Ashanti

With hitmaker Irv Gotti at the helm, Ashanti blasted into the urban music scene in 2002, topping the charts with multiple singles at once. She quickly became a sensation, gracing the covers of magazines and dominating urban radio. Ashanti built her reputation with duets, where she would complement an already popular rapper -- Ja Rule ("Always on Time"), Fat Joe ("What's Luv?"), the Notorious B.I.G. ("Unfoolish") -- contrasting the tough-guy male perspective with her own. It didn't take the young vocalist long to make a name for herself though: her debut album topped the Billboard album chart just as her debut solo single, "Foolish," was topping the Hot 100 chart. Her presence was inescapable.