ASHANTI

With hitmaker Irv Gotti at the helm, Ashanti blasted into the urban music scene in 2002, topping the charts with multiple singles at once. She quickly became a sensation, gracing the covers of magazines and dominating urban radio. Ashanti built her reputation with duets, where she would complement an already popular rapper -- Ja Rule ("Always on Time"), Fat Joe ("What's Luv?"), the Notorious B.I.G. ("Unfoolish") -- contrasting the tough-guy male perspective with her own.

It didn't take the young vocalist long to make a name for herself though: her debut album topped the Billboard album chart just as her debut solo single, "Foolish," was topping the Hot 100 chart. Her presence was inescapable.

Ashanti's overnight jump to superstardom followed that of Ja Rule, a similar urban music sensation helmed by Gotti. The New York producer took notice of Ashanti initially because of her beauty, dancing, and acting. She trained as a dancer at the Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center.

She learned a number of dance styles. She danced most notably in Disney's Polly, which starred Phylicia Rashad, and also appeared in a number of big-name music videos, in addition to other dance work. As an actress, she made a name for herself with roles in Spike Lee's Malcolm X and Who's da Man before that. The multi-talented vocalist was causing quite a stir, and Gotti did what he could to bring her into his Murder Inc. fold. After showcasing her swooning voice on Big Pun's "How We Roll" and the Fast and Furious soundtrack -- both in 2001 -- Gotti put Ashanti to work on her debut album, which he produced.

Success came quickly. A duet with Ja Rule, "Always on Time," hit number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart in early 2002 just as a duet with Fat Joe, "What's Luv?," was creeping toward the same number one position. These two airplay-heavy singles, of course, set the stage perfectly for Ashanti's self-titled debut release. The album's lead single, "Foolish," raced up the Hot 100 chart, entering the Top Ten in March alongside "Always on Time" and "What's Luv?," giving her three Top Ten songs in the same week, including the number one and two positions -- a quite spectacular feat. And then Ashanti's album debuted at number one on the album chart, selling an astounding 500,000-plus copies in its first week. With all this chart-topping, Ashanti set some sales records and her success continued. Gotti readied a remix of "Foolish," titled "Unfoolish," that featured the Notorious B.I.G. and again overtook urban radio, where no artist was more omnipresent throughout 2002 than Ashanti.

She returned the following year with Chapter II, which likewise topped the Billboard album chart on the heels of its hot lead single, "Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)." The album's success was somewhat eclipsed, however, by all the negative drama surrounding the Murder Inc. camp at the time (i.e., the FBI investigation and the G-Unit feuding). A Christmas album followed late that year, and Concrete Rose appeared in December 2004. Though she remained with The Inc. for 2007's The Declaration, she sought out a number of producers (including Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Dr. Dre) outside the label's in-house team.  She also starred in the thrilling third sequel to horror film Resident Evil released in of 2007.

 

Artist Bio on Wikipedia

 

Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas (born October 13, 1980) is an American recording artist, record producer and actress who rose to fame in the early 2000s. Ashanti is most famous for her eponymous debut album, which featured the hit song "Foolish", and sold over 503,000 copies in its first week of release throughout the U.S. in August 2002. The album set a Soundscan record as the biggest opening week sales for a new female artist, outselling debuts by Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill.[1] In the same week, she became the first female performer to simultaneously hold the top two places on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with "Foolish", and "What's Luv?" (with Fat Joe). Ashanti broke records again by having three top ten songs, "Foolish," "What's Luv?" and "Always on Time", on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the same week, being the first woman to accomplish this feat and being second only to the Beatles.[2] In 2003, the self-titled debut album won Ashanti her first Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B album. As of 2008, she has sold more than 15 million records worldwide.[3] Ashanti ended the decade (2000–09) as the third top new R&B artist behind Alicia Keys and Beyoncé.[4] She also ended the decade at number 38 on the Top Artist of the Decade list.[5] As of 2010, Ashanti is listed in the 20 Best Selling Music Singles Since 1990 in History[citation needed]. She ranked #17, with Foolish selling more than 7.4 million copies in the U.S.[citation needed].

 

Biography

Ashanti sang background vocals for Jennifer Lopez on "I'm Real (Murder Remix)" and wrote and sang background on the song "Ain't It Funny (Murder Remix)" sung by Jennifer Lopez, both reaching number one on Billboard Hot 100 , which was also in the top 10 charts at the same time as "Foolish", "Always on Time" (with Ja Rule), and "What's Luv" (with Fat Joe).[6] Later that year, she was acclaimed as the "Princess Of Hip-Hop & R&B"[7][8][9] by her label and capped off her successful debut by winning eight Billboard awards and two American Music Awards. Within seven years of Ashanti's career, she has scored 16 top 40 hits on the Hot 100. Ashanti has endorsed numerous products including Gap, Herbal Essences and Mudd Jeans.

 

Career

 

Ashanti cites Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Tupac Shakur, Aaliyah, Tamia, Mary J. Blige, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Yolanda Adams, Toni Braxton, Luther Vandross, The Beatles, The Clark Sisters, Smokey Robinson, Donna Summer, and Blue Magic as her musical influences.[10][11] Praised as a gifted songwriter by her peers and critics alike, Ashanti has written/co-written the bulk of all her music. She is currently working on her own publishing company entitled Written Entertainment. She released her fourth studio album entitled The Declaration on September 3, 2008 and is currently in the studio working on her fifth.[12] She also performed the charity tune "Just Stand Up" alongside 15 other female singers for the "Stand Up to Cancer" live television special which helped raise $100 million dollars for cancer research.[13] As of 2011, Ashanti has sold more than 11 million in single sales not including album sales.

Recent career

2009-present

Ashanti confirmed via twitter that she is currently in the studio working on her fifth album, that is being released off her own record label Written Entertainment. Ashanti is rumored to be working with a slew of producers and artist, thus far this is all that has been verified... LT Hutton, Dr. Dre, Game, Theron Feemster bka Neff-U, The-Dream, Cool & Dre, Warryn Campbell, Carvin & Ivan, Common, Darkchild and Tank who co-wrote and co-produced with her the song Paradise. Ashanti’s new single & album is set to be released sometime in 2011.[38] Ashanti has also stated that she plans on releasing the album in the fourth quarter of 2011, with the first single being planned for a summertime release. In July 2011 a promo picture was released, rap-up revealed she has been in the studio with big names including Dr. Dre, Game, and Lil Wayne, and is expected to drop a new single in the next month. Single titles include “Paradise” and “She Can’t.”[39]

Acting career

Ashanti got her first taste of acting as a child extra in the Spike Lee directed movies Malcolm X and Who's the Man?. She also started as a dancer in the Disney TV film Polly.[40]

After success with her music career, Ashanti had a cameo appearance in the film Bride and Prejudice, in which she sang "My Lips are Waiting" and "Touch My Body". Ashanti's appearance in the film was meant as homage to a tradition in Bollywood films where a celebrity would make a cameo appearance to sing a song that has no direct involvement in the plot. The rest of the characters do not interact with the celebrity but are seen in the crowd enjoying the show.

In January 2005, she made her feature film acting debut in the film Coach Carter alongside Samuel L. Jackson, which debuted at number one opening weekend. She played a pregnant teenager named Kyra who has to decide whether or not to abort her unborn child. The movie opened at number-one at the U.S. box office, eventually grossing $67 million in the U.S. Later in 2005, Ashanti beat out Hilary Duff and Jessica Simpson to star as Dorothy Gale in the made-for-television film The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, which pulled in nearly 8 million viewers.[41]

In 2006, she starred in the teen comedy John Tucker Must Die, which opened and peaked at number three at the U.S. box office (competing with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Miami Vice) and grossed $68,818,076 worldwide.[42] Ashanti played Heather, the head cheerleader who participates in a vengeful scheme against John Tucker, her unfaithful boyfriend and the school's biggest heartthrob. Ashanti can also be found on Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 7 episode 14: "First Date" and on Sabrina the Teenage Witch season 7 episode 3: "Call Me Crazy".

In 2007, Ashanti appeared in the sci-fi horror action Resident Evil: Extinction as a nurse named Betty. The film entered at number one at the box office grossing $53,678,580 in its opening week. To date the movie has grossed $83,648,679 at the US box office and around $197,713,442 worldwide. This is Ashanti's second number one movie, the other being Coach Carter.

On October 27, 2008, Ashanti took part in The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken, a one night only concert to celebrate the Fifth anniversary of Wicked, featuring songs written by Stephen Schwartz, that were cut from the show.

 

 

 

 

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