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Ashanti Biography

Ashanti

Biography


Date of Birth
13 December 1980, Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, USA

Birth Name
Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas

Nickname
Shani
Princess of Hip Hop and Soul

Height
5' 3" (1.6 m)

Trivia
  • Names Mary J. Blige, Ella Fitzgerald and Blue Magic as artists who inspired her.
  • Her songs "Foolish", "Always On Time", and "What's Luv" made the top 10 all in one week.
  • Launched her career in 1994 when she was recognized at a talent show.
  • Wrote all 12 tracks on her self-titled debut album.
  • A native of Long Island, she began singing at the age of 12.
  • Was the first R&B singer to join Murder Inc. Records.
  • Has worked with Ja Rule, Big Pun and Fat Joe.
  • Turned down a track scholarship to Hampton University to pursue her singing career.
  • Before she joined Murder Inc. Records, she was signed by Jive Records.
  • Ashanti is African-American.
  • Her aunt lives in Rhode Island.
  • Released new fragrance line, "Precious Jewel" [2005]
  • Named #13 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2005 list.
  • Ranked as #81 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement. (2005)
  • Ranked #37 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2008 list.
  • Daughter of Tina Douglas.
  • Friends with Q-Tip, Anthony Anderson, Flo Rida, and Adrienne Houghton.
  • Attended Glen Cove High School in Glen Cove, New York.
  • Cites Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Prince, Madonna, Tupac Shakur, Smokey Robinson, and Donna Summer as musical influences.
  • Her mother, Tina Douglas, named her after the Ashanti Empire in Ghana; in this nation, women had power and influence, and Tina wanted her daughter to follow that model.
  • Her grandfather, James, was a civil rights activist who associated with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s.
  • She is most famous for her eponymous debut album "Ashanti" which featured the hit song "Foolish", and sold 503,000 copies in its first week of release in the USA in April 2002, a record-breaking feat. It was the highest first week sales for a female artist's debut ever.
  • Rolling Stone magazine readers picked her as Best R&B Artist. [2002].
  • She was one Askmen.com's singers of the week. [2002].
  • Lycos' Top 10 Female Searches (Ranked: 17). [2002].
  • According to a report by Billboard.com in 2009, she has had the most top 10 songs (16 to date) on the R&B/Hip-hop charts by a female for that decade.
  • Maxim's 100 Sexiest Women (Ranked: 21). [2003].
  • E!'s 25 Sexiest Women in Entertainment (Ranked: 23). [2002].
  • E!'s 25 Young Hollywood Stars (Ranked: 14). [2003].
  • VH-1's 25 Greatest Rock Star Cameos (Ranked: 18). [2003].
  • FHM-US's 100 Sexiest Women (Ranked: 76). [2003].
  • Spike/TNN 100 Most Irresistible Women (Ranked: 82). [2003].
  • FHM-Netherlands' 100 Sexiest Women (Ranked: 71). [2003].
  • Status World's Top 100 Female Celebrities (Ranked: 57). [2003].
  • Lycos' Top 10 Musician Searches for the First Half of 2002 (Ranked: 10). [2002].
  • She broke records again by having three Top Ten songs (Foolish, What's Luv, and Always on Time (with Ja Rule) on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the same week. Only The Beatles have achieved this. Ironically, Ashanti wrote and sang background on the remix of "Ain't It Funny" sung by Jennifer Lopez 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) so the singer actually had four top 10 singles in the top ten.
  • In 2002, she took home a record 8 Billboard awards, winning all the categories she was nominated for.
  • FHM-Singapore's 100 Sexiest Women (Ranked: 99). [2003].
  • 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).
  • FHM-Singapore's 100 Sexiest Women (Ranked: 95). [2002].
  • FHM-France's 100 Sexiest Women (Ranked: 82). [2003].
  • Real Access Top 24 for 2004 (Ranked: 15). [2004].
  • Billboard's Top 100 Selling CD's (Ranked: 76). [2005].
  • BET's All Shades of Fine - 25 Hottest Women of the Past 25 Years (Ranked 14). [2005].
  • VH1's 100 Most Wanted Bodies (Ranked: 44). [2005].
  • Marc's List of Hottest Women (Ranked: 26). [2005].
  • E!'s 25 Sexiest Pop Stars (Ranked: 19) [2009].
  • FHM-Romania's 100 Sexiest Women (Ranked: 92). [2004].
  • Maxim's 100 Sexiest Women (Ranked: 29). [2004].
  • Blender Magazine's the Rock Goddess 50 (Ranked: 17). [2005].
  • Was ranked at #63 on VH1's list of The Greatest: 100 Hottest Hotties. [2004].
  • FHM-US's 100 Sexiest Women (Ranked: 32). [2004].
  • Became the 1st African-American female to lead a national campaign for Herbal Essence. [2004].
  • VH1's 50 Greatest Women of the Video Era (Ranked: 46). [2005].
  • Broke records by having three Top Ten songs (Foolish, What's Luv, and Always on Time (with Ja Rule) on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the same week. Only The Beatles have achieved this. Ironically, she wrote and sang background on the remix of "Ain't It Funny" sung by Jennifer Lopez 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) so the singer actually had four top 10 singles in the top ten.
  • FHM's 100 Sexiest Women (Ranked: 76). [2003].
  • FHM's 100 Sexiest Women (Ranked: 32). [2004].
  • Quotes
  • I'm not trying to not do music. There's just a feeling when you create a hot record and have people fall in love with your record. There's nothing like that feeling.
  • I am not a good decision maker; that's one of the things I don't like about myself.
  • It's so important to never limit yourself, to find yourself in a box.
  • Times are completely different now. If you're a brand new artist with a record you want to release to the masses, I would suggest you try and get it hot yourself first. This way you can create your own demand so you'll end up having the option of demanding what you want if you do decide to sign with a label. If you don't and you still get on hot on your own, you then have the ability to reap all of your profits.
  • I have always been able to write on the spot. It is a talent that I guess comes naturally.
  • I also like different records of mine for creative purposes and metaphorically wise.
  • I was offered seven deals from seven different major labels between 2009-2011, and to be quite honest... nowadays, you need a hit record, a great radio team, an amazing PR firm, social media, a big budget, a team that is ready to work extremely hard, and the drive and passion to win!
  • [on what would be her last meal on death row] If I was on death row, my last meal would be - it would have to be a combination. I would have to have some jerk chicken rice on peas, then I'd have to have some Cuban baked chicken with onions, some barbecue, some cabbage, sweet potatoes and that Haagen-Dazs De Leche ice cream.
  • When people (talk trash) about you, you have to keep it moving, keep the records hot and keep your head up.
  • Music comes from the soul. It's a way to express yourself, so we always, always need to save the music.
  • [on Honey Boo Boo] Honey Boo Boo is a handful, baby. She says what she wants to say, does what she wants to do. Ive only seen, like, snippets, like one or two or three, you know, little shots of her, but yeah, shes a handful, baby.
  • Broadway is one of the hardest things I've ever done.
  • Times are completely different now. If you're a brand new artist with a record you want to release to the masses, I would suggest you try and get it hot yourself first. This way you can create your own demand so you'll end up having the option of demanding what you want if you do decide to sign with a label. If you don't and you still get on hot on your own, you then have the ability to reap all of your profits As a new artist there are so many new ways to put music out there where you don't necessarily need a label because now labels will have their hands in your pocket and leave you with less control. Labels are going to tie you down with a 360 deal, they take percentages of literally every endeavor you're tied to. It's a lot of stipulations and constraints placed on you. What makes it worse is that, in terms of distributing budgets, labels aren't even giving the same amount as they used to. It totally defeats the purpose. My advice would be to get it out there on your own first which will lead you to calling the shots.
  • [on explaining the difference between executive producing a movie vs. executive producing an album] With the film, you have a bunch of executive producers, directors, writers, scripts. There's, management, lighting, the union and etc. There are so many components a part of that game, so naturally it isn't my world. But when I'm writing my album, it's totally my world. Even though it's myself and another producer creating the project, Conceptually it's more under my power and on my own terms. At the same time, it's a different type of pressure because I'm ultimately speaking, I'm solely responsible for the end result. It's pretty much, having everything on your shoulder versus depending on an entire team.
  • I have a tremendous amount of respect for military families. To have to worry about your loved ones and still try and live a normal life is extremely hard.
  • A New Year's resolution that I can never keep? To be able to make decisions. Every year I'm like, "You're going to focus, you're going to make decisions in less than two hours. It has to be done." And it never happens.
  • It is a fool's sheep that breaks loose twice.
  • I think my motto is to always remain focused on what it is that you're trying to accomplish.



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