Ashanti

  • R&B/soul singer and songwriter born Ashanti Douglas in Glen Cove New York in 1980.
  • She showed a talent for singing as a teenager, entering a talent show and performing at small festivals. She began to write songs while in high school. She hoped to make a career of singing, but initially struggled to find success while singing at clubs. She began to hang out at a New York City hip-hop recording studio, hoping to get a break. The owner of the studio discovered her and asked her to write hooks for his rap artists and to sing with them. By 2001, she was collaborating with hip-hop artists on recordings, and singles from these artists were topping the Hot 100 chart.
  • Her success as a featured artist led to her solo career. In 2002, her self-titled debut album was released, with twelve songs written by Ashanti. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and eventually was certified 3x platinum. The first single from the album, Foolish, topped the Hot 100 chart, while Happy peaked at #8 and Baby reached #15. The album won the 2003 Grammy award for Best Contemporary R&B Album.
  • In 2003, Ashanti released her second album, Chapter II. It topped the album chart and was certified platinum, thanks to two singles – Rock Wit U (Awww Baby) and Rain On Me. They charted at #2 and #7 respectively on the Hot 100 chart. Later that year, she released a Christmas album that included four songs that she co-wrote, along with other traditional Christmas songs.
  • While her solo career took off, she continued to collaborate with other R&B/hip-hop artists as a featured vocalist. Between 2001 and 2004, six singles that featured Ashanti on vocals charted in the top ten of the Hot 100 chart, including Ja Rule’s Always On Time and Mesmerize, and Fat Joe’s What’s Luv?.
  • Her next album was 2004’s Concrete Rose. It became her third platinum album, with the single Only U peaking at #13 on the Hot 100 and at #2 in the UK. After this recording, Ashanti focused on her acting career, performing in five films between 2004 and 2007. In 2008, she released her fourth studio album, The Declaration. It was less successful than her previous work, with The Way That I Love You peaking at #37 on the Hot 100 and at #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. After this, she had a falling out with her record label and she did not record for several years.
  • She recorded a non-album single titled The Woman You Love with Busta Rhymes, released in 2011. It only reached #59 on the Hot R&B Songs chart. Three years later, her sixth album was released – Braveheart. While it was favorably reviewed by critics, none of its three singles managed to chart. A seventh album was announced for release in 2018, but that date passed without a release. She released singles in 2017, 2019 and 2021 that may end up on the album, eventually. She seems more active today making fashion statements than focusing on her music career.
  • Ashanti is another artist that made it big overnight, unlike so many others that toil through their art for years. To her credit, her songwriting skills, voice and beauty are an excellent combination in the R&B world. Here is Ashanti’s video for Rock Wit U (Awww Baby).

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