The Rant: Is Rihanna Really A Better Artist Than Ciara?

RIHANNA and CIARA, two feuding R&B/pop divas, have made no secret of their dislike for one another. Ironically, though, RIHANNA and CIARA share the same super star DNA. Neither are known for their stellar vocals, but both singers ooze sex appeal and are backed by major record labels.

Yet for some reason, RIHANNA has reached global mega-stardom while CIARA is fighting to stay afloat in the industry. CIARA, like RIRI, has all the makings of a star – she’s got the gorgeous face, killer body, an arsenal of R&B dance hits and can slay on the dance floor. Yet her decade long career has hit a plateau. So what’s CIARA’s missing ingredient?

CIARA stepped in as the princess of Crunk, kicking down the door with seductive booty poppin over MISSY ELLIOT’S electric funk-inspired dance beats. But the “Crunk” era fizzled out in the mid-2000′s. Then came “Promise,” a sexy, slithering 80′s inspired bedroom anthem that made us believe she had finally cemented her place. Apparently we were wrong.

With hiatus after hiatus, bad singles and lackluster promotion, it wasn’t long before CIARA had become an afterthought. Now that she’s on the promo trail for her fifth album, she’s had to show and prove to make us believers again.

RIHANNA, though her live vocal performances have been tolerable at best, captivates people with that certain something that keeps us on the edge of our seats. Sure, we get sick of her. We roll our eyes at her predictable, and sometimes childish, social media antics. But we’re always anticipating her next stunt. Her marketing team is armed with influential heavy hitters like JAY-Z and Roc Nation, legendary record exec Evan Rogers, and endorsements from the likes of MAC Cosmetics, Nivea and now Budweiser. It’s not so much the talent we’ve been sold on, but the belief that she’s the “it” girl. She storms each year with a new album, a new look and is ever reinventing herself. Her element of mystery is spellbinding. These days that’s what makes a star – talent sold separately.

 Catfighting aside, you tend to realize one thing –  they’re not the same artist and perhaps aren’t really competing for the same thing.  CIARA, in her truest element, is hardcore R&B while RIHANNA is pure pop.  The negative side of the coin is that urban media has transformed their beef into a platform of endless comparisons. Bloggers nowadays make a sport out of dissing CICI – painting her as a has-been, a flop, a RIHANNA carbon-copy; everything but the true star she is. That, in itself, goes to show just how persuasive marketing is. We’re so quick to judge the package before testing the product.

The product, her latest album “Ciara,” is ten times better than what many of us expected it to be, and dare we say filled with more artistry than her nemesis.  Inspired by the new love in her life, or just her growth as an artist, CIARA is worthy of the recognition that it’s receiving and the sales show it. Selling 57,000 copies in the first week, the album is now #2 on the charts, coming in behind JAY-Z’s widely-praised project “Magna Carter Holy Grail.”

While both ladies offer a certain flavor, let’s big up the strides that CIARA has made in her career. We’ve watched her figure it all out right before our eyes and after much trial and error, she’s found her signature sound, look and style. Not every artist can get knocked down and get back up as many times as CICI has. Perhaps resilience, not marketing, is the true ingredient that breeds legends.

  • Trish92

    Excellent post. You weren’t bias and I couldn’t have said it any better.

  • Raheem

    Brilliant post, I couldn’t agree more. I’m going to be uploading a mashup of Rihanna and Ciara in a few minutes, I’ll try and post the link later!

  • guest

    Well, Ciara has a different mentality. She is from the us, a middle class background and likes family (she has a good home environment, graduated Riverdale hs, was captain of the cheer squad, her army vet parents are still married after over 30 years) so her values are as follows: make money, fall in love, get married, have a baby. She was EXTREMELY successful since her debut selling 3mil in the US her first album, close to 2mil on her second, #1 single for 6 weeks at only 19 yrs old. So Rihanna, being from a 3rd world country and an abusive background has had to struggle to remain on top and now that she’s there, she’s much more competitive. Ciara releases R&B music & does well (“body party” & I’m out are doing better on billboard than “Right Now”) but Rihanna releases music strictly for fame & popularity, Ciara releases albums that are remembered and treasured. She is a writer & has her own production company. You can’t be #1 forever. Madonna isn’t. Janet isn’t. Mariah isn’t. Beyonce isn’t. And Rihanna won’t be, either. This era (’10s) makes stan wars about everything. Aretha Franklin doesn’t give a fuck if she flops or not, she’s remembered for her talent, as is Janet. In 20 yrs Ciara will still be performing.

    & I’ve never seen anyone call Ciara a copy of Rihanna she came out first, how would that be so? Ci is still front row at Givenchy thats why RIhanna’s threatened because the ONE place Rihanna wants to be is a muse (Chanel ring a bell?) she doesn’t have the body for it. She’s only 5’7 so Ciara is Riccardo’s dream muse. Designers like stella and tom ford send Rihanna stuff but its just because of popularity on the internet, their clothes can be seen. But Ciara is the REAL model. Rihanna gets covers of Vogue being slutty & discussing her radical style transformations & CB, Ciara is in Vogue, modeling Calvin Klein.

    • Alexander W.

      This comment really put things in a different perspective. Amen!

    • **PJ**

      I would like to know what planet you are living on, because there are so many things factually wrong with what you just said…I dont even know where to begin. Fact: Ciara has been struggling to stay relevant since 2008. You said that Ciara releases albums that are “remembered and treasured.” By whom? She has never been able to match the succes of her debut Goodies, with increasingly lower album sales throughout her career, leading to her being DROPPED by her record label after two consecutive flops in 2011. She even stated herself that they had no interest in promoting her music or financing her music videos because they knew there would be minimal public interest, and they were right. At one point her album”Fantasy Ride” was given out for free at Burger King with the purchase of certain combos. -_-. You also discussed how Ciara grew up in a middle class environment with a stable family vs Rihanna’s working class upbringing and a dysfunctional family and her “struggle” to remain on top. No, No, No! Have you ever considered that because Rihanna comes from such a harsh upbringing, that in fact increased her drive and motivation to be the BEST and helped her outshine those who had more than her growing up (CIARA). If you listen to any of Rihanna’s interviews then you wouldn’t be ignorant of her humble attitude and appreciation for all that she has achieved, she remembers what her life used to be like and she is thankful for what she has now. Another reason why she has become a fashion icon, is because the lack of fashion in her surroundings growing up in Barbados. Rihanna is not “struggling” to remain on top as you said. As you know she is currently on her WORLD tour which is playing to stadiums of tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of fans, with some cities having multiple dates because she is THAT in demand. Rihanna’s voice is undeniably versatile as she effortlessly flows from pop, hip hop, r&b, reggae, and rock….when could ciara ever?! Quite frankly I’m tired of people comparing these two because there is NO comparison. If you wanna talk purely about looks…Ciara is a cute chick with a nice body, but Rihanna is gorgeous and a natural beauty, which is why anything she touches style wise turns to gold…her fashion line, fragrances, etc. And honey dont be confused..the designers send her clothes because they want to work with her. Many of these pieces are custom made for her body ;). But if you wanna get technical , Rihanna and Ciara are not even in the same league and that is proven by the numbers alone. FACT: Ciara 7 Million Albums worldwide..not bad. Rihanna: 30 Million w/ 120 MILLION singles worldwide, one of the best selling digital artists of ALL TIME. Most liked celebrity on FACEBOOK . I dont know what else to say, but seriously stop hating on Rihanna and her success just because your fave Ciara is keeping that struggle REAL. Why don’t you go out and buy her album, or ten of them…spread the word about how awesome she is. Maybe one day she can sell out the Staples Center solo like RiRi. #Imsleeptho #NavirDie

      P.S. I actually bought Ciara’s new album and its not that bad. mediocre, but not bad. I support my R&B artists in this day and age. Im not biased, Im just brutally honest.

      • Jakeaa91

        Correction, the Burger King rumor wasn’t true, and it wasn’t even Burger King, it was KFC that was apparently doing this. Somebody photo shopped it to make fun of the albums non-success. Ciara has been praised for her unique feel and sound. And everything they stated in the above comment is true. More than true. This person stated facts, where as you are acting purely on emotion for Rihanna. Rihanna will be a known artist, but like Madonna and maybe even Beyonce, her music won’t be timeless.. She’s a pop diva and that is it. Ciara is an artist at the core and always pleases her fans. Not to mention she has more talent than Rihanna, and that is PURE fact because people would much rather watch Ciara dance and perform live than Rihanna. You cannot argue that.

      • **PJ**

        So now you are saying that Madonna and Beyonce’s music isn’t timeless? Now I know you’re crazy. Beyonce..sure, whatever, I’ll let you argue that. But Madonna is a legend and influenced practically every female performer to follow her. Rihanna is just a pop diva? Is that supposed to be a bad thing? I would like to know where these people are lined up to see Ciara “dance and perform live”. Ciara hasn’t headlined a tour by herself since 2006. Subsequent tours have been co-headlined and most recently she has only been the opening act. Rihanna’s tour this year has already grossed 50 million…and thats just from the US dates. She’s international. Ciara…well the numbers don’t lie!

      • guest

        I don’t even compare Rihanna to Madonna because Madonna had a purpose & meaning for everything she does. Rihanna doesn’t. She’s just a slut.

      • bubbles7

        What corner will you be standing on tonight?

      • Josh Samson

        I don’t agree with you because I don’t favor Rihanna, but the shit they just said about Madonna is absolutely false. Madonna’s music IS TIMELESS. and like the guest “Madonna has/had a purpose & meaning for everything she does, Rihanna doesn’t” Jakeaa91 isn’t that intelligent.

      • munster

        RIHANNA IS BETTER HANDS DOWN!

      • Destiny Armbrister

        Bitch you know RIhanna can’t dance or sing! Let’s be honest here!

      • bubbles7

        and you cannot dance or sing either! BITCH…smh

      • munster

        Who is Ciara tho?

      • munster

        Rihanna Replaces Justin Bieber As Most Viewed Artist On YouTube! -

      • truth is

        the funny thing about your reply is that you’re correcting someone elses comment but filled it with things that’s not facts…. Fantasy Ride was never given out at Burger King that was a rumor, and its a FACT that most of what you said is your opinion, you don’t know rihanna’s drive to do what she does, but from what i see rihanna’s music is the last thing that’s in peoples mentions when they talk about her, rihanna’s name is tied to chris brown, nudity, weed, partying, drinking, etc. rihanna’s name is what makes her mediocre music popular, when people mention ciara there are songs like “Promise” that come to mind, or “Like A Boy” that make your reminisce, there’s not many stories that over shadow ciara’s actual hard work so although the person you replied to over exaggerated a little you did too but what they said made more sense, rihanna doesn’t have morals, she’s willing to do and say every and anything for attention while ciara name is (for the most part) tied to her music alone, so even though rihanna is more successful, i have more respect for ciara than rihanna as an artist

      • **PJ**

        Its certainly your prerogative you who have more respect for and who you want to listen to, and it actually sounds like you have some good memories to her songs :) I actually like Promise myself, the remix with R.Kelly was dope. And Ciara’s new album is definitely an improvement from the previous and it seems like she’s working very hard to promote it and connect with fans, so kudos to her, truly. All i was saying is that you simply can’t compare the two, it’s not fair to Ciara lol.

      • guest

        and what you wrote is not true Ciara is not STRUGGLING to stay relevant. U sound bitter like a rihanna fan. Its like y’all want Ciara to go away, but the talent makes her stay because its undying. Rihanna has to put out an album yearly so ppl dont forget about her she tried with RR look what happened. Lowest sales to date HAHAHAHAHA. Ciara had a worldwide top ten in 2009 with “Lovesexmagic” y’all seem to forget it hasn’t been that long. She didn’t even have a single in ’08, “Go girl” ended up being a buzz track like Rihanna’s “Wait Ur Turn”. Relevance has nothing to do with success. She’s still in Vogue, Kim K is relevant you don’t have to sing to be relevant. Missy Elliott is relevant & she hasn’t released anything in over 8 yrs.

      • munster

        Rihanna crowned best-selling digital artist of all time

      • Destiny Armbrister

        First of all BITCH! Ciara was never dropped from her record label. She stated that she ASKED TO BE RELEASED because her label did not understand her as an artist and did not properly promote her music. So, get yo shit together before you try to comment up under this post! PS. If Rihoe is so much better than Ci, then why do all of the Rihoe fans feel so threatened?

      • bubbles7

        @65673ccc70d1e12d13b65a029f51aaa1:disqus is a BITCH!

      • Destiny Footbrister

        First of all BITCH, CIARA WAS DROPPED FROM HER LABEL CAUSE SHE IS BASIC, TALENTLESS AND ALL SHES GOOD FOR IS THAT DAMN MATRIX DANCE MOVE…

      • Liyah.

        Oh shut the hell up. I’d like to see you do better. Rihanna is only famous for her looks and annoying ass voice. #BYE

  • Raheem

    Check out my mashup between Ciara and Rihanna – ‘Keep On Lookin’ Numb’ http://youtu.be/KONoYruNh9Q

  • young newgett

    Ci Ci is the greatest thing since sliced bread…if you don’t like it den go home

  • alacalikid

    I agree with this post completely. Ciara just hasn’t had the right team behind her like Rihanna has. Before Roc Nation got behind Ri, Ci was killing her.
    P.S **PJ** Get ur facts together. You’re a dumb ass.

    • guest

      And ppl seem to forget Ciara toured with Jay z In ’09 and was ROCAWEAR model before that and did that “I will not lose” campaign.. these must be 12 yr olds on this post. LOL

  • Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight

    Ciara’s album is good. But Stop hating on Rihanna and comparing Ciara and Rihanna t/g.

    1. You cannot be mad cause Rihanna has a better marketing team.
    2. Ciara’s singles have kept her around in the top 50, so she’s still around cause she has been putting in the effort.
    3. Ciara likes to write her own music she rarely relies on songwriters this could be her downfall b/c you she might be writing from the same spiritual place so there isn’t much change in the music and sometimes lyrical consistency can back fire.
    4. NEITHER 1 CAN SING BE CLEAR THIS IS NOT ARGUABLE! The take on melodies nice tho.
    5. Ciara just wants to maintain her career and get it back to where ppl got excited about Ciara. That does not mean she wants Rihanna’s position. The fact I constantly keep hearing this just shows HOW DUMB SOME YOU REALLY ARE AND HOW FAR YOU’D REACH TO HIT SOMEONE WHILE THEY ARE DOWN!
    6. If you like the album(s) buy them.
    7. I cannot reiterate the importance of halting the continuation of comparing a dancer and a reggae artist that wanted to do more than just reggae music.
    8. When the fuck the Overdose promo gon start as well as Ri’s new album promo. We all know its coming?

  • Om

    This is an amazing article. Well written and powerfully stated :-)

  • Murry Ellis

    You guys are hilarious smdh Ciara is a US artist only she doesn’t do well internationally she fell off after that interview with Oprah that her label paid millions to remove the footage of her professing being born with both female and male parts they tried to PR stunt saying like a boy song started a rumor but it was still to fresh on everyones mind.. she’s a great dancers but lacks star quality she only a one trick pony basically SHE DOESN’T WRITE HER OWN MUSIC PERIOD STOP LYING LOL the dream and tricky wrote most of her songs which she just couldn’t sale if she set up a Booth great songs the just didn’t fit her.. she became snobby which many artist have confirmed and she lost major connects. PERIOD. Madonna has timeless songs in which many artist to date still sample off a legend PERIOD. BEYONCE has timeless music solo and group from halo, dangerously in love crazy in love irreplacble deja vu abd i.e PERIOD Rihanna has timeless music from pon de replay SOS don’t stop the music which MJ helped on umbrella wait your turn hard take a bow unfaithful rehab rude boy diamonds stay. We found love and I.e these three artist can never be compared to a flop for they are international artist loved and supported worldwide by some that can’t even speak English they are dedicated hardworking woman who’s reinvent there self through there music and know how to entertain audiences of all genres. There a force to be messed with each with different stage approach. These are icons and are respected as such minus this blog of flop worship there greatness exceeds their talents Madonna charitable attitude beyonces stage domination and Rihanna youthful fashion iconic? VERY succeful busine

    • Brandon

      Ciara NEVER interviewed with or appeared on the Oprah show. Just because someone posts on the internet doesnt make it true. There is NO actual video footage or legit article about this “interview” b/c it NEVER happened.

      A “hermaphrodite R&B star” would bring big headline/ratings for Oprah or any reporter to pass up. Oprah has interviewed: murderers, rapists, dictators and tons of celebrities going through huge scandals. She has never backed down for any of them. Why the hell would she for Ciara’s PR team lol? Boy outta here with all that nonsense!

    • guest

      I can not. Rihanna is not a fashion icon she gets gifted clothes bc she’s the thing of the MOMENT with no talent, just generic music she didn’t write… U guys are writing novels today & I will not have these lies & fallacies, Mama pls do ur research !! I beg

      • guest

        DEADDD u said dream & tricky wrote her music? Who were they in 2005, ? 2006 ? Go look at the writing credits she writes all her music unless its demo’ed first (“Never Ever” written by Ester Dean & Keri HIlson) thats her only single not written by Ci. U Ritards think Everyone is as untalented and stupid as Riherpes. SMH SAD CASE

  • Murry Ellis

    I love all music but sadly Coarse doesn’t have what it takes to be a star she’s almost 30 and still can’t sale over 100,000. Theirs to many new upcoming artist and consistent changes for her to keep up she should have been at her peak by now instead she still picking up dead ends she just can’t reinvent herself or keep up with the times she’s princess of the a and stuck. Even Beyonce queen of Texas and Rihanna king and ambassador of Barbados. Have surpassed the limits of music from they’re. Home stereos Madonna as well an artists job is to be creative and inconsistent with they’re art which makes it rare for any other artist to duplicate without having to give credit to them as well as others will notice their trademarks a record label can’t give you star quality that’s just something you have to be born with period otherwise your reinvention will be unbelievable and manipulated period with MJ silhouette glove high diamond socks hat killer choreography and more he’s regonized globally every artist has this and more all she has of her own is the matrix. Be honest can another artist come out that can dance there as off? Yes her weakness is she’s boring and just not interesting enough to stay relevant worldwide versus a high school game performance Smh she’s NO Aaliyah nothing is intriguing or captivating about her at all I suggest she model so real artist can reinvent her looks and choreograph like Paula Abdul that’s Ger strong points if she knows how to choreograph other than learning others lol best of luck to her aging self the industry requires young females more and the only older ones are those that have iconic music and have been slaying it since popping soooo yeah truth hurts later. Lol to juicy you tried it EPIC FAIL…

    • guest

      Coarse? Like Rihanna’s vocals? You tried it .What are you talking about Boring? but everything you named takes talent Ciara has her own production company she not about slutting it up for 15 mins of fame. Her career “on top” lasted 2003 when she was signed til’ 2009 and had struggle in 2010 but her singles now doing well.. Thats over 6 yrs . Rihanna only been out for 8 & her poplarity w/ the public is already waning. GIRLLLL bah not here for you or your essay. YES. EPIC FAIL is right.. LMAO SAD, Bitter, Broke, Weak. All the above. Must be a Rihoe stan…

      • guest

        And if Ciara is pushing 30 at only 27 what that make rihoe ? 25 still smoking bad weed? LOL GTFOH, hater. Wake me when Rihoe can sell 3mil in the US, where she’s signed. IDGAF about Poland & them other nations where u can sell them a cup of piss & they think its lemonade. Quality > Quantity. And soon as the “Nazi” or w/e the fuck she call her fans hear another girl singing David Guetta produced pop, she’ll be #TeamWashups. Rita ora already going platinum in the UK. Her time is up……….

  • Brandon

    Great article!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jahmal4ever Jahmal Bright

    Ciara who? Her new album has flopped just like the lat two, it already fell out of the top 10.. Ciara is predictable and boring.

  • CiSquad

    Let’s not forget that Ri was Ci’s opening act back in the day. Ciara has her struggles but that’s one tenacious and resilient bitch. Ppl so quick to bash her. Ask yourself if you can get up from the ground as many times as Ci has, in front of the public eye now, as mentioned in the article. She is a bad bitch no matter what keep going Ci!