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Ashanti Now Owns The Masters To 2002 Debut, Re-recording It For 20th Anniversary



Ever since her self-titled debut was released in April 2002, Ashanti began a whirlwind career with number one hits, breaking records and staying relevant in the public eye while still charting hits decades later. Now that Ashanti is nearing the big 2-0, the singer-songwriter officially owns the masters and will be re-recording her debut album. 

The announcement was made during her appearance on the daytime talk show Tamron Hall. Initially released on Murder Inc. and Def Jam, the newly re-recoded album will be released independently via Ashanti’s Written Entertainment.

“It’s so surreal,” the 40 year-old said while reflecting on owning her masters. “I have an amazing legal team, and I got my first record deal when I was 14 years old, so understanding and seeing how things have changed so much from then to now and conceptually understanding what you’re signing is so imperative, it’s so important nowadays. The fact that I’ll be able to re-record my first album, and put everything together.”

Featuring the number one single “Foolish” along with the hits “Happy” and “Baby,” Ashanti debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 503,000 and won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album.

During the interview, Ashanti also spoke about the awkward moment during the recent Ja Rule and Fat Joe VERZUZ where she ran into her ex Nelly onstage with the hug that went viral. “I really didn’t expect it, I didn’t know he was gonna be there, honestly. So when I saw him kind of coming across the stage, I was just like, ‘Oh…’ and it was so weird because we haven’t seen or spoken to each other for over six years so that was the first time in six years, so it was a weird feeling.”

Ashanti was on the talk show to promote her upcoming role in the movie Honey Girls, produced by Build-A-Bear Workshop. She will star as global pop-star Fancy G, the host of a talent competition that seeks to discover the next great solo artist. Three young musicians sign up for it but quickly discover that they are “better together” — a reference to the song “Everything Is Better” written for the Honey Girls toy line.

Honey Girls is available exclusively on DVD and digitally on October 19th. No release date has been set for the re-recorded Ashanti.