lil Jon, Ciara released her self-titled debut in September of the same year. The follow-up singles "1, 2 Step," featuring Missy Elliott, and "Oh," featuring Ludacris, both broke the Top Five in the U.S. in 2005. By the end of the year she'd joined Gwen Stefani on tour before teaming with Bow Wow and Chris Brown for a package tour in early 2006.