|Ashanti Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 3 in|
|Date of Birth||October 13, 1980|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
Ashanti is a singer-songwriter, record producer, actress, and dancer from the United States. She has also launched her own record label, Written Entertainment. At the age of 12, her singing talent was identified by her mom (who is a former dance teacher) when she heard Ashanti sing Mary J. Blige’s “Reminisce”.
Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas
Ashanti, Shani, Princess of Hip Hop and Soul
Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, United States
New York City, New York, United States
Ashanti went to the Glen Cove High School in her hometown.
Singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actress
- Father – Ken-Kaide Thomas Douglas (Former Singer)
- Mother – Tina Douglas (Former Dance Teacher)
- Siblings – Kenashia Douglas (Sister)
- Others – Thomas Gilbert Douglas (Paternal Grandfather), Flora Campbell (Paternal Grandmother), James Davis (Maternal Grandfather) (Civil Rights Activist), Yvonne Myers (Paternal Grandmother)
Ashanti is represented by Jersey City-based Emancipated Talent.
She is managed by her mother Tina Douglas.
Hip hop, R&B, Soul
Jive, Epic, Def Jam Recordings, Written, E1 Music, Murder Inc. Records
5 ft 3 in or 160 cm
64 kg or 141 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Ashanti has dated
- Nelly (2003-2007, 2007-2009, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2014, 2023-Present) – Starting from 2003, Ashanti has had a very up and down, on and off relationship with rapper and actor Nelly. They had first met at the press conference for the 2003 Grammy Awards. Soon after, they were seen cuddling in public places and posing together on the red carpets. However, they didn’t publicly confirm that they were romantically involved. Meanwhile, it was revealed that his children were calling Ashanti their New York mother. In April, they decided to separate for the first time but got back together within a couple of months. They again broke up in August 2009 as it was revealed that she wanted to get married and settle down but Nelly wasn’t prepared to do so. This time separation lasted for about 6 months as they got back together in the early months of 2010. They would break up twice more before deciding to end their relationship for good in April 2014. In April 2023, it was rumored that the couple had rekindled their romance after they were seen holding hands at a boxing match. In September 2023, during an interview, Nelly confirmed that they were back together. In December 2023, it was reported that they were expecting their first child together.
- Chink Santana (2003-2005) – According to reports, Ashanti started going out with musician and music producer Chink Santana in the summer of 2003. Santana had worked on her first two studio albums and it was claimed that while working on the second album, they had fallen for each other. They were together for about two years.
- DeSean Jackson (2013-2015) – In December 2013, Ashanti was reported to be dating NFL star, DeSean Jackson. The source of these reports was their cozy behavior at his birthday party. However, some tabloids claimed that they had been dating since the summer of the same year.
- Darnell Dockett (2015-2016) – The American tabloids linked Ashanti with another NFL player, Darnell Dockett in May 2015. They had been flirting on social media for some time and in May, she took to Twitter to wish him a birthday and called him ‘Baby’ in the tweet. He responded by calling her Boo and added a kissing emoji to the tweet.
- James Harden (2016-2017) – Ashanti was first linked with basketball player James Harden in July 2016. They had been spotted getting cozy at the 4th of July party. A day earlier, they were seen getting close at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The following week, she was spotted supporting him at the James Harden Vol. 1 event. They reportedly went separate ways in the early months of 2017.
- Nas (2018-2019)
Race / Ethnicity
She has African American ancestry.
- Short height
- Voluptuous figure
- Fuller lips
Ashanti has appeared in TV commercials for the following brands –
- Pantene Pro-Voice Ad
- Clairol Herbal Essences shampoo
- CÎROC Ultra-Premium Vodka
She started her singing career by performing in a Church choir. She also wears a crucifix pendant. However, she doesn’t like to speak publicly about her religious views.
Best Known For
- The commercial success of her studio album, Chapter II, which made its Billboard 200 debut at the first position. The album sold over 326,000 copies within the first week.
- The popularity of her studio album, The Declaration, which managed to sell over 86,000 copies within the first week.
- Having been cast in important roles in popular movies such as Coach Carter, John Tucker Must Die, and Resident Evil: Extinction.
In April 2002, Ashanti released her debut studio album, Ashanti. The album went on to sold over 503,000 copies within the first week. The album also helped her win a Grammy Award, 8 Billboard Music Awards, and 2 American Music Awards.
In 1992, Ashanti made her theatrical film debut in the biographical drama, Malcolm X. However, her appearance in the movie wasn’t credited.
Her first credited theatrical role was in the comedy-drama movie, Bouge! in 1997.
First TV Show
As an actress, Ashanti made her first TV show appearance in 2002 in Call Me Crazy episode of the family comedy-drama series, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
Ashanti regularly hits the gym to keep herself in the right shape. She tries to tweak her conditioning and strength training workout to get the most out of it. Along with traditional strength training exercises such as bicep curls and dumbbell lunges, she has included a variety of bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups in her workout regime.
She has also included functional training exercises such as tire flips and bear crawls in her workout routine. Plus, she has also included boxing in her daily routine.
For cardio, she likes to jump rope and crunches are her favorites for the core workout.
Ashanti Favorite Things
- Jewelry Brand – Laruicci and Lorraine Schwartz
- Essential Travel Items – Make-up bag, flats, scarf, and sweats
- Clothing Retail Shops – Mixology, Jolie Fleur, Intermix, Scoop and Singer 22
- Hotel – Wynn Las Vegas
- Perfume – J’adore by Christian Dior
- Spa – Spa at Amanresorts properties in Bali, Indonesia
- Cosmetic Brands – MAC cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, Make Up For Ever, Tom Ford, Chanel, and NARS
- Beauty Icons – Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez
- Hairstylists – Kim Kimble, Oscar James, and Eduardo Ponce
- Physical Features – Eyes and thighs
- Inspirations – Mary J. Blige, Ella Fitzgerald, and Blue Magic
- Influences – Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Prince, Madonna, Tupac Shakur, Smokey Robinson, and Donna Summer
- With the immense first week sales of her debut album, Ashanti became the first solo female music artist to have sold more than 500k copies in the first week.
- She holds the distinction of being the first female artist to be offered a contract by Murder Inc. Records.
- In 2005, she released her exclusive fragrance line under the label of Precious Jewel.
- In 2005, she was placed on the 13th spot by the FHM magazine in their annual list featuring 100 Sexiest Women in the World. In 2008, she was placed on the 37th spot in a similar list.
- Her mother had named her after Ghana’s Ashanti Empire, which was known for the power and influence it offered to women within its territory.
- Her mother discovered her singing talent when she was 12 years old. She had heard her sing Mary J. Blige’s Reminisce.
- She started writing songs while she was studying in high school. She also used to perform in small festivals and local talent shows in her teens.
- She was discovered by record producer and executive Irv Gotti, who was impressed by her vocal skills. He got her to write hooks for rap artists and perform in duets.
- Her first mainstream gig as a rapper was to serve as a background vocalist on Big Pun’s single, How We Roll.
- When her singles Always on Time and What’s Luv? grabbed top two spots on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, she became the first female artist to achieve this unique distinction.
- When it was announced that she would be awarded Soul Train Aretha Franklin Award in 2003, it caused a minor controversy as it was argued that established artists such as Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, and Alicia Keys were more deserving of an award. Around 30,000 people signed the petition to block her win.
- In May 2009, Irv Gotti announced that he was releasing Ashanti from his record label. It paved way for Ashanti to release her next album with her own record label, Written Entertainment.
- In 2015, she partnered with US First Lady Michelle Obama to support her Let’s Move campaign, which the first lady had launched to raise awareness of drinking water. Ashanti even recorded Let’s Go and made a music video to support the campaign.
- In September 2009, she collaborated with leading artists such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige to record the single, Just Stand Up! for the TV fundraiser special, Stand Up for Cancer, which raised $100 million for the cancer research.
- While growing up, her mother had got her enrolled in a number of dance classes including jazz, ballet, and tap.
- At the age of 17, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia with an aim of getting a record deal from Epic Records. However, she failed in her endeavors.
- She had signed her first record deal with Jive Records but didn’t release any album with them as they had creative differences with Ashanti as she was adamant about writing her songs on her own.
- On December 12, 2020, Ashanti revealed that she had tested positive for coronavirus.
- In January 2021, she released her song 235 (2:35 I Want You).
- In November 2021, Ashanti was honored with the “Lady of Soul Award” at the Soul Train Awards for her contributions to the music industry.
- In April 2022, Ashanti received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Featured Image by The Heart Truth / Flickr / Public Domain