Let’s just say it’s hard to keep up with Ashanti. Ever since the R&B star catapulted to fame with her track “Foolish” from her eponymous debut album in 2002, she’s never showed signs of slowing down.
From winning Grammys to acting in musicals and films, Ashanti’s used to wearing many hats—and sometimes all at once. We caught up with her as she was wrapping up her latest venture into TV as Lifetime’s Latasha Durant on the hit series Army Wives. Of course, the hardworking “Princess of Hip-Hop & R&B” was also busy promoting her new track, “Never Should Have,” off of her soon-to-be-released album Braveheart—her first studio album in five years.
Despite juggling these two big projects and packing her bags to jet set to a performance in Dubai (yeah, for real), Ashanti took time out to touch base with all of you loyal fans out there and answer your burning questions.
So here you go: You guys asked, Ashanti answered…
Will you be on Army Wives for the long haul? Or just this season? -Trinika Dodson Washington
It was such an amazing experience for me; I think I’d like to do it again.
What’s one thing you would say to military wives and families now that you play an army wife and mother? And what’s one thing you will take away from this experience?
-Patricia A. Richey-Holt
I have a tremendous amount of respect for military families. To have to worry about your loved ones and still try and live a normal life is extremely hard. They give so much of their lives to help and protect our country so it’s an honor to portray such admirable people. I believe in order to live a full life you must have genuine support of friends and family.
Have you considered doing a stripped down or acoustic version of ‘Never Should Have’? #AskAshanti -Dewunmi Brown Combs
Yes, I’m planning on doing a stripped down performance version this month for iTunes.
Hey Ashanti! Have you ever considered re-making the album “Can’t Stop” since it was not originally released upon your consent? I love the songs on the album and now that you have grown, I feel you should remake it with your new sound of voice. -Loving Mehfirst
This is a touchy situation for me; that album was a collection of demos put out against my will. Although the lyrics are great, the overall production was not up to my standards, but thanks for the love—LOL! It’s a good thought.
Will you be doing a BraveHeart tour?! -Raven Hager
That is definitely my plan!
When you feel discouraged, what motivates you to keep on pushing? -Jeanelle Bailey
Sometimes I think about when I meet fans, and they tell me how my songs have affected them and their lives. I’ve had fans cry and tell me how my music has helped them through suicidal thoughts and depression. So the motivation comes from making so many people happy.
Watch Ashanti’s new video, “Never Should Have”:
Since you’ve been on hiatus from music for an extended period of time, why make the decision to return to the game independently as opposed to a major label deal, at least until you regain your mainstream audience? -Quinn Que Harrison
Because I’m not interested in a 360 deal. I was offered seven deals from seven different major labels between 2009-2011, and to be quite honest…nowadays, you need a hit record, a great radio team, an amazing PR firm, social media, a big budget, a team that is ready to work extremely hard, and the drive and passion to win! At the end of the day, the majors and the independents are contacting the exact same people.
Who is the most fun on the set [of Army Wives]? Are there a lot of pranks being played? -Ruth A. Hillegass
I had the most fun with Torrey [Devitto] and Elle [McLemore], not a lot of pranks being played, but definitely a lot of jokes and off-camera entertainment.
Ashanti, when do you feel that you’re gonna want to settle down? -Briana Sharon
After about 100 million. LOL!
Which artist would you like to tour with? Which artists do you think are hot right now? Male/Female? -@ashantidaily
@ashanti will you look to do more theatre? Would you do The Wiz again or something similar? -@OraSTL
I’m not sure about theatre. Broadway is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I adore The Wiz, but I think I’m Dorothy’d out! LOL!
What would be your ideal concert to attend, strictly as a fan and not as a performer? -@MsJadaSamira
A combination of hip hop, R&B, reggae, and a sprinkle of pop! LOL!
When @ashanti was on Chelsea Lately, there was a story about you getting a hickey, can you tell us the whole story?? -@AshantiOMG
Well, the full story is in my book, Foolish/Unfoolish Reflections on Love, but I remember getting it at a party and covering it up with make-up when I got home; when my dad saw it, I just played it off like it was a mosquito bite.
How do you deal with the negative things that people say about you? -Shawdy TheBoss Masters
I don’t. Always remember….Elephants don’t swat flies.
You still chat with Ja Rule? -Dasan Bevil
Ja and I actually have written letters back and forth, and I’m glad he’s back home now.
Watch Ashanti on Lifetime’s ‘Army Wives’ and look out for her new album ‘Braveheart,’ set for release on June 4th!