The early ’00s produced a slew of talented female artists that held their own in a world, that until then, was ruled by the men in the industry. Ashanti was and still is one of those badass divas. With her sexy style, beautiful voice and undeniable charisma, the singer has managed to still stay on top of her game, almost two decades after her debut. And yet, with all of her success, Ashanti still remains humble and as engaging as ever.

Beginning with debut solo album, Ashanti. From there, her career continued to skyrocket landing her critically-acclaimed features such as ”What’s Luv” with Fat Joe and the love anthem  “Always on Time” with Ja Rule. Ashanti’s range is undeniable. She could partner with rap’s heavy hitters such as JAY-Z, and also churn out heart-bearing singles like “Baby” and “Happy.” 

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With a healthy five albums under her belt and a sixth one on the way, Ashanti is one of the decade’s most accomplished artist. The singer is also one of only three artists to have her first three Billboard Hot 100 singles in the top 10 at once — a streak that puts her in the rarest of company with the freaking Beatles and Cardi B (okurrrrrrrr!).

I sat down with the singer shortly after her sold out show at Foxwoods, in Connecticut. Wearing the same gold costume and giant sunglasses from her set, Ashanti greeted me with a big warm hug as we walked into her dressing room.

The “Happy” singer opened up about female empowerment in this music industry, her upcoming album and partnering with Diddy on his new Ciroc campaign.

There’s something about Ashanti and her star power, that when you’re with her, reminds you why she’s been a staple in this business for so many years. She’s a boss, she’s a diva and she isn’t slowing down any time soon.