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Blige, Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, Donna Summer, and Blue Magic as her musical influences.
Growing up, Ashanti took dance lessons and joined the church choir.Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas (born October 13, 1980), known simply as Ashanti, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer and actress. In 2003, the self-titled debut album won Ashanti her first Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B album.Ashanti is known for her eponymous debut album, which featured the hit song "Foolish", and sold over 503,000 copies in its first week of release throughout the U. Her second release continued her success and platinum certifications throughout the 2000s and her hit singles.Ashanti wrote and sang background on Jennifer Lopez's "Ain't It Funny (Murder Remix)", which reached number one on Billboard Hot 100, which was also in the top 10 chart at the same time as "Foolish", "Always on Time" (with Ja Rule), and "What's Luv? by her label and capped off her successful debut by winning eight Billboard awards and two American Music Awards.Ashanti cites Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Tupac Shakur, Mary J.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.
While attending high school, she began to write songs.
Ashanti went to Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center, where she studied different dance styles, including tap, jazz, ballet, African, modern, and hip hop.
She danced with the Senior Pro Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Black Spectrum Theater.
She also performed at the 1994 Caribbean Awards and dancing with Judith Jamison of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company.
With actress and choreographer Debbie Allen at the helm, Ashanti also performed in the Disney television film Polly alongside stars Keshia Knight Pulliam, Jomecia Moore and Phylicia Rashad.