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LI's Ashanti to sing Anthem at Pacquiao-Bradley fight

Ashanti attends the New York premiere of

Ashanti attends the New York premiere of "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" on Nov. 14, 2013 at Alice Tully Hall in Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images / Bryan Bedder

Signing on record and at concerts for millions of music fans apparently isn't the only thing on Ashanti's wish list.

The Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, whose full name is Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas, is an avid boxing fan and will sing the National Anthem at the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight on April 12 at the MGM Grand, Top Rank announced Tuesday.

The Glen Cove native couldn’t hide her excitement when Pacquiao asked her to sing at his next bout.The two met at a Knicks game on Feb. 5.

"I'm such a huge fan of Manny Pacquiao. I have family in the boxing business – Howard Davis, Jr. and Dyah Davis –" Ashanti said.  "When I found out we were sitting next to each other courtside at the Knicks game, I said to my Dad, 'we should take a picture’.  I told Manny I was a big fan and was so excited when he asked me to sing the National Anthem at his upcoming fight and I can't wait.” 

"Ashanti and I first met on February 5 in New York when we found ourselves sitting next to each other courtside at a Knicks game," said Pacquiao. "I told her I was a big fan and asked her if she would sing the U.S. National Anthem at my fight against Timothy Bradley.  She quickly checked her schedule and then said she could and she would.  The Knicks may have lost that night but I felt like the biggest winner in the world when I walked out of Madison Square Garden."

The Knicks fell to the Portland Trailblazers, 94-90.

Ashanti has been seen at several boxing events in the New York City-metro area over the years, including many of Lou DiBella’s Broadway Boxing cards.

“I actually love boxing,” Ashanti said. “Manny's such a champion and I can't wait to cheer him on." 

Ashanti’s latest album, “Braveheart” was released Tuesday on her label, Written Entertainment. The album features her hit single, “Never Should Have".

It won the 2013 Soul Train Award for Best Independent R&B/Soul Performance.

Ashanti burst onto the music scene with her 2002 hit, the self-titled debut album "Ashanti." It mad No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and R&B album charts, selling 504,593 units in its first week. 

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