Full Name: Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas
Birth Date: October 13, 1980
Birth Place: Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, USA
Height: 5' 3"
Quote: Guys will come up and be like, Hi, I just wanna talk to you. I wanna prove that I aint like these other dudes. I just wanna conversate! But I dont get guys following me back to my hotel, banging on my door.
Born in Glen Cove, NY, Ashanti S. Douglas first sang in a gospel choir at age six. Her R&B singing career began in 1994 when she performed at a local talent show. Her strong soulful voice caught the attention of industry insiders and she immediately signed on with a management team and began showcasing her talent with performances at the Soul Cafe, China Club, Madison Square Garden, Carolines Comedy Club and Greek Fest 2000 at Jones Beach to name a few.
Signed to AJM Records, Ashanti quickly caught the attention of multi-platinum producer Irv Gotti of Murder Inc. who recognized her exceptional singing and writing talents and set the stage for her introduction to the music world. Ashanti blasted into the urban music scene in 2002, topping the charts with multiple singles at once. She quickly became a sensation, gracing the covers of magazines and dominating urban radio. Ashanti built her reputation with duets, where she would complement already popular rappers -- Ja Rule ("Always on Time"), Fat Joe ("What's Luv?"), and the Notorious B.I.G. ("Unfoolish") -- contrasting the tough-guy male perspective with her own. It didn't take the young vocalist long to make a name for herself though: her debut album topped the Billboard album chart just as her debut solo single, "Foolish," was topping the Hot 100 chart. Her presence was inescapable.
Ashanti's overnight jump to superstardom followed that of Ja Rule, a similar urban music sensation helmed by Gotti. The New York producer took notice of Ashanti initially because of her beauty, dancing, and acting. She trained as a dancer at the Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center, learning a number of dance styles. She danced most notably in Disney's Polly, which starred Phylicia Rashad, and also appeared in a number of big-name music videos, in addition to other dance work. The multi-talented vocalist was causing quite a stir, and Gotti did what he could to bring her into his Murder Inc. fold. After showcasing her swooning voice on Big Pun's "How We Roll" and the Fast and Furious soundtrack -- both in 2001 -- Gotti put Ashanti to work on her debut album, which he produced.
Success came quickly. A duet with Ja Rule, "Always on Time," hit number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart in early 2002 just as a duet with Fat Joe, "What's Luv?," was creeping toward the same number one position. These two airplay-heavy singles, of course, set the stage perfectly for Ashanti's self-titled debut release. The album's lead single, "Foolish," raced up the Hot 100 chart, entering the Top Ten in March alongside "Always on Time" and "What's Luv?," giving her three Top Ten songs in the same week, including the number one and two positions -- a quite spectacular feat. Then Ashanti's album debuted at number one on the album chart, selling an astounding 500,000-plus copies in its first week. With all this chart-topping, Ashanti set some sales records and her success continued. Gotti readied a remix of "Foolish," titled "Unfoolish," that featured the Notorious B.I.G. and again overtook urban radio, where no artist was more omnipresent throughout 2002 than Ashanti. She returned the following year with Chapter II, which likewise topped the Billboard album chart on the heals of its hot lead single, "Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)."
Next, Ashanti will conquer the acting world. She will appear in Coach Carter, starring Samuel L. Jackson, in 2005.
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) .... Nurse Betty
John Tucker Must Die (2006) .... Heather
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005) (TV) .... Dorothy
Coach Carter (2005) .... Kyra
Bride & Prejudice (2004) .... Special appearance
... aka Bride and Prejudice: The Bollywood Musical (International: English title: promotional title)
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
... aka BtVS (USA: promotional abbreviation)
... aka Buffy
... aka Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Series
- First Date (2003) TV Episode .... Lissa
... aka Our Generation (Australia) (USA: working title)
- Silent Night (2002) TV Episode .... Dionne Warwick
"The Proud Family"
- It Takes a Thief (????) TV Episode (voice) .... Randi
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