Ashanti has released her new children’s book, My Name Is a Story, which she wrote to encourage young kids to embrace their unique names. The Grammy winner stopped by ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday (July 13) to promote the book.
“I obviously have a unique name. I grew up and got teased just a little bit. So, this book is just about encouraging kids to be empowered and just to celebrate having a unique name,” she explained to the panel of GMA hosts.
“[If] it doesn’t sound like Sally, Beth, or something that they’re used to hearing, they may get a little self-conscious or embarrassed. So I want this book to give them the courage to celebrate their names and be happy about being different and unique.”
In addition to promoting My Name Is a Story, Ashanti discussed re-recording her self-titled debut album as an NFT exclusive to own the masters. She plans to release it later this year in honor of its 20th anniversary. She previously launched an NFT collection that included a reimagination of the iconic cover artwork.
Ashanti couldn’t stop by Good Morning America without a performance. First, the R&B veteran ran through radio smashes from her first two albums, including “Rock wit U (Awww Baby)” and “Happy.” Then, frequent collaborator and friend Ja Rule popped in to deliver a live rendition of “Mesmerize,” on which Ashanti is featured.
That’s not all. Ashanti nailed “Foolish,” her breakthrough solo single. She also gifted fans with a taste of her new song, “Falling on You.” She revealed at this year’s Essence Festival of Culture that she worked in collaboration with Bleu on the latter track.
Around the time Ashanti’s self-titled debut album celebrated its 20th anniversary, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ja Rule and actress Tichina Arnold delivered speeches before Ashanti took the mic to accept her honor.
Later this fall, Ashanti will perform at the ONE Musicfest in Atlanta, Georgia. She’ll be joined by Ja Rule at the two-day event where Jazmine Sullivan headlines. Legendary singer Lauryn Hill is set to make a rare appearance alongside various rap and R&B acts.
Ashanti shared the single “2:35 (I Want You)” and its supporting video in the winter of 2021. The song arrived the same day as her Verzuz battle with Keyshia Cole.
Watch Ashanti’s performances below.