Public high school paid R&B singer Ashanti $20,000 for daylong appearance
R&B singer Ashanti travelled to Atlantic City earlier this month, and came away with $20,000 in her purse. But the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter wasn’t gambling – in fact quite the opposite. She was making an appearance at Atlantic City High School and speaking to its students. Officials paid her the amount for her June 1 appearance, saying the sum is typical for appearances of her calibre. The 2003 Grammy winner led assemblies, met privately with a group of middle school students and did an interview with the high school’s radio station, according to the Press of Atlantic City, which obtained the Board of Education’s meeting minutes. The Press reported that Ashanti encouraged students to stay in school and work diligently, guided by the support of friends and family. ‘Continue to grind it out,’ she told students during an assembly. ‘Nothing that is worth it is easy.’ Money to pay the performer came from funds in a district budget account designated for the improvement of instructional services. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Donna Haye told The Press that the school budgets for special events and officials saw the singer’s appearance as ‘a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.’ She added: ‘(Ashanti) was paid like any other vendor.’ Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford said that none of the funds were paid by the city or its taxpayers.