Ashanti Douglas was born on October 13, 1980, in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. As a child, she was discovered at a talent show, which launched her career. Ashanti turned down scholarships for both Princeton and Hampton University, deciding to pursue singing full-time. She landed a position as a backup singer for Jennifer Lopez, then signed with Murder Inc. Records. Ashanti's self-titled debut album was a gigantic success, as was the first single, "Foolish." Following "Foolish," Ashanti released "Happy" and "Baby," before moving on to "What's Luv" with Fat Joe, "Always On Time" and "Mesmerize" with Ja Rule, and "Down 4 U" with several labelmates.
On July 2, 2003, Ashanti released "Chapter II," her sophomore disc. The lead single, "Rock Wit U (Aww Baby)," and the album itself both became #1 hits. Currently, Ashanti is readying "Rain On Me" as the second single from "Chapter II."
This African-American girl put a lot of effort for herself!