Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, actor and author Ashanti is a native of Glen Cove, Long Island. Ashanti burst onto the music scene with her 2002 smash hit, self-titled debut album “Ashanti.” It landed the #1 spot on both the Billboard Top 200 and R&B album charts, selling a whopping 504,593 units in its first week. Her first week showing set a SoundScan record as the most albums sold by any debut female artist in the chart’s history, granting her a spot on Guinness World Records. With her hit song, “Foolish,” Ashanti also secured the #1 top spot on SIX Billboard charts simultaneously, including Hot R&B/ Hip-Hop Airplay, The Billboard 200, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks, Hot 100 Airplay, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Hot 100! “Foolish” stayed on the Billboard charts for 11 consecutive weeks. She made Billboard history by having her first three chart entries land in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. She is the first female to accomplish this feat, previously only attained by the Beatles.
That year she was awarded 8 Billboard awards. Her album “Ashanti” topped the Billboard Album Chart and also won the Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album. In addition, that year she won 2 American Music Awards and the Soul Train Aretha Franklin Entertainer of the Year Award. Her follow-up release, “Chapter II,” debuted in the number 1 slot for two consecutive weeks on the Billboard Album Chart and spawned two Top 10 singles. In addition to her Grammy, she’s also received multiple Soul Train Awards, a MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Award, a Comet Award (Grammy Equivalent in Germany), Lady of Soul Awards, a Teen Choice Award and Nickelodeon’s Kid Choice Award, along with many other nominations including an MTV movie award nomination and an NAACP Image Award Nomination for her role as Kera in “Coach Carter.”
Ashanti’s other albums include “Ashanti’s Christmas,” “Concrete Rose,” a remix album titled, “Collectibles by Ashanti” and “The Declaration,” which she Executive Produced. It was around the time of “The Declaration,” that Ashanti created her own company and label, Written Entertainment. The album was the first release on Written Entertainment, and it was distributed by Universal. Ashanti is the CEO of the company and the first artist on the label. Since its inception, Ashanti has released numerous projects on the label. “The Declaration” featured producers and artists Babyface, LT Hutton, Diane Warren, Nelly, Jermaine Dupri, Pharell, Robin Thicke, Brian Cox, and Neffu to name a few. The first single off of “The Declaration,” “The Way That I Love You” won the Music Choice Video of the Year Award in 2009.
Ashanti’s forthcoming album, the highly-anticipated “Braveheart” will be released this summer on Written Entertainment and distributed by eOne Music. The album features the heart-wrenching single, “Never Should Have.” “Braveheart” also included the tracks “The Woman You Love” featuring Busta Rhymes and “That’s What We Do” featuring R. Kelly. Ashanti made her directorial debut for her video “The Woman You Love.” All three tracks are currently available on iTunes. She is certainly considered a mogul in this business!
Ashanti currently has a lead role as LaTasha Montclair in the #1 Lifetime television series Army Wives, produced by ABC. The current season premiered in March. She made her telefilm debut starring in The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz, opposite Miss Piggy and Kermit. She also starred in the Disney animated series The Proud Family. She got her start in acting on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and portrayed Dionne Warwick on American Dreams. She has also played herself and performed on the hit TV series Vegas. She appeared as the special guest for the successful ABC ‘s Extreme Makeover Home Edition and was a special guest performer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, as well.
In her feature film debut Coach Carter, she co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson in the #1 box office hit (MTV/Paramount). Ashanti’s other films include yet another #1 box office hit, Resident Evil Extinction, where she starred as “Nurse Betty” opposite Milla Jovovich (Sony Screen Gems). Previously, she starred in the hugely successful John Tucker Must Die (Twentieth Century Fox) alongside Jessie Metcalfe. She can be seen as an Indian songstress who sings in Hindi and English as she dances in the Bollywood film Bride & Prejudice with Aishwarya Rai (Miramax/Casablanca).
Ashanti recently wrote the title track for the film Dream House, produced by Morgan Creek and starring Daniel Craig. The track it titled “Never Too Far Away,” and was released on September 30, 2011 on her label Written Entertainment. She will also write the score and contributed to the soundtrack of the new film Tupac, slated for release in Fall 2014 and also produced by Morgan Creek. She has written her first book of poetry through Hyperion titled Foolish/Unfoolish: Reflections on Love which is currently in its eighth edition and is also an Audio Book/Spoken Word is currently in its eighth edition and is also an Audio Book/Spoken Word.