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.
Ashanti's follow-up singles, "Happy" and "Baby", were not as successful as her debut single but peaked inside the top ten and top twenty in the U. During mid-2002, Ashanti appeared on Ja Rule's "Down 4 U" with labelmates, female rappers Vita and Charli Baltimore. Ashanti was the first artist to win Best Contemporary R&B Album before the category was last awarded in 2011.
She was nominated as Best New Artist and "Foolish" was nominated in the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance category.
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? Her mother, Tina Douglas, is a former dance teacher, and her father, Ken-Kaide Thomas Douglas, is a former singer.
Her mother named her after the Ashanti Empire in Ghana; in this nation, women had power and influence, and Tina wanted her daughter to follow that model.
Growing up, Ashanti took dance lessons and joined the church choir.
She also received a Comet Award and two Soul Train Music Awards that same year.
She was also in the Drama club and performed in a few plays.
She put college pursuits aside when Epic Records approached her with a contract in 1998.
As a teenager, she performed in a local talent show and at the Soul Cafe, China Club, Madison Square Garden, Caroline's Comedy Club, and Greek Fest 2000.
In her first major singing performance, Ashanti performed Yolanda Adams's "More Than a Melody".