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Her love of music continued to rise as she attended high school. 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.
Adding to her success, Ashanti took home several awards: two American Music Awards, the Soul Train Aretha Franklin award for Entertainer of the Year and a Teen Choice Award for Breakout Artist of the Year in 2002. The album finally received double platinum status in the United States and was certified gold in UK.Soon after signing a contract, she was seen singing in such clubs and cafes as the Soul Cafe, China Club, Madison Square Garden, Caroline's Comedy Club and Greek Fest 2000.After showcasing her soulful voice as a featured backup singer on Vita's 2001 hip hop remake of Madonna's "Justify My Love," which appeared on the Fast and Furious soundtrack, Ashanti was invited to sing background for Big Pun hit "How We Roll" in 2001."I want to create something so real and reflective that people just sit back and listen like, 'damn, was she in my window last night, because this really happened to me.' Everyone has gone through something that's on this album, and I want to be able to articulate their feelings." Ashanti Ashanti eventually released her self-titled debut album in 2001, in which she also penned all 12 tracks.With its lead single "Foolish," Ashanti began to cement a name for her self.