Ashanti provided the melodic response to their call.Ashanti was first featured as a background vocalist on rapper Big Pun's song "How We Roll". " and "Always on Time" were released simultaneously and became two of the biggest hit songs of 2002. in his 1995 single "One More Chance", and by Big L in "MVP"). The album has been certified triple platinum in the United States and sold six million copies worldwide.
While attending high school, she began to write songs.
As a teenager, she performed in a local talent show and at the Soul Cafe, China Club, Madison Square Garden, Caroline's Comedy Club, and Greek Fest 2000.
She also received a Comet Award and two Soul Train Music Awards that same year.
Ashanti became the subject of controversy when it was announced that she would receive the Soul Train Aretha Franklin Award for "Entertainer of the Year", a high school student took offense and started an on-line petition against her, explaining to The Seattle Times that she was too new to deserve the award.
Ashanti's self-titled debut album, Ashanti, was released on Irv Gotti's Murder Inc. Ashanti's dominance of the R&B world was certified as she had a song in the top ten of the R&B/hip-hop charts every week from January to November 2002. Ashanti's debut album earned her many awards, including eight Billboard Music Awards, two American Music Awards, and a Grammy Award in 2003 for Best Contemporary R&B Album.
Ashanti's follow-up singles, "Happy" and "Baby", were not as successful as her debut single but peaked inside the top ten and top twenty in the U. During mid-2002, Ashanti appeared on Ja Rule's "Down 4 U" with labelmates, female rappers Vita and Charli Baltimore. Ashanti was the first artist to win Best Contemporary R&B Album before the category was last awarded in 2011.When she was three years old, Ashanti sang in a gospel choir called "Having Some Fun and the Handsome Pigeons," but her mother discovered her full singing potential when she overheard Ashanti singing Mary J. By the time Ashanti hit puberty, her mother was sending out demo tapes of her singing and dancing.The family could not afford to go to a studio and record a formal demo, so when labels called, Ashanti would have to sing 'I'm a little teapot' in front of the record company executives.Blige, Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, Donna Summer, and Blue Magic as her musical influences.Her mother, Tina Douglas, is a former dance teacher, and her father, Ken-Kaide Thomas Douglas, is a former singer.She put college pursuits aside when Epic Records approached her with a contract in 1998.