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Blasting into the urban music scene and hitting instant national fame in 2002 with the release of her self titled Grammy Award-winning album, Ashanti is an American Long Island native, R and B singer, song writer, record producer, actress, model and fashion designer. It went on to sell more than six million copies worldwide.
She secured the #1 spot on Billboards Hot 100 Singles chart and its R&B/Hip Hop Singles & Tracks chart with her song Foolish. This acclaimed singer made Billboard history by having her first three chart entries simultaneously place in the top ten of the magazines Hot 100 list.
Ashanti is the first female - and only the second recording artist since The Beatles - to accomplish this feat. That same year Ashanti also won two American Music Awards, as well as Soul Trains Aretha Franklin Entertainer of the Year Award.
Six years later, the singer is firmly established as one of the genres dominant forces, amassing a whos who of in-demand producers for her latest and fourth album, The Declaration.
Since the age of 14, Ashanti has been performing with and/or for various famous music artists including performing in front of P. Diddy and Biggie Smalls, for their Bad Boy Records label, writing and singing hooks for rap stars such as Big Pun and Cadillac Tah, backing vocals on 'Ain't It Funny?', the duet between Ja Rule and Jennifer Lopez.
But her biggest hit was singing on Ja Rule's 'Always On Time', which went to the top of the US singles charts. She also featured on the hip-hop remix of 'Justify My Love' by Madonna.
After her first album, Ashantis follow-up release Chapter II came out the following year and reached platinum selling status in the U.S. and gold status in the U.K and was nominated for a Grammy award in 2004. Her third studio album, Concrete Rose was released in 2004.
The single 'Only U' became her biggest hit to date in the UK. Late in 2005, she was invited to Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball, which aims to honour influential African American women. In 2005 came the release Collectables By Ashanti consisting of 10 tracks - six of which were re-mixed and four were new material.
In 2006 a lawsuit was filed against her by her former manager under the charge of breach of contract. In the lawsuit, the manager stated the singer owed her money for ending their relationship pre-maturely after Ashanti made it big in 2003. That was the second consecutive breach of contract suit that the singer had to face.
In 2005 Ahanti was forced to pay $630,000 to producers in 2005. That suit, filed by producer Genard Parker, claimed the singer broke a contract that stated Parker would be allowed to work with Ashanti on two tracks of her first major label album.
In July 2008 at the event at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, the R&B singer was introduced as one of nine ambassadors who will promote tourism in Nassau County on Long Island. The tourism campaign pitches Nassau as The Island Next Door and is targeted at visitors to the city.
Ashanti has been going out with singer Nelly for a long time now but has denied reports of any engagement to her long time boyfriend. The singer rarely discusses her relationship with the media because according to her the industry is too hard. However, she hopes to marry him one day.
Ashantis fourth studio album, The Declaration. is in stores now. The first single and video of the powerfully soulful and grandly dramatic The Way That I Love You, is out. It is making fans wonder if the song was about her long-rumored boyfriend Nelly as the 27 year old singer describes heartbreak after she finds out her boyfriend has been cheating on her.
Since the video has dropped, people have speculated that Nelly was the boyfriend in question. However, Ashanti denies it. Album producers and collaborators include such luminaries as Robin Thicke, Jermaine Dupri, LT Hutton, Babyface, and Pharrell Williams.
The Way That I Love You, is the No. 1 most-added song at Urban-formatted radio in its first week, with more than 50 adds at major stations blanketing the east, midwest, south and west coast. The video clip of The Way That I Love You is an immediate add on BET, MTV Jams, and MTV Hits.
Ashanti co-hosted BET's 106th & Park to introduce the video and leak details of the new album. She also appeared on MTV's TRL as part of Spankin' New Music Week. She performed at the Virgin Mega Store Times Square on June 3rd, performed live on ABC's Good Morning America on June 6th from Manhattan's Bryant Park, also performed on ABC's Live With Regis & Kelly on June 6th, and on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on June 13th.
The track remains a Top 10 entry on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, after a 14-week run and a peak position of No. 2.
Ashanti has also branched out to a movie career. She earned positive reviews playing the pregnant girlfriend of a highly-touted high school basketball player in Coach Carter with Samuel L. Jackson.
Other films include Akeelah and the Bee, Bride & Prejudice (in which she sang in both Hindi and English), John Tucker Must Die, The Bourne Identity and Resident Evil: Extinction. She has also appeared on the series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; and Las Vegas.
Additionally, Ashanti has graced the stages of virtually every music awards show from The American Music Awards to the Grammys, the MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Europe Awards, the Soul Train Awards, and the Kids Choice Awards. She is the author of the poetry collection Foolish/Unfoolish: Reflections on Love, and the forthcoming teen-targeted life and style book Ashanti Style