R&B siren [artist id="1801883"]Ciara[/artist] is world-famous for her limber, hip-popping moves and sassy vocals, but the ATL songbird stresses that a chart-topping career is not just about turning in a great performance. Making sure you're up on your behind-the-scenes skills is instrumental to pulling off a successful stage career, which is the advice Ciara doles out to aspiring stars.
"For people that wanna be professional creative people, such as an artist, a musician, painter whatever it is, you have to know that it's not that easy. People think that, 'Oh, I can sing and I can do [whatever],' but there's so many doors you have to go through to even get there," Ciara explained at a Get Schooled Youth Summit on Thursday (October 7). The singer, along with Jive recording artist K. Michelle and former MTV VJ Quddus, reinforced the importance of education to students at East High in Memphis, Tennessee.
"What I always say to people is in that process of you trying to reach your creative goal, make sure you never stop learning. Make sure you still go after getting that diploma, still [get] a degree, because, again, if it doesn't work out the way that you want it to, you have something to fall back on and that's gonna always be there."
Ciara said students should put in the work with every subject because you never know when that one class you're slacking off in may figure prominently in your future career as a fabulous, globe-trotting pop star.
"You'll be amazed at how something you can learn in science or something you can learn in math or history can apply to music. For me, I travel around the world and I do sometimes beat myself up because in history ... I wish I would have given it a little bit more. Because now that I travel to Paris and London and Japan and these different places, I remember there were so many things that we talked about in history, and it's like, 'I wish I would have just paid attention a little bit more,' " Ciara admitted. "I graduated with a B in history or whatever, so it's not bad, but I could have gotten an A. It's just that easy. It's just a matter of studying more, just working a little bit harder and just putting in the time. It's really easy."
Stay tuned to MTV News for more information about how you can get the president to speak at your commencement celebration at the end of this school year. Get Schooled is a national program aimed at increasing high school and college graduation rates and promoting the importance of education, developed by Viacom in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.