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Happy 39th Birthday, Ashanti!

The former lady of Murder Inc turns 39 today. From the start of her career, she knew she was destined to be a huge star. Many think her inception in the industry began with Irv Gotti but in actuality it was Spike Lee that first put her on the big screen and Diddy that first gave her voice a listen.

You think you know but you have no idea the accomplishments and projects Ashanti has branded herself to. Check out more things about Murder Inc.'s proclaimed Princess of Hip Hop and R&B, Ashanti.

8 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Ashanti

1. Diddy

She was first discovered by Bad Boy at 17. She impressed Diddy and Biggie with her cover of Mary J. Blige, but duo to a bad contract she never became the Princess of Bad Boy. 

2. Movies

She has an ever growing list of movie's she's starred in, but you probably didn't know she starred in Malcom X (Denzel Washington), because her small role as a child extra was uncredited, but not unnoticed.

3. Record Breaking

The singer broke plenty of records. Her debut album had the biggest opening week sales for a new female artist ever at that time. She was the first female artist to have four records in the top ten simultaneously, with 'Foolish,' 'Always on Time,' 'What's Love' and 'Aint it Funny' (song written for J.Lo).

4. Awards

Her debut not only gained her a Grammy but thanks to the many hits on her one project she was the third top new r&b artist of the decade (2000-09).

5. Giving Back

She's affiliated herself with plenty of organizations to help others. They included (but not limited to) Jumpstart reading program, Tupperware Brand, Boys and Girls Club of America, Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) to raise awareness on domestic violence, sickle cell research, and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

6. Mary J. Blige

In an interview with AskMen, she cites Mary J as a driving force behind her following her dreams.

"I didn't want to sing only slow songs and I didn't want to be spittin' rhymes. But Mary J. Blige put those concepts together. She cleared the way, and now I'm following my own path."

7. I'm Real

For almost 20 years, rumors that Lopez didn’t sing the vocals on her hit single, “I’m Real,” have gone around.  Longtime fans and critics alike give credit to Ashanti, for dubbing the 2001 vocals instead.

Ashanti was the songwriter and lead vocalist on the track, as well as other hits from Lopez’s catalog. Songs like “Ain’t It Funny (Murder Remix) made their way onto the radio, climbing the charts, with Lopez’s name on the records.

8. Boss Status

These days when it comes to her music, Ashanti is her own boss as she's created her own publishing company Written Entertainment and she released her sixth album, Brave Heart, through it. Ashanti is now working on her 7th solo album as well but as for a release date, Ashanti says her seventh LP still needs more time in the oven.

"With me, it’s timing." she told Entertainment Weekly.

Check out Ashanti's latest single 'Pretty Little Thing' below.


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