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 debut album self titled 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 Sound scan record as the most albums sold by any debut female artist in the chart’s history, granting her a spot in the Guinness book of world records. With her 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 no. 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 an NAACP Image Award Nomination. 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 she was the Executive Producer on her last Album The Declaration which was released on her Label “Written Entertainment” distributed by Universal Records. It featured producers and Artists, Babyface, LT Hutton, Diane Warren, Nelly, Jermain 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. She is currently in the studio recording her newest album to be released in the Spring of 2012. Single to be released September 2011.
Ashanti made her telefilm debut helming “The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz,” opposite Miss Piggy and Kermit. She also starred on 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 Extreme Makeover Home Edition and was the Special Guest Performer for the Biggest Loser.
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 starring Daniel Craig released this past September 2011. The name of the song is “Never too Far Away” and is in Itunes under her label Written Entertainment. The film has recently received Oscar “buzz” via Variety Magazine. Lets hope we get to see her perform it at the Oscars in 2012! She will also write on the score and sound track of the new film “Tupac” also produced by Morgan Creek to be released Spring of 2013.
Ashanti has received a 3 picture deal with Morgan Creek Films being casted for 3 leading roles. As a result of her prior work on her previous films she will also work on the music on these films as well.
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.
Ashanti made her Theatre Stage debut with the starring role as Dorothy in the Broadway Tony Award winning adaption of The Wiz. She also participated in the 5th Anniversary of the Broadway smash “Wicked” alongside Joy Bayhar and sang “Defying Gravity. She was a part of the 70th Anniversary of the Classic Wizard of OZ at Tavern on the Green where she sang the Judy Garland version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. She released her version of the song in I-Tunes under her Record Label Written Entertainment.
Ashanti is an entrepreneur. She has her own fragrance, “Precious Jewel” sold at Wal-Mart and other fine stores. In addition she has a Dietary Supplement Vitamin called “Ashanti’s OPC-3 Beauty Blend”.
Her endorsements include: Herbal Essences, where she is the first African American to land a national campaign, Candies Apparel, as well as MUDD Jeans, “DELICIOUS CURVES”, GAP Holiday Campaign and Johnson&Johnson Body Care.
Ashanti has performed before Presidents and Royalty. She has performed duets with the likes of Pattie Labelle, Smokey Robinson, Ronald Isley, Stevie Wonder and Kenny Chesney to name a few. She has appeared on shows ranging from Oprah, Ellen, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Regis & Kelly, Saturday Night Live, The View, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, BET 106 & Park, MTV TRL, VH1 Hip Hop Honors and Fuse TV among others. She has performed on virtually every music awards show from the Grammys to the American Music Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Europe Awards, VMA’s Japan, The BET Awards, The World Music Awards, The Much Music Awards, the Soul Train Awards, Teen Choice Awards and the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. She is an American Favorite, singing the National Anthem and God Bless America for major events including the World Series and the NBA Finals Play off Series. She executive produced her first television special on ABC/Family in 2004. Ashanti has recently partnered with Warren Miller to shoot a Pilot for docudrama which she will executive produce, scheduled to air spring of 2012.
She continues to reign at the top as one of Billboards Top Females of the Decade from 2000-2010. She is currently on the list of The Twenty Best Selling Music Singles Since 1990 for her single “Foolish” selling 7.2 million copies to-date. With all of this amazing success, Ashanti has never lost sight of who she is and how important it is to give back to the community. She has been very active supporting a whole list of charities and good causes. She became the Youth of the Year Ambassador for the Boys and Girls Club of America in 2009 and was inducted into their Hall of Fame. She became a member of their “BE GREAT” Campaign with Denzel Washington where her billboard was debuted in Times Square NYC. In 2011 she participated in a National PSA with Denzel Washington, Jennifer Lopez and 20 other celebrities to promote education. This PSA was directed by renown Film Director Ron Howard and produced by Brian Grazer. It is currently running on national network TV.