Who Knew She Could Do That? Ashanti Covers Chaka Khan’s “Sweet Thing”

March 19, 2014  |  

Source: YouTube

When we think about Ashanti, powerhouse vocalist is not one of the first descriptors that comes to mind. Sure, she had hits from back in the day but her voice has always been kind of light.

But in a recent performance for Boombox’s “Off The Record” series, we see a different side of Ashanti. She took a risk and decided to cover Chaka Khan’s legendary “Sweet Thing.” When Ashanti explained why she was singing this song she said it was because people, even people as close to her, like her hairdresser, didn’t know she had this potential.

She ain’t never lied.

When I saw that she was covering the song, I had my doubts but before I even clicked on the video, I saw that Chaka Khan, herself, thanked her for the tribute.


Chaka tweeted: “I am so BLESSED 2 have your beautiful talent paying a tribute 2 me! What a great birthday gift! Much love!!”  (Chaka turns 61 later this month.)

So it must be something ,right? Correct.

I was shocked and pleasantly surprised.

Take a listen to this song and let us know what you think? Did Ashanti kill it or what?


Trending on MadameNoire

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  • Lady Yah

    Go Shanti!!!

  • Just saying!!

    I hate to be the pessimist but she sounds the same to me…then again I have her first album so I kind of already knew she sounded like this. I think that because of the type of music we consume today though, that we think someone singing certain notes automatically means something. Quality is very important however, and I personally don’t see much improvement there. I still like her though lol

  • Simone Mackey

    She did that! And she sounds a lot better! In my book she’s good!

  • Linda Ramsey

    She is NO CHAKA….That’s it and that’s all…She RUINED the song!

  • CDH

    I think she did a great job! I’ve never understood the hate either. Some of your popular singer like Ciara, Kelly, Ri Ri, don’t have the strongest voices either, true powerhouse voices belong to Chrisette & Ledisi,& Heather

  • DeeMunny

    I clicked on this thinkin …its ain’t gonna be all that, like she’s still gonna sound like she’s whining… but she did that! Her voice and pitch arent really positives to me but I liked the way she sang this. And I HAVE to give her props for still doing what she does. I was in middle school listening to her music and she’s coming right back. Love it.

  • Zenikki StrengthandLight Young

    I always knew Murder Inc wasn’t doing Ashanti justice. I saw a live performance very early in her career and she has been a fav of mine every since.

  • Tyquinn

    Ashanti. Beyonce’s ONLY competition. (or the only person who has potential to rival her).

  • guest

    Still say she cant sing, all nasally

    • Howard Sturrup

      She is a far better actress than a singer in my opinion

  • Misstj

    She is singing MJB’s version of that song not Chaka Khan’s. Nevertheless, she sounds good

  • Lucian Brown III




  • juju

    Sounds like shes’s got some singing lessons, sounds good..

  • ThaTruthful1

    Certain areas were a little pitchy but she made it her own…For Ms. Chaka Khan to tweet her response would be considered an honor unlike her response to Mary J’s version 20 years ago.

  • jjac401

    She is very talented – very naturally pretty with a beautiful sweet voice. The reoccuring issue is that recording companies want to promote one African American icon at a time. They promote/market Bey and dis Ashanti and folks by into it.
    I love Ashanti and I think that her talents to to world are long over due.

  • Neeks

    She did a good job! I knew Ashanti had nice vocals when she sang her little heart out on the last track of her 1st first album..it think it was called “Thank You”.

  • guest

    Very good job especially for someone who allegedly can’t sing. I really hate that she doesn’t get the support she deserves from the fans. I hope she continues to prove her critics wrong & that she keeps making money, laughing all the way to the bank!

  • 1137

    She did the dame things. You go girl.

  • Blondene Leys

    she has no soul or emotion to her voice

    • Howard Sturrup

      She really needs to let this singing thing go , Ashanti does not have star quality even though she made it big at one point. I do like her acting skills but her singing is so so an that is not engaging enough .

  • misss

    is it just me that doesn’t think this sounds that great? Im sorry. She’s ok.

  • Antoinette


  • Nikia Latoya Amann


  • veronica Alleyne

    not bad but, no chills like when Chaka does it

  • Audra Dallas

    I love Ashanti I think she done a great job it sounds to me her time away matured her keep up the good work!

  • Krystle

    She.Killed.It. Wow.

  • John

    Lmao you people are kidding right?! That was so amateur!

  • Sandra Henderson

    She killed it!!!!! The girl can sing!!!!

  • RtWanda

    Well, I guess Ive slept on Ashanti too. She killed this song. No Karaoke at all. This girl just showed the world she can sing!! She tryna get some major work and who has the right to hate on her for that. GO ASHANTI GIRL!!!

  • Chey

    Sounds like she copied Mary J Blige, who also doesn’t have a very nice voice. I guess that’s why it sounded decent.

  • folamix

    I was fortunate enough to grow up in an era of true singers, who can blow flat-footed. This sounds like a pale imitation at best to me.

  • Leah Robinson

    Ashanti has been out here grinding for awhile! Now she has her own label and writes most of her music. Love her!

  • The Bronxster

    YESSSSSS GYAL!!!!! You better clock in! Her voice has SOOO Improved over the years. This is what I like to see. A good voice takes WORK…and that’s what my boo did. *standing ovation* #ashantifan

    • Sharon Breedlove-Stroud

      She copied a lot of Mary J’s vocals on this! It was not original. Just don’t think she has the range. She’s pretty though

      • The Bronxster

        lol, while that may be true, it doesn’t make a difference for me. The song is already a remake, so I wasn’t looking for her to be original. I’m satisfied with the fact that she didn’t choke or cough through those highs. Anyone can see that she’s improved. She’s no Patti Labelle, but she’s better than she was coming out.

  • Cleveland Cutie

    Ok Shanti!

    • william

      Good job Ashanti, covers, if possible shouldn’t sound exactly like the original artist, it’s your interpretation of the song and the music accompaniment. Great job.

  • Lydia Nichole

    Ashanti did the damn thing!!! Always a fan..I still bang The Way That I Love You. My 11yr old daughter rocks this song with me. #SangThatAshanti

  • sandi cyber

    you betta get it babygirl!

  • Jana

    She always sounds like she is straining or trying to exceed her range. Her singing sounds very uncomfortable…

    • Forty is the New Forty

      Ditto. This is like bigging up Tyler Perry for doing a ‘decent’ movie. She is aight. Not a ‘sanger’ this was so pitchy and off range. No hate, just ears.

    • misss

      maybe thats what it is something just off not terrible but not excellent

  • louise_1

    Ashanti has always been a great singer with a wonderful personality. She’s tops in my opinion. Luv her.

  • killer_queen

    Simply a beautiful cover by her

    • MonicaT

      This was a karaoke cover! Not sure what people are hearing nothing against her, but she would win if this was a karaoke contest! She has had success with previous albums due to the right music selections(she’s good for singing hooks which all of her previous music was that featuring a rap artist and you couldn’t tell who’s song it was! She is ok at best!

      • guest

        Nope not even karaoke!

  • Gert

    Very nice, I have always liked her personality.

  • Liz

    I never understood the hating on Ashanti. She is very talented and very likeable. Great job, Ashanti!

  • jazz

    She did well… However I do not like her voice.

    • Richard

      I don’t think she can sing. Lots of yelling & she was not very good with pitch. I personally think she needs lessons. She is beautiful though

      • Krystle

        Have you never heard the Chaka Khan version? If you think she’s yelling, then you won’t like Chaka’s version either. I think she did the song a lot of justice. And I’m a professional singer who has never really liked Ashanti’s voice…until now!

        • jazz

          I would never compare chaka singing to ashanti singing. Period.

        • Fatma Howard

          Chaka Khan’s voice is like a trumpet and she is one of the only vocalists that has the control to sing loudly.

          Ashanti is beautiful but she sings like a cat.

  • Cynthia

    I smiled like a big proud sister as I listened…I always thought she could sing. I have heard her sing without music as well….she has a beautiful voice!

  • Tee Elyse

    Any true Ashanti fan wouldn’t be shocked by this. I’ve never understood the amount of hate she’s gotten over the years, especially these last couple with her being a self made entertainer. I’ve always known she had true talent, and I’m glad that with videos like this, twelve years later, she’s still proving folks wrong! Get it Shan! Braveheart is EVERYTHING also!

    • Chocolater Reign

      Right I agree …. She’s always been able to sing to me. I used to say back in the day … she needs better songs. I’m not surprised either. But big ups to her for letting folx know

      • Tee Elyse

        Right! I’ve been a true fan since her debut album, when I heard she wrote almost all of her own songs. I love artists who are diverse and can write, produce, sing, etc. She’s always been doing her thing!

    • Xae

      I always thought she could sing it wasn’t until recently (on Madame Noire actually) that I learned there were people who thought otherwise. She has range and a sound that’s all hers.

  • Terri Berri

    I’m so proud of this woman! Not only has she been working hard on her music, but she sounds better too! Go ‘head Ashanti. Can’t be mad at a woman with this much determination and ambition! ^_^

  • monitorette

    What an artist! Ashanti, your voice has always been sweet to my ears.

  • guest

    I saw Ashanti sing once live and I was very impressed. She can really sing and a lot of people don’t know that.

    • Pick_A_Struggle

      I was impressed by her live performance as well. Not only can she sing, but she can dance really well, too. They really sleep on her.

      • Leah Robinson

        And she’s naturally pretty

    • louvres

      I think that people just like picking on her..there are certain singers for which people have already DECIDED that they can’t sing and Ashanti is one of them! Some people will always say that she can’t sing no matter what she tries!