A 'Rose' By Any Other Name
R&B star Ashanti will release her third album, "Concrete Rose," this week via the Inc./Def Jam. The 7 Aurelius-produced first single "Only U" peaked last week at No. 18 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart and jumps 35-23 this week on the Hot 100. Labelmates Ja Rule and Lloyd make guest appearances on the set.
"Concrete Rose" is the follow-up to Ashanti's 2003 album "Chapter II," which debuted at No. 1 on both The Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally. The set has sold more than 1.46 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Ashanti eased her way back into the spotlight recently with a guest spot on Ja Rule's single "Wonderful," which is No. 8 on the Hot 100 this week. She also appears with R. Kelly in the accompanying video.
Beyond music, Ashanti will make her feature film debut alongside Samuel L. Jackson in "Coach Carter," which opens Jan. 14 in U.S. theaters. She will also play Dorothy in an ABC production of "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz," scheduled to run in May.