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Ashanti turns 40 today. The curvy singer celebrated her birthday with friends in Antigua and Barbuda.

"Reflecting on the blessings," Ashanti captioned a post that shows her relaxing on a yacht in an emerald sea.

Ashanti was born Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas on October 13, 1980 in Glen Cove, New York. Her mother was a dance teacher and her father was a former singer.

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Ashanti's mother, Tina Douglas (pictured), discovered her full singing potential when she overheard Ashanti singing Mary J. Blige's "Reminisce" at age 12.

WENN/McCauley

As a teenager, Ashanti wrote songs and performed in local talent shows. She got a small break as a child extra in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992) and in Ted Demme's Who's the Man?.

But her first love was music. Ashanti began performing around the city and she eventually came to the attention of Bad Boy Records, Jive and Murder Inc., where she was noticed by Murder Inc. CEO and co-founder Irv Gotti.

Gotti asked her to write hooks for his label artists and to perform with them in duets.

Her duets on Fat Joe's "What's Luv?" and Ja Rule's "Always on Time" helped launch the songs up the charts, becoming two of the biggest hit songs of 2002.
 

Ashanti became the first female artist to occupy the top two positions on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at the same time.

Following the success of her collaborations with Ja Rule and Fat Joe, Ashanti released her debut single, "Foolish", which contains a sample of the 1983 song "Stay with Me" by DeBarge.

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Ashanti's self-titled debut album, Ashanti, was released on Murder Inc. in April 2002 and debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart. The album was certified triple platinum in the United States and sold six million copies worldwide.

The album was a fan favorite, earning 8 Billboard Music Awards, 2 American Music Awards, and a Grammy Award in 2003 for Best Contemporary R&B Album.

In July 2003, Ashanti's sophomore album, Chapter II, also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 326,000 copies. Chapter II went platinum, selling over 1.5 million copies.

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In 2004, Ashanti began dating rapper Nelly and considered settling down to raise a family.

Ashanti and Nelly were the Beyonce and Jay-Z of their time. Fans couldn't get enough of the sexy couple. One fan made a scrap book filled with pictures of the hip-hop royal couple.

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Nelly and Ashanti ended their long-term relationship in 2014 after dating 10 years. Their union produced no children and Ashanti told friends she regretted not tying the knot with the St. Louis rapper, now 45.

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There were many rumors of cheating by both Ashanti and Nelly during their decade together. After the breakup, Ashanti earned a scandalous reputation as a home-wrecker.

Ashanti has been linked to Chink Santana (who was dating Keyshia Cole at the time); NFL player Darnell Dockett (who was married at the time), NBA star James Harden, comedian Michael Blackson, rapper Joyner Lucas, and more.

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Ashanti released 5 albums in her 18-year career. She was nominated for 8 Grammy Awards, winning a Grammy for her 2003 album Ashanti. She won 35 music awards in her stellar career, including 8 Billboard Music Awards and 2 American Music Awards.

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Singers Ciara (pictured), Idina Menzel, TLC and Kelly Rowland were among the performers who braved strong winds to celebrate the holiday at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City on Thursday, Nov. 28.
 

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Idina Menzel performed the holiday classic "Sleigh Ride". Menzel, 48, performed on top of the Balsam Hill float. She wore a luxurious light brown coat with fur trim and white knit hat.
 

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The ladies of TLC, T-Boz and Chili, waved to fans as they rode atop a huge float, while Ciara, and Rowland all wrapped up warm as they sang for the crowds atop elaborate floats.
 

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Ciara, wife of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, made sure everyone in the crowd knew her name as she performed atop a giant float.
 

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

The event also featured live sets from Ashanti (pictured), the Black Eyed Peas, Chicago, NCT 127, Lea Michele, Billy Porter, Natasha Bedingfield, Debbie Gibson, and The Roots.
 

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade almost canceled its traditional colorful big balloons due to the strong wind gusts, but the New York Police Department announced the giant balloons would be allowed to fly lower than normal just moments before the parade was set to start.

Ashanti, Blac Chyna

Ashanti, left, and Blac Chyna were spotted out & about in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Ashanti, who officially goes by "The Princess of R&B Ashanti", was spotted shopping at Chanel boutique while wearing Gucci from head to toe in West Hollywood on Wednesday. The 37-year-old NY native is preparing to drop her 7th studio album this summer. The Princess of R&B Ashanti is a fave of Sandrarose.com readers.

Photos by PRPH / BACKGRID

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Ashanti, Gigi Hadid

Grammy winning singer Ashanti, left, was seen leaving Alfred's Coffee Shop on Melrose in West Hollywood, wearing a black vintage Gucci canvas Double GG fanny pack (sold out). The 37-year-old told iHeartRadio that fans can expect to hear "a lot of new music" from her this year.

Photos by PRPH / BACKGRID

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Ashanti

Singer Ashanti and her mother got into an accident with an Uber driver moments after leaving a doctor's appointment in Beverly Hills on Monday. According to the Uber driver, Ashanti's mother, Tina Douglas, sideswiped the car with her black Cadillac Escalade, causing minor damage to both vehicles.

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John Hinckley Ashanti

Erotomania is defined as a delusional disorder that leads the sufferer to believe a person of higher status (usually a famous person or celebrity) is in love with him or her.

Unlike fleeting infatuation or a "crush", erotomania is a delusional disorder with longterm consequences for the sufferer and the victim.

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