Ashanti to Re-Record Debut Album After Gaining Ownership of Her Masters: 'So Surreal'
Ashanti is re-recording her debut album after nearly 20 years.
While appearing virtually on the Tamron Hall Show Wednesday, the 40-year-old Grammy winner spoke about the "surreal" moment of finally securing her masters, and announcing plans to re-record her self-titled album, which originally dropped in 2002.
"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," she told host Tamron Hall.
When the album dropped nearly two decades ago, it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, making history at the time as the highest-selling debut album from a female artist in its first week, according to Vibe.
Ashanti's hit singles from the project — which won a Grammy in 2003 for best contemporary R&B album — include "Foolish," "Baby," and "Happy."
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Now, the singer is re-recording Ashanti as an independent artist, noting that she's "grateful" for the "humbling" experience.
"It's such a blessing, you know, the fact that we are still here, we're living through a pandemic, and these blessings are still coming in, it just makes me so happy again, so humbled and such a believer," she told Hall, 51. "There's a higher power, and I think that just being as a person and praying and putting your heart into things you get that energy back, and I think that's so important. So, I'm just really, really happy."
Ashanti is one of many artists in the music industry who have spent years fighting for the masters of their own work.
Earlier this year, Taylor Swift dropped Fearless (Taylor's Version) — a re-recording of her second studio album — and announced plans to re-record her 2012 album, Red (Taylor's Version), in November, following a public struggle to gain ownership of the masters to her first six albums.
As of now, Ashanti has not announced when she plans to drop the re-recorded album ahead of its 20th anniversary The singer is currently preparing for the release of her upcoming musical movie, Honey Girls, coming Oct. 19.
The star will also soon hit the road for The Millennium Tour, kicking off Friday at The Forum in Inglewood, California.