This year marks the 20th anniversary of Ashanti’s self-titled debut album, which made the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest selling debut by a female artist, selling over 500,000 copies in its first week. The former First Lady of Murder Inc. was honored at the 2021 Soul Train Awards with the Lady of Soul Award. In the midst of obtaining her masters, planning to rerecord her eponymous LP, becoming the first Black female artist to co-found a Web3 company, and getting her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she will also be releasing her first children’s book—My Name Is a Story—and is gearing up to tell fans all about it to close out the 2022 ASCAP Experience at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards.
Alongside VIBE’s Editor-in-Chief, Datwon Thomas, Ashanti will divulge about her historic debut and the story behind some of her biggest hits in a special segment called Deconstructed. Thomas told VIBE, “I’m excited to sit with Ashanti, who I respect to the stars, and speak about this record-breaking album and her incredible career. She’s the coolest ever and I’m sure the stories that go along with the songs are just as amazing as the tracks themselves.”
Earlier this year, the “Happy” singer made headlines when she created her debut album cover and sold it as a NFT. She took to Instagram, writing, “I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since my debut album ‘Ashanti’!!!!!!!! I’m so grateful that yall been rocking with me for over 20 years!!!!! Now I finally get to give you something in return. I’m beyond excited to officially announce that my NFT collection with @EQ.Exchange celebrating 20 years of ‘Ashanti.'”
When explaining her decision to venture into the tech world, she shared, “It’s so important to me to get the message out that artists should own their intellectual property. By empowering myself through new technology, I’m trying to help other women avoid going through the things that I’ve been through. The future belongs to those who take control and make it their own.”
The ASCAP Experience will feature a series of events dedicated to the diverse voices and stories in the ASCAP/music-making communities. The fireside chat takes place on Friday, June 24 at 3 p.m. ET via ASCAP’s YouTube channel.