Ashanti first sang in a gospel choir at age six. Her music career began to take off in 1994, when her performance at a local talent show caught the eyes of industry insiders. Ashanti’s self-titled debut album was released in April 2002 and became the fastest-selling album by a female artist of all time, with 750,000 records sold in the first two weeks. The album stayed at #1 for ten weeks, and has since sold well over 2 million copies. Two songs from this album, “Foolish” and “Happy,” reached the #1 and #2 spots on the U.S. singles chart.
Since her debut, Ashanti has been nominated for five MTV Video Music Awards and five Lady of Soul Awards, and has received both the Teen Choice Breakout Artist of the Year Award and Soul Train’s Aretha Franklin “Entertainer of the Year” Award for 2002. Ashanti’s second album is due out in May 2003 from Def Jam’s Murder Inc. label.