Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas (born October 13, 1980) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actress, dancer, and model who rose to fame in the early 2000s. Ashanti is most famous for her eponymous Grammy Award-winning debut album Ashanti which featured the hit song "Foolish", and sold over 503,000 copies in its first week of release in the U.S. in April 2002. The album set a Soundscan record as the biggest opening week sales for a R&B female artist, outselling debuts by Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill.
Ashanti's Christmas: Edit
In November 2003, Ashanti's Christmas album, Ashanti's Christmas was released, containing almost an equal amount of original songs to Christmas standards. This album was panned by most critics; it considered to be a desperation of selling records while the artist was rocketed to stardom. In late 2003, Ashanti released a Christmas melody video for the album. According to soundscan, the album sold just around 100,000 units in the U.S.
Acting career: Edit
Ashanti got her first taste of acting as a child extra in the Spike Lee directed movies Malcolm X and Who's Da Man. She also started as a dancer in the Disney TV film Polly. After success with her music career, Ashanti starred in Bollywood film Bride and Prejudice, in which she sang "My Lips are Waiting" and "Touch My Body". Ashanti's appearance in the film was meant as homage to a tradition in Bollywood films where a celebrity would make a cameo appearance to sing a song that has no direct involvement in the plot. The rest of the characters do not interact with the celebrity but are seen in the crowd enjoying the show.
In January 2005, she made her feature film acting debut in the film Coach Carter alongside Samuel L. Jackson, which debuted at #1 opening weekend. She played a pregnant teenager named Kyra who has to decide whether or not to abort her unborn child. The movie opened at number-one at the U.S. box office, eventually grossing $97 million in the U.S. Later in 2005, Ashanti beat out Hilary Duff and Jessica Simpson to star as Dorothy Gale in the made-for-television film The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, which pulled in nearly 8 million viewers.
In 2006, she starred in the teen comedy John Tucker Must Die, which opened and peaked at #3 at the U.S. box office (competing with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Miami Vice) and grossed $68,818,076 worldwide. Ashanti played Heather, the head cheerleader who participates in a vengeful scheme against John Tucker, her unfaithful boyfriend and the school's biggest heartthrob. Ashanti can also be found on Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 7 episode 14: "First Date" and on Sabrina the Teenage Witch season 7 episode 3: "Call Me Crazy".
In 2007, Ashanti appeared in the sci-fi horror action Resident Evil: Extinction as a nurse named Betty. The film entered at #1 at the box office grossing $53,678,580 in its opening week. To date the movie has grossed $83,648,679 at the US box office and around $197,713,442 worldwide. This is Ashanti's second #1 movie, the other being Coach Carter.
Other activities: Edit
In addition to singing, Ashanti has emerged as a songwriter penning songs for Christina Milian, Ja Rule, Jennifer Lopez, Nas, Toni Braxton, & many more. She released a book of poetry titled Foolish/Unfoolish: Reflections on Love in 2002 and a fragrance, "Precious Jewel by Ashanti," in October 2005, etc.