Ashanti, whose last name is Douglas, was born and raised in Glen Cove, New York.
Like many other Christian singers, Ashanti got her start singing in her church choir. Beyond that, Ashanti doesn't talk about religion. She has a favorite crucifix pendant that she wears around her neck, but she hasn't talked about that either.
She mentions God in some of her songs, but not in a Jesus-is-our-Lord-and-savior kind of way. It's more like, of course I believe in God but I'm not going to shove it in your face. Her song "Angel" for instance is just about as hard-core as she gets:
I never thought I could love again/ until God brought an angel in my life
So we know Ashanti is a Christian, and at least moderately religious. Beyond that, she's keeping it to herself.
Beyond partisan politics
She's keeping her political affiliations to herself as well. She hasn't endorsed any particular candidate or party, but she is involved in several social causes that transcend partisan politics.
She joined several other celebrities in a public service announcement encouraging young people to speak up against hate. The PSA was in response to the death of 15-year-old Lawrence King, a gay young man who was shot by a fellow student.
She is also very involved in domestic violence awareness. She recorded an 11-minute music video of her song "Rain On Me" which tells the story of a young woman in an abusive relationship.
We wanted to make a short movie that was 'real'—that showed that no matter if you're rich or poor, black or white, famous or not, domestic violence can touch your life.
She sold a mini-disc of the video to benefit the Family Violence Prevention Fund. She also recorded a PSA about the topic that aired in movie theaters across the country.
She's dedicated to the empowerment of women outside the domestic abuse realm as well. She started a forum on her website called "I Declare Me" as space for women to discuss a wide range of topics from careers to voting to teen obesity.
So even though she doesn't specifically talk politics, Ashanti is clearly devoted to bettering the lives of her fellow Americans from gay teens to working women.