"Like a Boy" is a song performed by American singer Ciara for her second album Ciara: The Evolution (2006). Written by Ciara, Candice Nelson, Balewa Muhammad, J. Que, Ezekiel Lewis, and Calvin Kenon, it is the third release in the U.S. and second single in Europe (see 2007 in music).
The release was confirmed in a MTV News article and chosen before polling ended for Ciara's second single on her official myspace page, being picked over "That's Right" and "Can't Leave 'Em Alone". Although the single was a moderate hit, it failed to match the success of its North American predecessor. It was solicited to mainstream urban radio on February 13, 2007. The single was released in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2007.
"Like a Boy" which was written by Ciara, Candice Nelson, Balewa Muhammad, J. Que, Ezekiel Lewis, and Calvin Kenon, details about double standards in society of how men in relationships can do certain things like staying out late, but when women do it is seen as disrespectful. According to Ciara, "it's a record for my women" and she had "a lot of girl talks". Ciara wanted to know what it would be like if "the roles were reversed". "It's a female-empowerment record". The protagonist wishes to "act like a boy". The song is notable for its mixture of synthesized orchestral strings and hard-pounding hip-hop instrumental. Ciara also co-produced the song along with The Evolution track "My Love".
"Like a Boy" was well received by critics. Bill Lamb of About.com wrote that Ciara gives a "breathlessness delivering" and says the song is "intoxicating". Jody Rosen of Entertainment Weekly wrote the song is "par excellence" and "stirring revenge fantasy". Britain's Manchester Evening News published that the song has an "epic instrumental", "gymnastic style vocals", and "photocopied lyrics", but it is "guaranteed to be a smash hit in the U.S." Chocolate Magazine published it is "one of her best tracks so far" and shows her mature side.
YourSpins.com had a contest where fans had a chance to remix "Like a Boy" and meet Ciara, if the remix is saved. On April 3, 2007, Ciara made an appearance on the reality show Dancing with the Stars, where she performed "Like a Boy". She did her famous matrix in a pair of high heels. While the song was at the height of its popularity Ciara's name was featured in a Sprint campaign along with Joss Stone and My Chemical Romance. On June 26, 2007, Ciara performed a medley of "Like a Boy" and "That's Right" at the 2007 BET Awards.
On the issue dated March 17, 2007, "Like a Boy" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 81. It reached its peak position of number 19 on May 5, 2007, and spent a total of twenty weeks on the chart. The song also peaked at number six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, giving Ciara her sixth top-ten single on the chart. "Like a Boy" certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for sales of 500,000 copies sold. "Like a Boy" was ranked at #68 on the Billboard Year End singles of 2007, and is the most successful year-end single from Ciara: The Evolution.
Internationally, the song achieved moderate success. In Sweden, the song debuted at number 19 and peaked at number 8 in its second week, becoming her first top ten in the country. The song was also a top ten hit in other countries, peaking at number 8 in Belgium and number 7 in Finland. The song peaked within the top twenty in multiple countries as well, peaking at number 11 in Ireland, number 16 in Switzerland, and at number 20 in France. In the United Kingdom, it debuted at number 35 from digital downloads alone. After the physical release, "Like a Boy" moved up twelve spots from number twenty-eight to sixteen, which became its peak position in the country.