Ashanti: Maxim Magazine 2008 Photo Shoot (Updated)

Singer Ashanti has a new CD about to come out and you know what female singers must do whenever they have new music to promote. That’s right. They must pose in magazine’s like KING, Smooth and yes, even Maxim. Above we have Ashanti strutting her stuff in the June 2008 edition issue of the (White) men’s mag, and though she looks beautiful, it’s getting kinda old seeing women have to follow this formula in order to promote their ventures. Usher doesn’t have to pose half naked to get attention for his music. We know he will, but it’s by choice.

Sadly, for too many female artists they have no choice. Just as radio and performances are part of the promotional trail, so are men’s magazines like those named above. Thankfully Janet Jackson avoided going this route as she did with her last CD, and I think it’s about time other female artists start to follow suit. To think of it- I don’t think Alicia Keys or Erykah Badu ever went this route and yet their fans are still sticking buy them and most of all- buying their music.

[Update] Additional Ashanti promo-shots were just released today. Check them out below and one additional photo can be found on page 2.


  1. I agree but only to an extent Stephanie. I don’t think women should have to go this route in order to get a little extra press but I realize some do it because they know they will. However, I think most women want to pose for these kinds of photos. King and Smooth and Maxim give women the opportunity to live out their Playboy fantasy without going the full Playboy route. Women like to be sexy. They like to be seen as objects of desire by men and these men’s magazines give them the chance to do that and yet still remain somewhat classy and respectable.

    Oh and by the way, Ashanti looks amazing. She is a very pretty girl.

  2. India Arie, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, and many others don’t go this route because their success has never hinged on their looks. People like Beyonce and Ashanti must do this because looks is just about all they have. Why do you all think Britney is back in the gym? She too knows without her looks America would not love her. Now Janet came from a different era and they didn’t have these types of books back then so she didn’t ahve to do what she did with 20 y.o but I think she did it to make herself feel young again and to compete with the new girls out. So don’t say female singer have to do this because they don’t. Only the near talentless ones have to and that’s why they gladly take their clothes off every chance they get.

  3. I think she look wonderful too me. Go Ashanti. I love the second picture it not like she posing with her leg wide open or doing a butt pose. I think they sexy and classy picture to me. Im alway going to respect other people comment but go girl. I will be getting her album next month.


    And Ashanti’s pictures are smoking. Her wig game is on point! Not too keen about the clothings, but hey, she looks good. Still, if women artists like Ashanti have to ‘go this route’, selling images to men’s magazines, you have to wonder, is it MEN who buy her albums? or their albums? Nah, it’s the women, probably mostly gay men and teeny boppers….. Puzzling isn’t it? LOL. Maybe women’s boyfriends run out and buy copies of their cds and give them to their girlfriends….. maybe a subliminal thing? (I want you to look like Ashanti). LOL *rambling* Love the blue!

  5. Waverly said,
    May 14, 2008 at9:05 am
    India Arie, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, and many others don’t go this route because their success has never hinged on their looks. People like Beyonce and Ashanti must do this because looks is just about all they have. Why do you all think Britney is back in the gym? She too knows without her looks America would not love her. Now Janet came from a different era and they didn’t have these types of books back then so she didn’t ahve to do what she did with 20 y.o but I think she did it to make herself feel young again and to compete with the new girls out. So don’t say female singer have to do this because they don’t. Only the near talentless ones have to and that’s why they gladly take their clothes off every chance they get.

    Alicia would if she could. She doesn’t have the frame, but she is trying to sex it up in her on right. She’s doing more and more booty poses!LOL She might be trying to shed the lesbo tags though. Umm, love Mary J., but her earlier hoodrat looks were worst than this imo. I do agree on India and Erykah though.

  6. I actually think the pictures are very classy. Her legs aren’t open and the poses aren’t distasteful at all. I think the pictures show a very sexy side of her, and as a women, we all want to feel sexy at times, so I really don’t see anything wrong with them.

  7. I agee with Waverly in that women like Ashanti and Beyonce have made themselves into sex symbols so a apart of their promotional duties should go to posing for King, Maxim, and all the other magazines. Besides Ashanti doesn’t look trashy or anything like that so I think she’s ok for now

  8. hey i’m not the biggest ashanti fan, but i personally think these are sum of the classiest male mag pics i’ve ever seen. i don’t see her a$$, she is showing just enough clevage to be sexy and classy at the same time. i also don’t see what is wrong with posing in a male magazine if u do it the right way. she ain’ posin’ in a thong and no bra like these nasty a$$ video chicks do all the time, and the poses aren’t provacative at all. she is an artist, and of course she want’s to do something to please her male fans as much as she does her female ones. what’s wrong with a woman wanting to looks sexy and be desired by a man?? if i was in her shoes i would have done the shoot too

    but that’s just my opinion…

  9. Smooth Criminal (aka Terence)

    Just wanted to let my fellow bloggers know that it`s still me. Just decided to be a bit more creative with my username so I went with “Smooth Criminal”, a title of one of MJ`s tracks from his phenomenal “Bad” album from back in the day.

    Secondly I luv the new theme; you did a great job Steph, KUDOS.

    As far as the topic of discussion I agree with you Steph. Also Waverly made a great counter argument to JBL. Not that JBL didn`t make a great point, Waverly just countered beautifully. While I will admit that Ashanti is very beautiful and sexy, I`m a man so I won`t front, it does speak volumes that some female artists choose to go this route. Too bad that it just can`t be about the music, however it`s a conscious decision. As Waverly pointed out others let their music and talent speak for itself, namely my girl Alicia. I pointed out on a post recently how she talked about when she was trying to get a recording contract a lot of record company execs wanted to give her a very rauchy, sexual image during an interview she gave. She, however, said no and continued to shop around until she found the right fit.

    You see great music will always sell, that`s the bottom line. There`s no substitute for talent. Alicia didn`t want to be a “drop it like it`s hot girl, always shakin` what her mama gave her”. She wanted to let the music speak and not mask it. As the saying goes though, “To each his own”. Ashanti, more than likely, did choose this route to get more of a buzz to try and hit the ground running. Only time will tell if it really made a difference.

  10. @Melissa:

    “Alicia would if she could. She doesn`t have the frame, but she is trying to sex it up in her own right. She`s doing more and more booty poses'”.

    Doesn`t have the frame, are you KIDDING me???!!!??? Alicia can definitely hang. She would absolutely shame 99.9% of these women. Alicia has more than enough game when it comes to her body, she just chooses to go another route. She has BOOTY on top of BOOTY and none of it is fat. She could probably give some away two or three times and still be WAY ahead of the game….. LOL!!! Gotta defend my girl. As for your other comment I simply refuse to DIGNIFY it with a response….

  11. @jbl-totally agree with you.
    @waverly-alicia has sexed up her image so much she might as well pose
    in one of the men’s mags.

  12. to be honest with you bee didn’t do maxim magazine on the last LP but ashanti is another story when it come to shoot that she does for men magazine especially those king shoot she did in 04 with her legs wide open. so i would not compare bee with ashanti when it comes to posing for men magazine because bee have not done king even when she first came out with her first LP but ashanti has done two. for me i think bee is slow down on posing for men magazine like her last men magazine was blender and that sport magazine that she did

  13. guess you haven’t seen the pics of alicia when she first came out and she was posing topless and bikini’s all out for men’s magazine. clive got alicia a new image, the image she has now is not what she started out with.

    i think shanti looks ok, good luck on selling that album though

  14. They better then the first Maxim Photo Shoot she did back in 2003

  15. For the most part I agree w/ the majority, but I also think that a lot of these ladies pose for these magazines when they have little to no talent or they need to boost their poor album sales. Yes, I know that Beyonce has posed for the mags & she’s a platinum selling artist, but the reason why Bey poses is b/c she wants to be everywhere… she refuses to sit her tail down somewhere & be quiet lol. Not to mention Bey’s not stupid, she knows that men loooove her curvy figure, so why not make more money adding to men’s fantasies.
    Now as for darling Kelly, she has talent, but album sales were poor. I supposed that she & management thought it best to spice up the sales by her shedding the “good girl” image & proving that she is now a “woman”… I guess that management feels this is the only way to sale a album.
    And then there’s Ashanti…. oh Ashanti…. well I have liked a few of her songs in the past, but the reality is she not a great professional singer, she’s the girl who can lead in the church choir, but that’s where the buck stops. I never thought of her as a “real” talent & I am not looking forward to her new album… so u guessed it, she falls into the “I don’t have talent & I need to sale records” category. That’s why imo she posed for the mag. Just think it about it… all of the female singers that have posed fall into 1 of these spots. Oh & btw photo spreads in these kinds of mags are always on point… they make sistas look fly & sexy.

  16. People gotta do what they gotta do to sell records. This is a business people! With everybody burning music (myself included 🙂 ) the recording industry is not what it used to be. People like Janet and Whitney didn’t have to do all that back in the day cuz there was no other way to get their music but to buy it! They did have to have some appeal. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that they were attractive. But society has changed. S-e-x sells! These record execs are thinking, “What’s gonna make people go the extra mile and actually buy a CD?” It’s a shame, but it’s the truth. Of course, you have the ones that are able to get past that, like Alicia. But I think that we would all agree that even her image has changed since she first came out. As far as Ashanti, I have never bought her music, nor have I took the time to even burn a CD. I’m just not a fan. I mean, she’s pretty…but that’s about it. For me anyway.

    ok, i’m done… 😀

    I was never an Ashanti fan but girl friend is stepping her game up like crazy! NICE SHOOT!

  18. i`m a black man and i`m getting bored with these photoshoots man! nobody has to pose half naked to sell records if you choose to do it fine but are you trying to sell sex or music? besides ashanti`s music has always been boring to me

  19. Strictly speaking on the pictures above, Ashanti is sexy as all get out. The pictures are flattering and she looks dang good in them. I wouldn’t go as far as to say ‘classy’ but they are not trashy and she does not look like she is trying too hard to sell her sexiness. That middle picture alone is one of the sexiest pictures I’ve ever seen of any half-clad artist/singer in any publication. I gotta give her a hand for that.

    She just may become my new ‘IT’ girl if her album is good. Oh, I love the new color on the site. Very easy on the eyes.

  20. puhleez said,
    May 14, 2008 at11:58 am
    guess you haven’t seen the pics of alicia when she first came out and she was posing topless and bikini’s all out for men’s magazine. clive got alicia a new image, the image she has now is not what she started out with.

    i think shanti looks ok, good luck on selling that album though

    Thank you! How soon they forgot!LOL

  21. These are nice pics of Ashanti, but i do agree, Her Music should speak for itself.

  22. I’m sorry but these pics just dont’ jump out at me. They are a little boring. Love her latest song though.

  23. I love the new layout!

    Ashanti is a beautiful woman.

    Although these pics are not the worst that I have seen, I don’t believe that you should have to pose half naked to sell CDs or anything else (unless it’s a porno or playboy). I agree, talent needs to speak for it’s self. There is nothing wrong with looking sexy, again there is a difference between sexy and slutty! Do you think that we will see Jennifer Hudson posing half naked in a mag?? There is nothing wrong with promotion in men’s mags, I just don’t think that you need to be naked to be in them. Or is that the requirement??

  24. Smooth Criminal (aka Terence)

    It`s evident that Alicia is passionately hated by a particular blogger as they will continue to spew their venom.

    Melissa, iris and puhleez is one in the same. I`ve gone back and looked at all of Alicia`s posts and it is so OBVIOUS. The many names that you`ve assumed include the following:

    1. Lina
    3. Stacie
    4. Des
    5. Frank
    6. Politicallyincorrect
    7. Meyaka
    8. Sanchez
    9. Cree
    11 Jai
    12 Crap Talker

    Today you`ve chosen to go with Melissa, Iris and Puhleez.

    Well I say PUHLEEZ give it a rest. You`ve gone from post to post of Alicia`s spewing your venom and today on this one of Ashanti you saw another opportunity as she was mentioned. The WORD ASSOCIATION gives you away. If you hate someone with a passion why go to their posts and waste a whole lot of energy? Once again you saw an opportunity today and you just couldn`t help yourself. You tare her down mercilessly but you worship the ground of your precious Beyonce.

    You see I`m not a fan of Beyonce so therefore I avoid all posts on her. I consider her to be OVEREXPOSED. However, I won`t go to posts on her as if it`s a personal mission to tare her down. I just avoid her. Please you shouldn`t let someone you don`t like consume you like that… So stop with the MANY names and move on…

  25. I think she is beautiful and she has always had a curvy body. No one cared or noticed because she didn’t recieve all the attention Bey has. Now, the wig: Take it off! I would like to see a (celeb) black woman without a wig or weave. Can any of those women go natural? Not only would they feel better, it might inspire more people to let their natural hair grow…well naturally. I would like to see the effects of these horrid wigs. How damaging to the hair and mind.

  26. This is a beautiful layout Stephanie, you used my favorite shade of green yay!! 🙂 I like the bottom set of Ashanti’s pics the best, but overall they’re not that interesting to me.

  27. She is really atractive to me and the hypocrisy of black people will remain even after the world end who out there ?wich one of those r&b chicks out there sells cd without showing some skins i’m not talking about ma-j or a.keys but ( rihanna beyonce ciara ) all of them ashanti is just adding her name to the list ! but when its not one of the above people start to get all judgemental you need to stop and drop for real… someone and i won’t say the name set the bar so low that people need to see your a.s.s before buying s.h.i.t from you its the way it is how many here can drop the act and admit to themselves that the shine and glamour beddazle them enough to hit target? leave her alone she is not doing anything that hasnt been done before
    oh and any women that mistakes alicia keys’s classiness for emptiness aint a woman…

  28. @smooth criminal,

    ummmmm, wtf?????? i’m not so pathetic that i come on a blog to post under different names. i have nothing against alicia and i don’t ever recall posting anything negative about her. i have a life outside of the internet and i hardly ever post on blogs. i have no time to hate on people, i just state facts. if you took what i said about alicia taking some racy photos when she first came out as hate, then it’s on you. btw, the next time you want to call someone out, do some research and get your facts straight.

  29. women DONT HAVE to pose for raunchy mags to sell records. Look @ Leona Lewis…i dont recall seeing her in a men’s mag spread & her song is HUGE here & overseas. these women that pose CHOSE to do so. if you had any real talent you could rely on that and not some half-naked pix that arent even flattering & wouldnt do a thing for your record sales anyway b/c people listen to/buy music they like!

  30. I think Ashanti looks GREAT!
    MOST women in the entertainment business do magazines as Maxim.
    Yeaaah, sometimes talent can get you places, but unfortunately sometimes it doesn’t.
    Many of you mentioned India Irie. A very talented girl, however her music doesn’t sell all that much. Alicia Keys is one of the very few that actully sells a lot of records. And i’m absolutely positive her beauty helps. It most certainly couldn’t hender her.
    Nobody know’s what they will do until they’re actully in that person’s shoes.
    I’m sure Ashanti got paid good money and it’s promotion.
    I think people are so hard on this girl– it’s rediculous.
    I think she’s very talented.
    Granted, she may not be Whitney Houston(The old one) or Beyonce, but she can sing. I think she has proven herself time and time again. Additionally, she also writes her own music.
    AND i just love her personality!
    I’m rooting for this girl.

  31. @ SMOOTH CRIMINAL, that was completely pathetic. i have only posted as iris. and who are you sherlock holmes.
    @ CODY, give leona a minute, in terms of promotion(in the US), leona is a flop. so maybe next week she’ll be in gq or something.

  32. @Puhleez & Iris

    Seems someone is playing games trying to start an internet throwdown. The very first two posts are definitely mine, not the third. Sometimes individuals just love playing these practical jokes to get something started. It`s their way of getting off… Don`t lose any sleep over it because I certainly won`t.


    To answer your question; no Sherlock Holmes I`m definitely not. (LOL)

  33. I think that this blog brown sista she focus more on extremely talented artisist who can’t get played on the radio because they are extremely talented. You should put focus on Vivan Green, Chrisette, Algebra and a host of others. Maybe you can have a feautured artisist once a month that we would not normally hear from. She can be a sister or not. But it is a shame that our best artist have to live overseas because they can’t get any air play on the radio over here.

  34. Ashanti is a cutie pie. “Smooth Criminal”? I love it! “Del”, if you’re looking in on this, please go over to “Sistas, Lets talk (Brothas too)”. I left you a heart felt apology for the misundersatnding we had. “Smooth Criminal”. I can’t get over it it’s so cool.

  35. Shanti, I really like you, but those clothes in the second set of pics looks like she is in a Kohls catalog. 🙁

  36. @Smooth Thug, Del, Brownee and Flo

    I left some posts for you in the “Let’s Talk” post as well.

  37. I believe that people seriously overestimate the power of these so called “artists.” They do what their record companies tell them to do for the most part. Until they reach Madonna status, they are not the ones controlling what they wear, what they say, and what magazines they pose in. Their record companies do. Beyonce, or any artist of the like, is not the one constantly keeping her name out there, it is the record company. Why do you think certain artists are promoted over others? Because they don’t have a say in what they do.

    There are certain artists like E.Badu, India and Jill, that seem to have more control over their sound, but only to a certain extent. They can’t control when their albums come out the they can’t drastically change their sound unless they change record companies.

    That is one of the main reasons why I like independent artists like Amel Larrieux, Martha Redbone and Alice Smith. They do what they do and their record companies try their best to help them as much as can, but they don’t control them.

    Something to think about.

  38. Im actually really tired of people toting Akeys as a savior of “real” music! I have nothing against her but I honestly find her music to be uninspired and void. Alicia has admitted herself that shes uncomfortable with her sexuality, I think thats the major reason, she shys away from a more sexual image. When you mention women like Jill Scott, who on the other hand does not portray an overtly sexual image, but is a extremly sexual singer, who is not afraid to let her music explore and celebrate her sexuality,and expresses more sensuality in one note than most singers on thier whole albulm, while Alicia Keys on the other hand seems repressed and rigid, and while she may not support overt sexuality one must consider how her own looks and asthetic “appeal” help her excel above many other artist s who’s talent rivals and/or bests her own, who do not receive the same recognition because they do not fit the “standard” of beauty. Does anyone remenber the reaction she received after the Soul Train awards when she got all the awards while India Arie ( who to me in on the same talent scale as Akeys) recieved nothing? and folks were crying foul, bascially stating that alicia won because of her apperance, and India was snubbed for the very same reason? I think theres a big difference in taking control and expressing youre sexuality , and being objectified. As for artists I like Jazmine Sullivan, Santogold, Adele, of course Jill Scott and Apples (E Badu) and even some Beyonce songs, because they each represnet differnt aspects of women and music, and depending on how I feel I can listen to either of them all . But I have not connected to Akeys and feel her abilities are a bit overstated if shes going to be mentioned in the same company of “real” artists.

  39. @misssixty,

    I agree with you with regard to your reference to the treatment of India Aire vs. A Keys that year. I was one of the people staring at the TV set like “you have GOT to be kidding me. I also believe that Alicia’s win had a lot to do with Lauren Hill’s previous win. I do think that Alicia is talented and I have liked some of the singles from her albums a great deal. I also agree, however, that artists like India Aire have put out great albums but have not gotten recognition but didn’t fit the the standard of beauty set forth by the mainstream.

  40. @misssixty:

    I respect your opinion. I`m a huge AK fan so I somewhat and respectfully disagree with you. As faas her music is concerned I think it`s far from being void. Her songwriting, in my opinion, is very much on point. Songs like “No One” , “Tell U Somethin”, “Fallin`”, etc. are definitely songs that we can all relate to. They connect with the human spirit,unlike materialistic and over the top sexual lyrical content. However, I do agree that, we should connect with our sexuality because it`s part of our being, so no disagreement.

    I agree that Indie Arie is a great artist with great lyrical skills; I like her. Tracy Chapman is another great lyricists. Tracy took you to another level of consciousness. It`s just a real shame that there`s not a market for conscious music. It`s all about escapism and that`s UNFORTUNATE…. Lauren Hill is another great talent. These sistas, like Alicia, actually say something. It`s not just all BLING-BLING.

    Also the standard definition of beauty set forth by the mainstream absolutely keep certain artists on the outside looking in. You`ll get no argument from me on that one. That`s why The Entertainment Industry to a certain extent is so Superficial, sad but it`s true. By being such a lot of great talent is being overlooked. In my opinion I don`t think ANY of these female artists (including my girl Alicia) can touch Tracy Chapman when it comes to being a great conscious lyricist..

    If they say
    Why, why tell `em that it`s human nature
    Why, why does he do me that way
    If they say
    Why, why tell `em that it`s human nature
    Why, why does he do me that way
    I like livin` this way
    I like lovin` this way

  41. Smooth Criminal i’m with you
    AShanti has a pretty body but all the ski showin is uneccesary

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