In 2001, Milian released her first solo single, “AM to PM”, which became a worldwide hit. The success of “AM to PM” sparked the international release of Milian’s first studio album, self-titled Christina Milian. Milian has released three studio albums and one compilation album. She has also had four solo top five singles (and also a top ten featuring credit single) in the UK as well as hits in the rest of Europe and North America. Milian’s first significant acting role was as a reporter on the Disney Channel’s Movie Surfers show in 1998 billed as Tina Flores.Milian’s first lead role was in the 2003 film Love Don’t Cost a Thing opposite Nick Cannon. She also starred as singer Linda Moon in Be Cool, the sequel to Get Shorty, and appeared in the 2006 horror film Pulse.
Milian was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, to Cuban parents Don and Carmen. She has two younger sisters, Dannielle and Elizabeth. Her family moved to Waldorf, Maryland soon after her birth and she set her heart on an entertainment career at the age of four. Milian shot commercials for (Wendy’s, Honeycomb) and played the lead role in the musical Annie before moving to Los Angeles at thirteen to pursue an acting career. Soon after the family’s move, her father divorced her mother. Milian graduated from Westlake High School in Waldorf, Maryland; and also attended Matthew Henson Middle School in Indian Head, Maryland.
In 2000, Milian made her first official musical appearance on Ja Rule’s second studio album Rule 3:36, performing guest vocals on his song “Between Me and You”. Released as the album’s lead single in 2001, the track managed to peak at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and in the top 30 of the UK singles chart, building Milian’s reputation as a singer. Milian also appeared in Mýa’s video for “Best of Me” playing a friend. In the meantime Milian co-wrote and provided extensive backing vocals for the track “Play” for Jennifer Lopez’s 2001 album J. Lo which became another success. Milian would later pass down the song to Lopez because of already having a club song with “AM to PM” as promotion. She also went on to co-write “Same Ol’ Same Ol”, the first single from girl group PYT’s debut album Down With Me.
In 2001, Milian eventually released her first solo single, “AM to PM”, off her self-titled debut album. The song became a worldwide hit reaching the top 5 in the UK and Denmark, top 10 in the Netherlands, and top 30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and in Australia. The success of “AM to PM” sparked the international release of the Christina Milian album which she co-wrote and produced, although not in the United States. The second single “When You Look At Me” was another international hit reaching the top 5 in the UK, Netherlands, and Ireland and making the top 40 in Denmark, Germany, Australia, and France. Although a music video for the album’s third single “Get Away” (another collaboration with Ja Rule) was filmed in Paris, the single was not released officially.
Afterwards Milian also was featured on the track “It’s All Gravy”, a duet with British Rapper Romeo of the UK garage group So Solid Crew. While the song was another UK top ten hit single in 2002, Milian provided the theme song for the hit Disney series Kim Possible, “Call Me Beep Me” later that year. In 2002, she also collaborated with Hilary Duff on her Christmas album Santa Claus Lane, on the song “I Heard Santa on the Radio.”
In 2003, Milian started recording songs with Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, Bloodshy & Avant and Cory Rooney for her first U.S. release, It’s About Time (whose title is a direct reference to how long it had taken for one of her albums to be released domestically). The album was released to positive reviews on July 13, 2004, but failed to receive immense commercial success when it debuted at #21 in the UK and #14 on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling over 36,000 copies in the first week only. While It’s about Time ended up with lackluster sales of 394,000 copies in the United States, it gained prominence when it received a Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary R&B Album” in 2005.
The album’s first single, “Dip It Low” (written by singer Teedra Moses and Black Eyed Peas producer Poli Paul) however, became Milian’s biggest hit to date, when it peaked at #1 on a world composite dance chart (compiled on data from the U.S., UK, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Australia), simultaneously reaching #2 in the UK, #5 in the U.S., #7 in New Zealand and the top 20 in Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway and the Netherlands. The single was also certified Gold by the RIAA for digital sales. The album’s second and final single, “Whatever U Want” (featuring Joe Budden) failed to reprise the success of the lead single, but again reached the top 10 in the UK as well as charting on the Billboard Hot 100.
Milian’s third studio album So Amazin’ was released on May 16, 2006. Milian worked with Cool & Dre on the majority of the production of the album, and the project was finished with additional help from Rich Harrison and executive producers Jay-Z and LA Reid. Christina mentions working with Cool & Dre for the entire album “made a more consistent, very real and personal album”. compared to her other works. The record’s first single “Say I” featured rapper Young Jeezy and was released in March 2006 as a single and video. The song made it to number 1 on iTunes UK Music Store and was number 1 on AOL music, but altogether saw moderate success only with peak positions on #21 in the United States, #4 in the UK and #45 in Australia.
While So Amazin’ failed to reach the top 10 when it debuted at #11 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the album saw minor international success only, peaking at #67 in the UK inter alia. With “Gonna Tell Everybody” a second single from the album was chosen, but Island Def Jam neither agreed to film a music video nor booked promotional appearances for Milian to promote the song. In June 2006, instead, Milian’s representative confirmed that she had left the Island Def Jam record label due to “creative differences” - though disappointing album sales were believed to be the main factor, since the album sold less than 500,000 worldwide (over 130,000 in United States).
Due to the low sales of So Amazin’, Milian released her first compilation album, titled The Best of Christina Milian on November 22, 2006. The album was released under the Universal International label. The album includes her hit singles and songs that she hand picked herself from her first three studio albums, Christina Milian, It’s About Time, and So Amazin’, though, only one track, Say I, was chosen from So Amazin’, possibly due to the fact that it is her lowest selling album. The album was only released in Japan and some other Asian countries; but was not released in the U.S. or Europe. The album peaked at a disappointing #29 on the Japanese ORICON Albums Chart, and has sold only 38,078 copies to date.
Currently, Milian is working hard to release her 4th studio (3rd in North America) album in late 2008, as stated in her MySpace blog. Milian has signed with Myspace Records, and will release her fourth album under the new label. Milian has confirmed J. R. Rotem, Nate Hills, The Matrix, Missy Elliott, Lil Jon, Lisa Maffia, Cool & Dre, Polow da Don, The Writing Camp and Ryan Tedder will be featured producers; while Rick Ross and Frankie J will be featured guest stars. So far there is no confirmed title or release date for the album, but she has stated on her MySpace blog that the album will have similar sound to her last album, So Amazin’. One of the tracks, the Benjamin Franklin produced ballad “That One” has been leaked on YouTube.