Why Ciara and Bow Wow Broke Up

Ciara and Bow Wow were one of the hottest music couples of the 2000s. They were young, famous, and had independently successful careers. But their relationship ultimately didn’t survive the limelight. Here’s a look back at their romance and eventual split.

Ciara and Bow Wow at a party
Ciara and Bow Wow at a party for Bow Wow’s 19th Birthday | Frank Mullen/WireImage

A timeline of Ciara and Bow Wow’s relationship

In an interview with VladTV, Bow Wow said he met Ciara in 2004 when she appeared as an extra in a promotional video for one of his concerts.

Sometime after she broke out with her hit song “Goodies,” the pair started dating. Romance rumors surfaced later in 2004 when they were photographed together on various occasions. But neither of them addressed the rumors at the time. The speculation continued as they started making music together in 2005 with the Billboard-charting hit “Like You.”

In November of that year, the artists appeared on the cover of Vibe and gave an interview where they opened up about their relationship. Ciara continued to play coy on the rumors, but the ever-impulsive Bow Wow came straight out and said Ciara was his girl.

Explaining his decision to go public, he said: “People were seeing us at basketball games in Atlanta. We consider ourselves normal—we like to go out. Honestly? I don’t see what the big deal is.” But Ciara argued, “Once you let everyone into your world, there’s nothing left.”

Even though Bow Wow had no issue with letting the world in on their relationship, they kept most of it out of the public eye before splitting in 2006.

Why Ciara and Bow Wow broke up

Asked to elaborate on the reason behind their breakup, Bow Wow told VladTv that he struggled to navigate the pressures of fame while dating her.

“I was in a serious relationship early on in my career, at the hottest time where I’m the hottest thing,” he began. “Once again, those influences … all those women want you, and my OGs is telling me this.”

“They’re telling me I’m not living. They’re telling me I’m not experiencing the things I need to experience. ‘Sit your a** down when you’re older.’ And I was acting like grandpa at 17 and 19 and then I just started listening like, ‘Man, they’re right’ and started being in the streets, clubbing a lot, not wanting to come home, and you know how that goes,” he continued.

Bow Wow added, “I just got sucked into the game and I had to understand with myself like, damn now is the time that I need to be alone out here and living my life and we just went our separate ways.”

There are rumors their breakup influenced his 2007 song “Outta My System,” where he laments over an ex and how hard it was to move on. However, it doesn’t appear that Ciara ever addressed it.

Read more: Bow Wow Is Catching Backlash For Calling Ciara a ‘B*tch’ He Had ‘First’

Ciara and Bow Wow’s lives after their split

For her part, Ciara reportedly went to date stars such as 50 Cent, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Future, with whom she shares a son, Future Zahir, 6. After ending her engagement with the “Mask Off” rapper, Ciara moved on with NFL star Russell Wilson, whom she married in July 2016 after about a year of dating. They are expecting their second child in 2020.

Bow Wow has also dated a few people in the days since their split, including Erica Mena of Love & Hip Hop, Kiyomi Leslie of Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta, and entrepreneur Joie Chavis. He has a daughter, Shai, 9, with Chavis, who just so happens to share a son with Future, meaning Bow Wow’s daughter and Ciara’s son share a sibling. Mind blown.

Read more: R. Kelly Accused of Stealing Hit Song From Bow Wow, Prompting Response from Rapper