Ashanti at Howard Theatre Sunday, May 11

Milquetoast titles like “Rock Wit U (Awww Baby),” “Always On Time,” and “Baby (Remix)” make Ashanti’s songs easy to push to the bottom of your mental hard drive of lyrics. But just listen to a few bars of the chorus, and you’ll be singing along like it was Y2K again. If you turned on the radio a decade ago, chances are you grooved to Ashanti as she crooned about heartache and punctuality, either alone or with frequent collaborators Ja Rule and Fat Joe. And despite her unmemorable titles, Ashanti broke industry records—she lays claim to the highest first-week sales for a female artist’s debut and the most simultaneous Top 10 songs, just to name a few. The title of her new album, Braveheart, is borrowed from the Mel Gibson film of the same name, but Ashanti puts more emphasis on the “heart” part and much less on drawing and quartering. More importantly, her clear soprano can still wrap its way around a hook and drag you in, willing or not. When she takes the stage this weekend at the Howard, you’d better be on time. Ashanti performs at 8 p.m. at Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $35–$70. (202) 803-2899.

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