Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas, popularly known as Ashanti, was born October 13, 1980, in Glen Cove, New York, United States. She is a singer, songwriter, and actress from the United States. Ashanti was discovered as a teenager and eventually signed to Murder Inc. Records in 2002. That same year, she appeared on Fat Joe’s ‘What’s Luv?’ song and Ja Rule’s ‘Always on Time,’ track, both of which became massive hits. She became the first female artist to hold the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 list in the United States, with ‘Foolish’ at number one and ‘What’s Luv?’ at number two. We will help you celebrate her special day right here.
Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas, popularly known as Ashanti, was born in Glen Cove, New York, on October 13, 1980. Tina Douglas, her mother, is a former dance teacher, and Ken-Kaide Thomas Douglas, her father, is a former vocalist. She is the eldest and Kenashia Shia Douglas is her younger sister. Douglas named her after the Ashanti Empire in Ghana, where women had power and influence, and Douglas wanted Ashanti to emulate that paradigm. James, her grandfather, was a civil rights leader who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s.
Ashanti’s mother discovered her daughter’s talent when she overheard her singing Mary J. Blige’s ‘Reminisce.’ Ashanti appeared as a child extra in Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” in 1992 and Ted Demme’s “Who’s the Man?” She also had a few cameos in music videos, including K.R.S.-Act One’s “MC’s Like They Don’t Know” and 8-Off’s “Ghetto Girl.” After being courted by various record labels, including Bad Boy and Jive, Ashanti struggled to find success as a singer. Despite this, she continued to play in and around New York and began hanging around at the Murder Inc. recording studio, hoping to get a major break.
Ashanti originally appeared on Big Pun’s song ‘How We Roll,’ as a backing vocalist. She also appeared on Fat Joe’s ‘What’s Luv?’ and Ja Rule’s ‘Always on Time.’ Her debut single, ‘Foolish,’ features a sample of DeBarge’s 1983 song ‘Stay With Me.’ Ashanti’s self-titled first album was released in 2002 on Irv Gotti’s Murder Inc. record label. “The Declaration,” her fourth studio album, was released on June 3, 2008. On October 16, ‘Hey Baby (After the Club)’ was released to radio and digital outlets. She starred in the film “Christmas in the City” and played Latasha Montclair in “Army Wives.” Her song ‘Rock wit U (Awww Baby)’ was sampled by British rapper Aitch for his song ‘Baby’ on March 10, 2022.
Ashanti has her first acting experience as a child extra in Spike Lee's “Malcolm X” and Ted Demme's “Who's the Man?”
Ashanti sings on Fat Joe's ‘What's Luv?’ and Ja Rule's ‘Always on Time.’
Ashanti focuses more on her acting career, making her acting debut alongside Samuel L. Jackson in “Coach Carter.”
Ashanti releases the single ‘Never Should Have,’ which wins ‘Best Independent R&B/Soul Performance’ at the Soul Train Awards.
Ashanti partners with Obama for her #LetsMove campaign to raise drinking water awareness with her new video and song, ‘Let's Go.’
Why We Love Ashanti
She believes in celebrating female sexuality
Ashanti believes that feminism and sex appeal do not have to be mutually exclusive. “Ebony Magazine” interviewed the singer if she thinks a woman can dress provocatively and still be a feminist.
She is a charitable person
Ashanti does a lot of charity work; in 2005, she assisted in the Southeast Asia tsunami relief effort by making a public service announcement and raising funds. Later that year, she assisted in raising funds for Hurricane Katrina victims and evacuees.
She acknowledges other musicians
Ashanti once made a special mention of musician SZA. The two enjoyed a touching moment when the ‘Good Days’ singer interrupted Ashanti's interview to pay her respects to the R.&.B. pioneer.
5 Surprising Facts
She has her own label
In 2011, Ashanti started her label, Written Entertainment, with a new track called ‘The Woman You Love,’ featuring Busta Rhymes.
She wrote a book
Ashanti's debut collection of poetry, "Foolish/Unfoolish: Reflections on Love," is now in its seventh edition and is available as an audiobook.
She has a fragrance collection
Ashanti has her fragrance, Precious Jewel, which is available at Walmart and other premium retailers.
She received the key to her hometown
Ashanti was given the key to Atlantic City, New Jersey.
She appeared in a resident evil movie
Ashanti starred in the 2007 film "Resident Evil: Extinction," where she played the character Betty.
Did, Ashanti date, Ja Rule?
Ashanti denied ever dating Ja Rule. She went live on Instagram with Fat Joe and stated that the two never had a romantic relationship.
Why did Ashanti and Nelly breakup?
Ashanti was in a 10-year relationship with rapper Nelly. She never revealed why they broke up, but she once stated that she was betrayed.
Did Ashanti write a song for Jennifer Lopez?
With Ja Rule, Ashanti co-wrote Lopez’s hit single ‘I’m Real.’ Ashanti also sang backup vocals on it, as well as on other hits from Lopez’s catalog.
Ashanti’s birthday dates