From breaking Billboard charts to starring in films like “Coach Carter” and “Resident Evil: Extinction,” Grammy award-winning singer Ashanti has seemingly done it all. Now, the 41-year-old New York native is expanding her artistic repertoire into a new creative territory that might come as a surprise to fans.
In late March, the “What’s Luv” hitmaker revealed the cover for her new children’s book “My Name Is A Story,” which celebrates unique names and the power of individuality.
Based on real-life experiences drawn from the star’s childhood, the sweet children’s book depicts Ashanti’s journey of empowerment as she learns to love and appreciate her special name.
“First days aren’t easy for a girl with a name like Ashanti. It feels like no one can pronounce it correctly! But with some encouragement from her mom, Ashanti spells her name and learns just how special it is,” a synopsis for the book reads.
On Instagram, the talented artist gushed about the big news, telling fans that she wrote the adorable story to “remind children that every name is special and deserves to be honored and celebrated.”
“Every name tells a story,” the BET Award recipient continued. “Saying each other’s names correctly is one way to value and see people fully. My hope is that MY NAME IS A STORY will be an inspiration to anyone who has been made fun of because their name was different, or had their name mispronounced or not pronounced at all,” she added.
Ashanti recently shared more about her excitement for the forthcoming book in an exclusive interview with our sister site Hello Beautiful.
“I can’t wait for kids to read it. I can’t wait for parents to read it to their children, especially those with unique names,” Ashanti said in the interview.
She shared a story about meeting a woman with her same first name, remarking how it was the “first time” that had ever happened.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I’m just excited for people to see the book, read the book, understand a little bit about my journey,” Ashanti said.
“My Name Is A Story,” which features stunning illustrations created by artist Monica Mikai, is slated to hit shelves on June 12.
In related news, back in April, the inimitable singer and songwriter celebrated the 20th anniversary of her eponymous debut album which has garnered much success over the years.
Ashanti earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World records for most albums sold by any debut female artist in the SoundScan chart’s history. The album sold over 503,000 copies within its first week following its debut in 2002.
More recently, Ashanti made history by becoming the first Black female artist to become a co-founder of a Web3 tech company after she partnered with EQ Exchange to create an exclusive NFT collection in honor of her debut album.