When Ciara was churning out chart-topping singles like "One, Two Step" and "Like a Boy," she appeared to be on the verge of superstardom, drawing some comparisons to Janet Jackson and the late Aaliyah.
But since the initial platinum-sellers "Goodies" and "Ciara: The Evolution," she has hasn't lived up to the hype: She failed to sell more than 250,000 copies of her third album, last year's "Fantasy Ride."
Ciara says she received the "most negative energy" as a result of her lackluster sales, with bloggers and other critics declaring her music career over.
Now the 25-year-old singer, who released her fourth album, "Basic Instinct," this month, says she's learned not to be concerned about selling millions of records anymore. In a recent phone interview, she talked about how she's still making waves in the entertainment realm.
The Associated Press: On the opening track of "Basic Instinct (U Got Me)," you lashed out at bloggers and critics. How important was it for you to get those things off your chest?
Ciara: I wanted to speak to all the haters. I just wanted to scream out and show how I felt. People are so easy to write you off. I live for energy like that. The harder they hate, the harder I go. I do believe I will be here for a while. I'm claiming it and no one ... make me think differently.
How do you feel when people say that your star as a singer has fallen?
Even though my last album didn't do as well as my previous ones, I was still able to go out and make money and tour. Every day is not always the perfect day. Artists that I have loved and admired, who have had a long career, have not had every record or song or video that was always the right choice.
With your previous album not selling well, are you concerned about what type of numbers you put up for "Basic Instinct"?
Selling records are becoming smaller fraction of branding and building a long-lasting career. You can sell a lot of records, but can you tour. You can sell records, but where does it go beyond that? That's a part of building a brand for yourself.
So at this point of your career, going on tour has bigger precedence over album sales?
Absolutely. If you can walk away from your career and are successful touring, you'll always be straight. Artists like Madonna have been doing it for years. She may put out one single, do a tour and gross over $200 million.
You are in the blogs almost every other day. Was there anything you read that rubbed you the wrong way?
It used to be funny to me when people would say, "Oh, Ciara is going Hollywood." And you know what, I have gone Hollywood. I do want to make Hollywood money. But it doesn't mean that I've changed who I am as a person. I haven't changed because of the people who I hang out with now. I'm still the same person as I was before.