On Wednesday, when [artist id="501686"]Britney Spears[/artist] announced the opening acts
for the forthcoming [article id="1613601"] North American dates of her Circus Tour,[/article] seeing Ciara's name wasn't a surprise: The [article id="1611191"]"Goodies" singer opened Brit's recent London dates.[/article] But less familiar is the name of the other opening act, [artist id="3176765"]Kristinia Debarge[/artist], who -- although she has a fast-rising hit with her debut single "Goodbye" (which samples Steam's 1969 hit "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" and is also featured in Nivea commercial) and comes from a family with a solid legacy in R&B -- is a new artist.
Kristinia, 19, is the daughter of James DeBarge, keyboardist and a founding member of long-running R&B group DeBarge. According to her MySpace page, Kristinia had wanted to sing since the age of 3, but finally confessed her desire to her father at the ripe old age of 12.
"He wanted me to be a doctor or lawyer," she said. "I tried to be open to other careers because I didn't want to disappoint him but my heart was set on singing." Though she wasn't yet a teenager, her father took her interest seriously enough to bring her into the studio and test her skills and endurance. After a late-night recording session, Kristinia proved herself, and her career was underway.
A year later, in the summer of 2003, Kristinia appeared on "American Juniors," a short-lived spin-off of "American Idol," and placed in the final 20. Kristinia's father began bringing her on tour with him, and she met Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds on one of those trips. They soon began working together, and Kristinia inked a deal with Island/ Def Jam Records earlier this year. Her debut LP, Exposed, is slated for release on July 28.
"Joining Britney Spears for her Circus tour will be an amazing and surreal experience for me," Kristinia said in a statement posted on Spears' site. "I have been dreaming of an opportunity like this forever, and can't wait."
[article id="1606244"]The tour[/article] opens on August 20 in Hamilton, Ontario, and wraps on September 27 in Las Vegas.