Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas was born on October 13, 1980 in Glen Cove, New York. Ashanti grew up taking dance lessons and singing in her church choir. She attended Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center and studied various dance styles. Ashanti’s mother was sending out her demo tapes when Ashanti was still young. Ashanti began writing songs in high school and sand Yolanda Adams’s “More Than a Melody” in her first big singing performance. She signed to Epic Records in 1998, but was put on the back burner, so she started focusing on other things in school. Her career truly launched with a few background vocals on tracks and with singing duets with other artists. Following her very successful collaborations with artists Ja Rule and Fat Joe, she released “Foolish” in 2002, her most popular song. Following this, she released her first album, Ashanti and her music career took off from there, including awards like the Soul Train Aretha Franklin Award for “Entertainer of the Year” and movie roles like Kyra in Coach Carter.