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The Most Anticipated Albums of Summer 2013

15. Ciara, Ciara

Release Date: 7/5/2013
Label: Epic
Producers: Soundz, Mike Will Made It, Cam Wallace, Rodney Jerkins, Future, The Rockstarz, D'Mile
Guests: Nicki Minaj, Future
Singles: "Body Party," "I'm Out" f/ Nicki Minaj

Two years ago, Ciara asked for a release from her Jive Records contract. She needed to take some time—and she did. Fans were first tantalized last June, when the singer announced that a 2 Chainz-assisted track, "Sweat," would be the album's first single, but the track became a promotional release instead. Fall 2012 was greeted with the release of "Sorry" and "Got Me Good." Neither song made any impact on the Billboard charts, and after Ciara announced there was no release date, it seemed like the entire project would be scrapped.

Now, she's gearing up to drop Ciara on July 5. (It was formerly titled One Woman Army, which is essentially has the same meaning anyway.) 

Fast forward a few months, and Ciara publicly announced she was romantically involved with rapper Future. Then came, "Body Party," the perfectly smooth R&B ballad with a Ghost Town DJ's "My Boo" sample courtesy of producer Mike WiLL Made It. It introduced the '90s jam to an entirely new audience, and ascended to No. 8 on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts. Ciara solidified her position in current R&B (and in her relationship with Future) in both the track and its beautifully sensual video. Earlier this month, Ciara dropped "I'm Out" featuring a vicious verse from Nicki Minaj, who will be featured twice on the album.

We're ready for Ciara (it's been a long time coming) but if she has more of this new Ciara in the bag—including Mike WiLL beats, Nicki features, and Future —it's a guaranteed hit. —Lauren Nostro

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