The R&B star is nothing but smiles when recalling her early days struggling in the music industry. "I remember everything about that day, my first album, April 2, 2002," Ashanti says. "I remember popping bottles on Z100 because we found out we made history, which I am still in the Guinness Book of World Records for [being the first female to have 3 Top 10 singles within the same week]. That was a big, big deal for me."
It was a long time coming. "I had released 'Always on Time,' 'What's Luv?' and I wrote 'Ain't It Funny' for J.Lo," she says. "But we were shooting the video for 'Foolish' and I still didn't have a record deal."
Obviously, that changed soon after the "Foolish" video was finished.
The music video was fashioned after the film Goodfellas, with Terrence Howard playing the role of her significant other. "We did one scene where I was kind of straddling him in bed. He jumps up and says, 'Okay guys, Ashanti is pregnant.' And I'm like, 'Are you crazy?' Hilarious! We had a lot of fun on that video."
The next year the R&B singer landed her first GRAMMY—for Best Contemporary R&B album. "It was a great moment, to be a new artist and to not know and have so much to compare to just out the gate... to be rewarded like that, it just felt unreal. There are so many legendary, iconic artists that don’t even have GRAMMYs! The fact that I was able to get a GRAMMY my first time out, that was definitely a blessing."