Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), in a highly competitive situation, announced today the signing of Multi-Platinum Superstar, Ciara, to an exclusive, worldwide publishing deal. On the heels of the signing, it was also announced that Hip-hop ingenue Ciara lead the VIBE Awards for the most nominations, including artist of the year, for which she competed against UMPG artist/writers Mariah Carey and 50 Cent , among others. Ciara received the ‘Coolest Collabo’ award for “Oh” featuring UMPG’s Ludacris. At 19 years old, Ciara, an Atlanta native has established herself as R&B’s hottest triple threat: Singer, Songwriter and Entertainer. Ciara burst onto the scene in 2004 with the never-gonna-get-it single “Goodies” and the debut album of the same name from Sho’Nuff/LaFace/Zomba Label Group which quickly went to No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop chart. Currently riding the Multi-Platinum wave with three #1 singles and a current Top 10 single, “And I” to keep her a float, Ciara’s 2.7 million plus records has launched her into a world of music, movies and more! The scene-stealing songstress has been recognized throughout the year with over 30 notable nominations and awards including MTV Video Awards, Billboard Awards, Teen Choice Awards, Soul Train Awards, Lady of Soul Awards, World Music Awards and as the most nominated artist at the BET Awards. Additionally, Ciara’s surmounting recognition has secured her performances at top music events, which include the recent Much Music Awards, BET Awards, VH1 Hip Hop Honors and the upcoming Billboard Awards. UMPG’s Director of Urban Music, East Coast, Ethiopia Habtemariam, has long been watching Ciara grow and develop as an artist, “Ciara has become the most sought after entertainer of 2005 earning the respect of her peers and veterans in the industry. I am so thrilled that Ciara has chosen UMPG as her publishing home. She is truly an industry leader and we welcome her to the UMPG family.” “I am pleased to have signed with Universal Music Publishing Group,” said Ciara. “David Renzer and his dedicated team continue to take the world’s top songwriters to tremendous levels of success with their proven track record. I am thankful for the opportunity and look forward to working closely with the team.” Managed by Phillana Williams, SVP Marketing at sister label, Island Def Jam Music Group, Ciara joins UMPG’s successful R&B/Hip-Hop roster, which includes 50 Cent, G-Unit, Ice Cube, Mariah Carey, Ludacris, Amerie, Ashanti, Mary J. Blige, Printz Board, amongst others. Ciara was previously administered through Noon Time/HitCo.