Ashanti (singer)

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Ashanti Shaquoya Douglas (born on October 13,1980 in Glen Cove, New York) is an African American R&B singer, who rose to fame during the early 2000s as a featured singer on many hip-hop songs before releasing her first albums. Unlike many other singers with the ability, Ashanti, while possessing a clear, girly, coloratura soprano voice, has built a career singing in the lower and middle ranges of her voice, in keeping with her hip-hop audience, especially when a featured guest vocalist on a rap artist's track. This has caused a degree of speculation that Ashanti couldn't really sing, or that she is a studio creation of Ja Rule/Irv Gotti. In fact, as of late, Ashanti has used her head register so infrequently, many would haven't heard her sing before she signed with Murder Inc., would mistakenly classify her as a classic example of a soubrette.

She first was brought into the public eye as a featured background vocalist on Vita's 2001 hip hop remake of Madonna's "Justify My Love," which appeared on the soundtrack to the movie The Fast and the Furious. That same year, she caught the attention of Fat Joe, and he invited her to sing background for Big Pun's unsuccessful posthumous single "How We Roll".

Ashanti's big break, however, didn't come until early 2002, when, almost simultaneously, Ja Rule released the song "Always On Time" and Fat Joe released "What's Luv?". They were two of the biggest pop and urban hits of the year, and both featured Ashanti. Shortly afterwards, Ashanti released her own debut album, Ashanti, and debut single, "Foolish," on Ja Rule's own Murder Inc. record label. "Foolish" contained a sample of the late Biggie Smalls' hit remix, "One More Chance". "Foolish" became 2002's biggest hit, according to Billboard, spending eleven weeks at number one on the pop charts (Hot 100), thanks in part to a remix called "Unfoolish," which featured a rap by Biggie, and got heavy urban radio airplay. Ashanti's follow-up singles, "Happy" and "Baby" were smaller hits later that same year. During the summer of 2002, Ashanti also appeared on a Ja Rule song called "Down 4 U," along with labelmates Vita and Charli Baltimore.

In early 2003, Ja Rule and Ashanti teamed up again and scored a massive pop hit with "Mesmerize", the music video for which parodied the plot of the movie Grease. 50 Cent would later mock Ja Rule as being soft and "not a true gangsta", citing the "Mesmerize" video and its pop-culture appeal as an example. Ashanti was not spared from 50 Cent's criticism of the entire Murder Inc. family.

She would later make a special guest appearance in a season 7 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, First Date.

In the summer of 2003, Ashanti released an album called Chapter II. Its first single, "Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)" became one of the summer's biggest hits and its steamy video, which showed Ashanti in a bikini frolicking on a beach, was nominated for a 2003 MTV Video Music Award for Best R&B Video. The second single and video, "Rain On Me", was released in the fall of 2003. Even with the help of a remix version of both the single and video, it was not able to reach "Rock Wit U"'s level of success on either pop or urban radio.

Most recently, in 2004, Ashanti released the third single from Chapter II, "Breakup 2 Makeup"; its complete lack of video play on any American music video stations, including the cable channels, VH1 Soul and MTV Jams, and almost total lack of American radio airplay had some speculating that Ashanti's career as a superstar pop diva might have run its course. However, R&B newcomer Lloyd has released a duet with Ashanti, "Southside", as his first single; and it became a hit at American radio, as well as MTV Jams, over the summer of 2004. She also makes a guest appearance in the movie Gurinder Chadha bollywood movie Bride and Prejudice with "My Lips Are Waiting" In January 2005, Ashanti made her feature film acting debut in the movie Coach Carter with Samuel L. Jackson. Ashanti has also recently started a clothing line, due to be released in fall 2005.


Bumpy Road?

Ashanti Douglas has also seen rough times in her music career. After she won an award for Best New R&B Artist, an online petition of a teenager was started to strip her of that privelege, signed by over 10,000 people. Murder, Inc., the label to which Ashanti is currently signed, was also in some legal trouble. In an attempt to appeal to the court, Murder, Inc., dropped the "Murder" from their name, and are now known as the Inc.



  • Ashanti (2002) #1 US (Sold 4 million US (4x Platinum), Sold 300,000 (Platinum) UK, 6.5 million worldwide)
  • Chapter II (2003) #1 US (Sold 1.5 million U.S (2x Platinum), 100,000 (Gold) UK, Over 3 million worldwide)
  • Ashanti's Christmas (2003) #160 US (Sold over 100,000 US)
  • Concrete Rose (2004) #7 US (Sold 1 million US (Platinum), 60,000 (Silver) UK)


  • Always On Time (Ja Rule feat. Ashanti) (2001) #1 US (2 weeks), #6 UK
  • Foolish (2002) #1 US (10 weeks), #4 UK
  • Happy (2002) #8 US, #13 UK
  • Baby (2002) #15 US
  • Down 4 U (Ashanti, Ja Rule, Charli Baltimore, & Vita) (2002) #6 US, #4 UK
  • What's Luv? (Fat Joe feat. Ashanti) (2002) #2 US, #4 UK
  • Mesmerize (Ja Rule feat. Ashanti) (2003) #2 US, #12 UK
  • Rock Wit U (Awww Baby) (2003) #2 US, #7 UK
  • Rain On Me (2003) #7 US, #19 UK
  • Southside (Lloyd feat. Ashanti) (2004) #24 US
  • Wonderful (Ja Rule feat. R. Kelly & Ashanti) (2004) #5 US, #1 UK
  • Only U (2004) #13 US, #2 UK
  • Don't Let Them (2005) #38 UK


Vocal Profile

External links

de:Ashanti Douglas pl:Ashanti Douglas


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