Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas, born October 13, 1980, is a well-known R&B and hip-hop singer-songwriter and record producer, as well as an actress, dancer, and model who rose to fame in the early 2000sAs a young girl Ashanti took dance lessons and sang in her church choir. Ashanti attended the Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center, where she studied tap, jazz, ballet, African, modern, and hip hop dance styles. Ashanti went on to dance with several dance and theatre companies at a young age.
Ashanti was first signed by Jive Records in 1994, and is now represented by record companies The Inc. and Universal. Her debut song “Foolish,” released in 2002, set several records: the song earned Ashanti the biggest opening week sales for a female artist, outselling the debuts by Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill. In the same week Ashanti was the first female performer to ever hold the top two places on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at the same time, with "Foolish", and "What's Luv" featuring Fat Joe. Ashanti then had three Top Ten songs on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the same week, the first female to ever do so, and the second artist to ever do so, after The Beatles.
Ashanti has earned her nickname as the "Princess Of Hip-Hop & R&B,” earning eight Billboard awards and two American Music Awards after her triple platinum debut album, which sold over five million copies worldwide. Since 2003, Ashanti has been in a relationship with fellow hip-hop star Nelly.
Ashanti has since released two successful follow-up albums, Chapter II in 2003 and The Declaration in 2008. In total Ashanti had sold more than 7 million albums in the U.S., and nearly 15 million records worldwide.
The singer has also shown her acting chops in many high-caliber roles in feature films, including the Bollywood hit Bride and Prejudice (2004), as Dorothy in The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005), Coach Carter (2005) opposite Samuel L. Jackson, and the teen flick John Tucker Must Die (2006).