One of the best-selling singers of her era, Ashanti shot to fame as the soulful, soprano counterpart to hard-rhyming rappers before coming into her own as a solo artist. Born in Glen Cove, NY in 1980, Ashanti Douglas grew up acting and dancing, then turned her attention to singing in her teens. Working with Murder Inc.’s Irv Gotti, she found stardom by nearly upstaging Ja Rule and Fat Joe on their 2001 singles “Always on Time” and “What’s Luv?” then made her solo mark with the defiant hit “Foolish.” With these tracks, she became the second artist—after The Beatles—to have their first three charting songs simultaneously occupy the Top 10.
Ashanti didn’t slow down with her Grammy-winning 2002 self-titled debut, which sold over a half-million copies in its first week, then a record for a female debut artist. She continued her platinum-selling run with 2003’s Chapter II and the following year’s Concrete Rose, but financial and creative disputes with Gotti eventually slowed her music career. She returned to acting, appearing in musicals and movies, before coming back with 2014’s expansive Braveheart, which featured Rick Ross and French Montana. Since then, she’s released singles like 2017’s “Say Less” with Ty Dolla $ign and 2019’s upbeat "The Road" with Afro B. Those tracks make it clear—Ashanti hasn’t lost any of the unmistakable vocal prowess that made her a beloved R&B force.
HOMETOWNGlen Cove, NY
BORNOctober 13, 1980