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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK
Singer Ashanti testifies in court
Ashanti has had two Top 10 hits in the UK
R&B star Ashanti has appeared in court in New York to testify in a contract dispute with her former producer.

Genard Parker is seeking $2.3m (1.2m) for helping to start Ashanti's career. Her lawyers, however, claim he should receive just $50,000 (26,593).

The 25-year-old singer and actress was ordered to pay $630,000 (335,000) to Mr Parker by a New York jury last year.

But a judge later rejected most of the award, ruling the jurors did not have enough facts to determine damages.

Ashanti, whose full name is Ashanti Douglas, said she and her mother had gone to Mr Parker's home in 1996 to work on songs, the Associated Press reports.


According to her attorney Alan Cominsky, Mr Parker "couldn't deliver" and later signed a release that allowed Ashanti to go to another record company.

The singer said she had not seen former producer since 1997.

Mr Parker claims Ashanti signed a deal giving him a percentage of sales from her first three records.

The singer's lawyers, however, claim that agreement was voided after her first record company rejected her.

Ashanti has scored Top 10 hits in the UK with the singles Only U and Foolish.

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