LAS VEGAS, NEV. (March 4, 2014) -- Grammy Award-winning singer/ songwriter, actor and author ASHANTI will sing the National Anthem at the rematch between Fighter of the Decade MANNY PACQUIAO and undefeated two-division world champion TIMOTHY BRADLEY, JR. Pacquiao and Bradley will be battling for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title, Saturday, April 12, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The world welterweight championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
"I'm such a huge fan of Manny Pacquiao! I have family in the boxing business -- Howard Davis, Jr. and Dyah Davis," said Ashanti. "When I found out we were sitting next to each other courtside at the Knicks game, I said to my Dad, 'We should take a picture!' I told Manny I was a big fan and was so excited when he asked me to sing the National Anthem at his upcoming fight and I can't wait. I actually love boxing! Manny's such a champion and I can't wait to cheer him on!"
"Ashanti and I first met on February 5 in New York when we found ourselves sitting next to each other courtside at a Knicks game," said Pacquiao. "I told her I was a big fan and asked her if she would sing the U.S. National Anthem at my fight against Timothy Bradley. She quickly checked her schedule and then said she could and she would. The Knicks may have lost that night but I felt like the biggest winner in the world when I walked out of Madison Square Garden."
Ashanti’s forthcoming album, the highly-anticipated “Braveheart” will be released Today! Tuesday, March 4, on her label Written Entertainment, where she is the CEO, and distributed by eOne Music. The album features the heart-wrenching single, “Never Should Have,” that won the 2013 Soul Train Award for Best Independent R&B/Soul Performance. “Braveheart” also includes the tracks “I Got It” featuring Rick Ross and "First Real Love" featuring Beenie Man. Ashanti made her directorial debut for her video “The Woman You Love" featuring Buster Rhymes and produced by LT Hutton.
Ashanti burst onto the music scene with her smash hit, self-titled debut album “Ashanti.” It landed the No. 1 spot on both the Billboard Top 200 and R&B album charts, selling a whopping 504,593 units in its first week. Her first week showing set a SoundScan record as the most albums sold by any debut female artist in the chart’s history, granting her a spot in Guinness Book of World Records. With her hit song, “Foolish,” Ashanti also secured the No. 1 top spot on SIX Billboard charts simultaneously, including Hot R&B/ Hip-Hop Airplay, The Billboard 200, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks, Hot 100 Airplay, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Hot 100! “Foolish” stayed on the Billboard charts for 11 consecutive weeks. She made Billboard history by having her first three chart entries land in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. She is the first female to accomplish this feat, previously only attained by the Beatles.
That year she was awarded eight Billboard awards. Her album “Ashanti” topped the Billboard Album Chart and also won the Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album. In addition, that year she won two American Music Awards and the Soul Train Aretha Franklin Entertainer of the Year Award. In addition to her Grammy, she’s also received multiple Soul Train Awards, a MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Award, a Comet Award (Grammy Equivalent in Germany), Lady of Soul Awards, a Teen Choice Award and Nickelodeon’s Kid Choice Award, along with many other nominations including an MTV movie award nomination and an NAACP Image Award Nomination for her role as Kera in “Coach Carter.”