Ashanti to Perform on ABC’s “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” Program

Ashanti is changing up her New Year’s Eve plans…

The 41-year-old half-Afro-Dominican singer/actress and Ja Rule will join Journey as headliners for ABC’s Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest in Times Square. AshantiAshanti’s last minute addition comes as Karol G, who originally had been scheduled, canceled her performance.

The changes are the latest for the New Year’s Eve special, after LL Cool J announced yesterday he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would not be performing as scheduled, and R&B singer Chlöe also had dropped out.

Other A-list stars and performers still scheduled for Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest include Pose alum Billy Porter, who co-hosts in New Orleans, Daddy Yankee in Puerto Rico and a Los Angeles bill that includes Ciara, Avril Lavigne & Travis Barker, Big Boi, OneRepublic and French Montana.

There have been concerns about proceeding with New Year’s Eve events in New York as the city has seen infection rates skyrocket due to the highly contagious Omicron variant.

NY Mayor Bill de Blasio last week had announced that the city would be proceeding with the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop but with fewer revelers and tighter rules, including masks and social distancing. In light of the decision by the city to keep the celebration on, ABC is proceeding with Rockin’ Eve 2022 while adhering to CDC/local protocols regarding audience attendees in Times Square.

Fox last week canceled its New Year’s Eve special – Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022 – as a result of the rising spread of the Omicron variant in New York. The special also was set to be produced in Times Square.

Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest kicks off at 8:00 pm ET on ABC.

Cardi B Earns Three Soul Train Award Nominations

Cardi B’s got soul…

The nominations have been announced for this year’s Soul Train Awards, with the 29-year-old half-Dominican American rap superstar picking up three nods.

Cardi B

Cardi B is nominated in the Video of the Year category for her sexified “Wild Side” collaboration with Normani.

The “WAP” singer is also nominated twice in the Best Dance Performance category. She earned a nod for her “Rumors” collaboration with Lizzo, as well as her “Wild Side” collab with Normani.

The Soul Train Awards, which recognizes the best in soul and R&B, will be taped at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem on November 20. It will premiere on Sunday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BET and BET Her. As previously announced, Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold will co-host the show for the fourth consecutive year.

Bruno Mars is also up for three awards…

The 36-year-old part-Puerto Rican Grammy-winning singer and his Silk Sonic group Anderson .Paak are nominated for Song of the Year, Video of the Year and The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award for their chart-topping single, “Leave the Door Open.”

Jhené Aiko is nominated for Best R&B/Soul Female Artist, while Ashanti is nominated in the Certified Soul category.

H.E.R. leads the 2021 Soul Train Awards nominations with eight nods.

The show will be special on two counts. This will mark the first time the show has been taped at the Apollo (or in New York, for that matter). It will also honor the 50th anniversary of Soul Train, which made its debut in October 1971.

Connie Orlando, EVP, specials, music programming & music strategy, will oversee the show, with Jamal Noisette VP, specials, music programming & music strategy, set to co-executive produce for BET. Jesse Collins Entertainment’s Jesse Collins and Jeannae Rouzan–Clay will serve as executive producers.

Here’s the complete list of nominees for the 2021 Soul Train Awards:

Song of the year:
Blxst feat. Ty Dolla $Ign & Tyga – “Chosen”
Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak (Silk Sonic) – “Leave the Door Open”
H.E.R. – “Damage”
Jazmine Sullivan – “Pick Up Your Feelings”
Wizkid feat. Tems – “Essence”
Yung Bleu feat. Drake – “You’re Mines Still”

Album of the year:
Blxst – No Love Lost
Doja Cat – Planet Her
Giveon – When It’s All Said and Done… Take Time
H.E.R. – Back of My Mind
Jazmine Sullivan – Heaux Tales
Wizkid – Made in Lagos

Video of the year:
Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak (Silk Sonic) – “Leave the Door Open”
Chris Brown, Young Thug feat. Future, Lil Durk, Latto – “Go Crazy (Remix)”
H.E.R. – “Damage”
Jazmine Sullivan – “Pick Up Your Feelings”
Normani feat. Cardi B – “Wild Side”
Wizkid feat. Tems – “Essence”

Best R&B/soul female artist:
Alicia Keys
Doja Cat
H.E.R.
Jazmine Sullivan
Jhené Aiko
SZA

Best R&B/soul male artist:
Blxst
Chris Brown
Giveon
Lucky Daye
Tank
Usher

Best collaboration:
Chris Brown, Young Thug feat. Future, Lil Durk, Latto – “Go Crazy (Remix)”
Doja Cat feat. SZA – “Kiss Me More”
H.E.R. feat. Chris Brown – “Come Through”
Jazmine Sullivan feat. H.E.R. – “Girl Like Me”
Wizkid feat. Tems – “Essence”
Yung Bleu feat. Drake – “You’re Mines Still”

Best new artist:
Blxst
Capella Grey
Morray
Tems
Tone Stith
Yung Bleu

Certified soul award:
Anthony Hamilton
Ashanti
Charlie Wilson
The Isley Brothers
Jam & Lewis
T-Pain

Best dance performance:
Chloe X Halle – “Ungodly Hour”
Chris Brown, Young Thug – “City Girls”
Lizzo Feat. Cardi B – “Rumors”
Normani Feat. Cardi B- “Wild Side”
Usher – “Bad Habits”

Best gospel/inspirational award:
Brian Courtney Wilson
James Fortune
Kelly Price
Kirk Franklin
Maverick City Music
Tasha Cobbs Leonard

The Ashford and Simpson songwriter’s award:
“Can’t Let It Show” – written by: Kate Bush, Durrell Babbs (Tank)
“Come Through” – written by: Carl Mccormick, Chris Brown, H.E.R., Kelvin Wooten, Michael L. Williams Ii, Tiara Thomas (H.E.R. Feat. Chris Brown)
“Damage” – written by: Anthony Clemons Jr., Carl Mccormick, H.E.R., James Harris, Jeff Gitelman, Terry Lewis, Tiara Thomas (H.E.R.)
“Essence” – written by: Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, Oniko Eddie Uzezi, Oniko Evawero, Richard Isong, Temilade Openiyi (Wizkid Feat. Tems)
“Leave the Door Open” – written by: Bruno Mars, Brandon Anderson, Dernst Emile Ii, Christopher Brody Brown (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic)
“Pick Up Your Feelings” – written by: Blue June, Chi, Audra Mae Butts, Jazmine Sullivan, Kyle Coleman, Michael Holmes (Jazmine Sullivan)

Ashanti to Receive Lady of Soul Honor at This Month’s Soul Train Awards

Ashanti is the (Soul) Lady of the moment…

The 41-year-old half-Afro-Dominican singer/actress will receive the Lady of Soul honor at this year’s Soul Train Awards.

Ashanti

“I’m honored to be recognized as this year’s Lady of Soul honoree,” Ashanti said. “This is a full circle moment for me because I received the Aretha Franklin entertainer of the year award at the Lady of Soul Awards in 2002. As we commemorate 50 years of Soul Train, I’m proud to be a part of this legacy and to return to the Apollo to celebrate.”

Previous Lady of Soul honorees include Jill Scott (2015), Brandy (2016), SWV (2017), Faith Evans (2018), Yolanda Adams (2019) and Monica (2020).

Maxwell will receive the Legend award, which has gone in recent years to Babyface (2015), Teddy Riley (2016), Toni Braxton (2017), Erykah Badu (2018) and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis (2019).

“It’s an honor to be presented with the Legend award by a community that’s been growing with me throughout my career,” said the half-Puerto Rican R&B singer in a statement. “I’m so grateful to be sharing this moment with everyone and returning to the Apollo for an evening of excellence.”

BET Soul plans to dedicate a full hour to music videos by Maxwell and Ashanti, starting Wednesday (Nov. 3) at 10:00 a.m. ET. Check local listings.

The Soul Train Awards, which recognizes the best in soul and R&B, will be taped at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem on November 20. It will premiere on Sunday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BET and BET Her. As previously announced, Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold will co-host the show for the fourth consecutive year.

Ashanti to Star In & Produce the Rom-Com “The Plus One”

Ashanti won’t be going it alone…

The 40-year-old half-Afro-Dominican singer/actress has signed on to star in and produce the romantic comedy The Plus One.

Ashanti

Ashanti will play Lizzie, whose only request of her “Male of Honor” Marshall is that he doesn’t bring his hated ex Marie to her destination wedding. But lovesick Marshall brings her as his plus one, and Marie does everything in her power to wreck Lizzie’s big day.

Filming is scheduled to start in December in Florida.

The film’s director and additional cast members have yet to be revealed.

Ashanti most recently starred in the Sony Pictures Worldwide acquisition Honey Girls, which wrapped in March.

Her movie credits to date include Coach Carter with Samuel L. JacksonThe Muppets’ Wizard of OzJohn Tucker Must Die and Resident Evil: Extinction.

The singer, who has sold more than 27 million records worldwide, will be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022.

Fat Joe to Face Off Against Ja Rule in All-New Verzuz Battle

Fat Joe is ready for a hip-hop battle…

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American rapper will face off against Ja Rule in an all-new Verzuz battle on September 14.

Fat Joe

The friendly competition will take place in person, live from New York.

“The summer ain’t over!!” Verzuz co-creator Swizz Beatz wrote on Instagram revealing the news.

In a separate announcement post on Instagram, Ja Rule wrote, “#ICONN.” Meanwhile, Fat Joe captioned his identical post, “The price just went [up] @fatjoe @verzuz @jarule.”

This marks the first Verzuz battle since last month, when The LOX and Dipset hit the stage to deliver some fan-favorite hit songs.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Ja Rule has released eight No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles, including “Always On Time,” featuring Ashanti, which peaked at No. 1 in February 2002 and charted for 27 weeks. The hitmaker has released a total of 17 Hot 100 songs. His debut studio album, Venni Vetti Veccipeaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, where it charted for 31 weeks.

Fat Joe, who began his career in music as a member of hip-hop group Diggin’ in the Crates Crew (D.I.T.C.), released his debut solo album Represent in 1993. His single from the album, “Flow Joe,” reached No. 1 on the Hot Rap Songs chart.

Fat Joe’s “What’s Luv?” featuring Ashanti and Ja Rule, peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Ja Rule’s collaborative hit track “New York,” featuring Fat Joe and Jadakiss, was a top 30 Hot 100 song. It peaked at No. 27 on the list in 2004, where it charted for 14 weeks.

Hip-hop fans can catch the newly announced Verzuz battle between Fat Joe and Ja Rule on September 14 at 9:00 pm ET, which will be available for live streaming via the Triller app, FITE TV or on the Verzuz TV Instagram account.

Salma Hayek to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Salma Hayek will have a permanent place in Hollywood

The 54-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated actress and producer is among the 38 honorees invited to join the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Salma Hayek

Hayek, who moved to Hollywood in 1991, rose to acclaim in films like Desperado and From Dusk till Dawn. She earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in Frida.

But Hayek isn’t the only Latin honoree this year…

Tessa Thompson was selected in the Motion Picture category.

The 37-year-old Afro-Panamanian American actress gained mainstream recognition for her starring role as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame.

Her other credits include Sylvie’s Love, Men in Black: International, and Creed.

Ashanti has been selected in the Recording category.

The 40-year-old part-Dominican American Grammy-winning singer and actress was first discovered as a teenager and later signed to Murder Inc. Records in 2002.

That year, she was featured on Fat Joe‘s “What’s Luv?” and Ja Rule‘s “Always on Time,” both of which became two of the biggest hit songs of 2002; Ashanti became the first female artist to occupy the top two positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously when “Foolish” and “What’s Luv?” were at numbers one and two, respectively.

Other Latin artists selected include Los Huracanes Del Norte and Angelica Vale.

These honorees were chosen from among hundreds of nominees at a meeting of the Walk of Fame selection committee and ratified by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors this week. Radio personality Ellen K, chair of the selection committee (and a past Walk of Fame honoree), announced the new honorees on the Walk of Fame’s website.

The selection panel, made up of fellow Walk of Famers, handpicks a group of honorees each year that represent various genres of the entertainment world. “The panel did an amazing job choosing these very talented people,” said Ellen K. “We can’t wait to see each honoree’s reaction as they realize that they are becoming a part of Hollywood’s history with the unveiling of their star on the world’s most famous walkway.”

Dates have not been scheduled for these star ceremonies. Recipients have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before their selection expires. Upcoming star ceremonies are usually announced 10 days prior to dedication on the Walk of Fame website.

Here’s the full list of Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2022 honorees (using their full names as shown on their list):

Recording: Black Eyed Peas, George E. Clinton Jr., Ashanti Douglas, DJ Khaled, Avril Lavigne, Los Huracanes Del Norte, Martha Reeves and Ermias Asghedom (Nipsey Hussle, posthumous).

Motion pictures: Francis Ford Coppola, Macaulay Culkin, Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, James Hong, Helen Hunt, Michael B. Jordan, Regina King, Ray Liotta, Ewan McGregor, Adam McKay, Jason Momoa, Tessa Thompson and Carrie Fisher (posthumous)

Television: Byron Allen, Greg Berlanti, Ricky Gervais, Peter Krause, Robert Odenkirk, Holly Robinson-Peete, Norman Reedus, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jean Smart, Ming-Na Wen and Kenan Thompson.

Live theatre/live performance: Patti LuPone, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. and Angelica Vale

Radio: Richard Blade

Sports entertainment: Michael Strahan

Ashanti to Star in Build-A-Bear’s Live-Action Film “Honey Girls”

Ashanti is ready to grin and (build-a-)bear it!

The 40-year-old part-Dominican American Grammy-winning singer and actress will star alongside digital star Tessa Brooks in Honey Girls from Build-A-Bear Entertainment.

Ashanti

The live-action project is based on Build-A-Bear’s Honey Girls toy line.

In addition to Ashanti, who appeared in John Tucker Must Die, will star alongside Aliyah Mastin, Ava Grace, and Frankie McNellis, all playing the titular Honey Girls.

Music video director Trey Fanjoy makes her feature film directorial debut based off a screenplay by Mike Mariano and Cindy McCreery.

Honey Girls will include Julia Michels, another Grammy winner, as Music Supervisor. Lady Gaga collaborator Mark Nilan, Jr., who won a Grammy in 2020 for his work on the soundtrack to A Star Is Born, writes original songs.

Ashanti will star as global pop-star Fancy G, the host of a talent competition that seeks to discover the next great solo artist. Three young musicians sign up for it but quickly discover that they are “better together” — a reference to the song “Everything Is Better” written for the Honey Girls toy line. They form a secret band called Honey Girls and, with an immediate viral mega hit on their hands, perform in disguise to avoid elimination by Fancy G. In the end, the competitors must decide what is more important — fame or friendship.

“The Honey Girls story uses the power of music as a catalyst to both encourage the celebration of individuality while recognizing that we can also be ‘better together,’ wrapped in a fun girl-empowerment story of discovery,” Sharon Price John, President and CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., said in a statement.

Ashanti was last seen on screen on an episode of the CW‘s Dynasty on season 3, and she also starred in the Lifetime movie A Christmas Winter Song. Aside from her music, which includes her self-titled award-winning, chart-topping album and her most recent single drop “2:35 (I Want You),” Ashanti is also known for roles in Coach CarterResident Evil Extinction, and The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz.

Honey Girls is produced through Foundation Media Partners with Patrick Hughes serving as producer. John is also acting as executive producer.

The film was acquired by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and is expected to release this fall.

Ashanti to Face Off Against Keyshia Cole in Next Verzuz Battle

Ashanti is preparing for a big musical battle…

The 39-year-old part-Dominican American Grammy-winning singer and actress will face off against Keyshia Cole in the next Verzuz battle on December 12.

Ashanti

“Yeah, it’s official! The paperwork is IN,” the official Verzuz Instagram teased the “legendary Ladies Night,” with a split image of the singers’ faces.

The matchup is no surprise for fans, who’ve been buzzing about the potential pairing since May, when Cole commented under a side-by-side comparison of the duo’s hits. “My fans sent me this @timbaland @therealswizz @ashanti @verzuztv,” she wrote at the time. “is this accurate?”

The matchup marks the fourth female-charged battle, following Erykah Badu and Jill ScottMonica and Brandy, and Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle.

Ashanti’s biggest hits include the chart-topping singles “Foolish” and “Always on Time,” with Ja Rule.

Don’t miss Cole and Ashanti’s Verzuz battle on Saturday, December 12 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT on Verzuz’s Instagram page and on Apple Music.

Ashanti Launches Swimwear Collection with PrettyLittleThing

Ashanti’s bringing the heat this summer…

The 38-year-old part-Dominican American singer has designed a line of swimsuits.

Ashanti

The “Always On Time” singer has joined forces with online boutique PrettyLittleThing to introduce a line of bold swimwear pieces perfect for the summer.

“I feel like everyone deserves to look and feel amazing,” Ashanti told E! Newsahead of the official launch. “I wanted pieces that would empower women.”

Ashanti

Ashanti’s swim collection features unique styles and patterns like a neon lime suit, peacock print two-piece and silver metallic bikini.

“These all stand out because they’re so different and exotic and they come in a variety of cuts for each body,” she remarked.

Ashanti’s swimwear is inspired by her travels to many tropical places, like The Amazonand The Caribbean.  The line, which features plus sizes, also includes one pieces and cover-ups.

Cardi B Earns Six Soul Train Awards Nominations

Cardi B has plenty of Soul

The 26-year-old half-Dominican American rap sensation has earned six Soul Train Awards nominations, tying her for the most nods this year with her “Finesse” collaborator Bruno Mars.

Cardi B & Bruno Mars

Cardi B and the 33-year-old part-Puerto Rican Grammy-winning singer earned five nods for their hit collaboration. “Finesse” is up for Song of the Year, Video of the Year, Best Collaboration Performance, Best Dance Performance and The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award.

Additionally, Cardi B’s “I Like It,” featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin, is up for Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year, while Mars is up for Best R&B Soul Male Artist.

Other Latino nominees include Ashanti,Miguel, Daddy Yankee and Mariah Carey.

Filming on November 17 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, BET Presents: 2018 Soul Train Awards will air on BET and BET HER on November 25 (8 p.m. ET). See the complete tally of nominations below.

Presenters and performers for BET Presents: 2018 Soul Train Awardswill be announced in the coming weeks.

Here’s the complete list of nominees for the 2018 Soul Train Awards:

BEST NEW ARTIST
Daniel Caesar
Jorja Smith
Kali Uchis
Leon Thomas
Normani
Queen Naija 

SOUL TRAIN CERTIFIED AWARD
Ashanti
Jorja Smith
Ledisi
Lenny Kravitz
MAJOR.
Tamia 

BEST R&B/SOUL FEMALE ARTIST
Beyoncé
Ella Mai
H.E.R.
Mariah Carey
SZA 

BEST R&B/SOUL MALE ARTIST
Bruno Mars
Childish Gambino
Daniel Caesar
John Legend
Khalid
Tank 

BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL AWARD
Andra Day
Kirk Franklin
Lecrae
Snoop Dogg
Tori Kelly 

RHYTHM & BARS AWARD (BEST HIP-HOP SONG OF THE YEAR)
Cardi B – “I Like It” featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin
Childish Gambino – “This is America”
DJ Khaled – “No Brainer” featuring Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Quavo
Drake – “In My Feelings”
The Carters – “Apeshit” 

SONG OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars – “Finesse” (Remix) featuring Cardi B
Ella Mai – “Boo’d Up”
H.E.R. – “Every Kind of Way”
SZA – “The Weekend”
The Internet – “Come Over” 

ALBUM/MIXTAPE OF THE YEAR
Chloe X Halle – The Kids Are Alright
Chris Brown – Heartbreak on a Full Moon
H.E.R. – H.E.R.
Leon Bridges – Good Thing
Miguel – War & Leisure
The Internet – Hive Mind 

THE ASHFORD AND SIMPSON SONGWRITER’S AWARD
“Finesse” (Remix) – Written by Gene Hernandez, Belcalis Almanzar, Chris Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Ray McCullough, Klenord Raphael, Jeremy Reeves, James Yip, Ray Romulus (Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B)
“Summertime Magic” – Written by Donald Glover, Ludwig Goransson (Childish Gambino)
Best Part” – Written by Ashton Simmonds, H.E.R., Riley Bell, Matthew Burnett, Jordan Evans (Daniel Caesar featuring H.E.R.)
“Boo’d Up” – Written by Ella Howell, Dijon McFarlane, Joelle James, Larrance Dopson (Ella Mai)
“Focus” – Written by H.E.R., Darhyl Camper, Justin Love (H.E.R.)
“Broken Clocks” – Written by Solana Rowe, Cody Fayne, Adam Feeney, Ashton Simmonds, Thomas Beesley (SZA) 

BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE
Bruno Mars – “Finesse” (Remix) featuring Cardi B
Chris Brown – “Tempo”
Ciara – “Level Up”
HoodCelebrityy – “Walking Trophy”
Janet Jackson – “Made for Now” featuring Daddy Yankee 

BEST COLLABORATION PERFORMANCE
Bruno Mars – “Finesse” (Remix) featuring Cardi B
Daniel Caesar – “Best Part” featuring H.E.R.
John Legend – “A Good Night” featuring BloodPop
Khalid featuring Ty Dolla $ign and 6lack – “OTW”
SZA – “Doves in the Wind” featuring Kendrick Lamar

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars – “Finesse” (Remix) featuring Cardi B
Ella Mai – “Boo’d Up”
H.E.R. – “Avenue”
SZA – “Broken Clocks”
The Internet – “Come Over”