Before Concrete Rose was released, Ashanti did some major promotion for her single "Only U", when she premiered it at the 2004 Vibe Music Awards. Kelly—that year, which peaked at number five in the U. The first single, "Only U", reached number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and became her biggest hit in the United Kingdom, peaking at number two.A second single, the ballad "Don't Let Them", garnered little chart success after Def Jam refused to fund a music video due to Irv Gotti's legal troubles during his money laundering trial. S., where it failed to chart, and the UK, where it reached the lower end of the top forty.Ashanti provided the melodic response to their call.
She received a Lifetime Channel Achievement Award for her message speaking out against domestic violence. In December 2004, Ashanti released her third studio album, Concrete Rose, the title of which took on Tupac Shakur's pseudonym "The Rose That Grew from Concrete". S., with first-week sales of 254,000 copies, and eventually became her third platinum certified album.Ashanti struggled to find success as a singer after being courted by several record labels, including Bad Boy Records and Jive Records.Despite this, she continued to perform in and around New York City and began hanging out at the Murder Inc. He asked her to pen hooks for his rap artists and to perform with them in duets.In 2003, Ashanti released her second album, Chapter II, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 326,000 copies in the U. The album went platinum, selling over 1.5 million copies in U. Chapter II was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album, and "Rock wit U (Awww Baby)" and "Rain on Me" were each nominated in the categories of Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.In November 2003, Ashanti released a Christmas album titled Ashanti's Christmas, which was a modest commercial success.