Next year, Ashanti will celebrate the 20th anniversary of her triple-platinum self-titled debut album by re-recording the entire project.

The 2002 album featured the hits “Foolish,” “Happy” and “Baby,” and earned a Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album. Now, the 41-year-old singer looks forward to releasing the new version on her own independent label.

“It makes the most sense after being in the game for 20 years and having the rights to be able to go back and re-record my first album,” she explains to Essence about why she is recreating the most successful project of her career.

She says her goal is to “sonically make it feel that same rawness, but with the 2022 spin on it — just sonically making it crispy,” adding, “I don’t want to stray too far because I’m really proud of what we created, but I’m excited about it.”

The singer/actress notes that when she recorded the original music, she was “a little naive, a little green, and super vulnerable…a young girl from Long Island in SoHo writing records in the studio with a bunch of rappers,” including Ja Rule.

“I was happy that as a young female, I was writing my own records,” she recalls. “A lot of the guys didn’t believe me. They thought I had a ghostwriter. They would make me sit in front of them and write.”

In 2022, in addition to recording the new version of the album, Ashanti will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“The fact that everything is happening in God’s timing that I’m celebrating my 20-year anniversary,” Ashanti says with gratitude. She adds about also getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year, “The timing couldn’t have been planned better.”

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