Ari Lennox, whose real name is Courtney Shanade Salter, is an R&B singer from Washington, D.C. She was the first female artist to sign with Dreamville Records, J. Cole’s record label.
Ari gained popularity after releasing her first EP, Pho, under the label. In 2019, she released her debut album titled “Shea Butter Baby,” which featured hit singles such as “Whipped Cream” and “40 Shades of Choke.”
Before her success, Ari worked as an independent artist and held various odd jobs while uploading her music online. In 2015, Ari’s career took a turning point when she became the first female artist to sign with Dreamville Records.
Ari Lennox Biography
|Net Worth||$4 Million|
|Age||32 years old|
|Born||March 26, 1991|
|Country||United States of America|
Courtney Shanade Salter, aka Ari Lennox, was (born on March 26, 1991), in Washington, D.C. She spent her formative years growing up in the DMV area, otherwise known as Washington, D.C., with her parents Gloria Salter and Shane Salter.
Ari never considered herself a child prodigy; a future in music was never a guarantee. However, her grandmother was one of the first people to recognize her talent. At only three years old, she told her granddaughter that she had the voice of an angel and encouraged her to sing.
Ari’s first public appearance was at her school, “Poplar Tree Elementary”. She later studied at Wilson High School and Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Ari took music more seriously at the age of 18. She started calling herself “Ari Lennox” after the character of Mary Lennox in the film The Secret Garden.
As Ari set out on her new path, she won a few competitions on the popular BET Music Video countdown show “106 & Park”, among others. She also auditioned for “American Idol”. There was even a point when she auditioned for Diddy’s band in 2009, but that didn’t work out either.
So, Ari Lennox launched her YouTube channel, where she began uploading her music in 2009. This was right after she graduated from high school. She didn’t pursue her college career and felt pressured to do something with her life.
Ari uploaded many covers, but nothing took off until her versions of “Thinking About You” and Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love”. However, these tracks were not enough to take her into the mainstream. So, Ari abandoned YouTube and began uploading original content to SoundCloud.
In 2013, Ari Lennox released her first mixtape, “Five Finger Discount” and EP “Ariography”. She followed that up by dropping her single “Bound” the next year. In 2015, she was featured on Omen’s “Sweat it Out” track.
Between that and her SoundCloud uploads, her music was circulating with J. Cole and the Dreamville team. They thought Ari might bring something special to the upcoming sessions they had turned the books on with Rihanna.
J. Cole and the Dreamville team were impressed by Ari’s talent, and they signed her to their “Dreamville Record Label” in December 2015. After that, she popped up in J. Cole’s song “Change” and then dropped her EP titled “Pho”.
By July 2018, she was releasing “Whipped Cream”. That track became the first single of her album “Shea Butter Baby” when it was released in May of the following year. Her debut project peaked at number 7 on Billboard’s US R&B Charts.
Ari Lennox saw success following the release of her hit single “Pressure” in September 2021. That track debuted at number 3 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and became her first solo charting track on the Billboard Hot 100.
In August 2022, she teamed up with Summer Walker to release the song “Queen Space”, included in her surprise EP “Away Message”.
Artists like Whitney Houston, John Legend, and Erykah Badu inspire her. She acts like Coldplay and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This mix of genre influences would help shape her sound and form into her unique artist.
Well into her 20s, Ari was still working odd jobs while constantly moving around. At this time in her life, she felt aimless as she bounced around from Papa John’s to Pizza Hut and much more. Ari never saw a $ 1,000 paycheck until she eventually wound up driving for Uber from the age of 24 to 26.
Dreamville’s compilation “D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape” came out in March 2022, for which she worked on two songs “Coming Down” and “Blackberry Sap”. Ari also started her headlining “Shea Butter Baby Tour” tour in 2019.
- Pho (First EP, 2016)
- Shea Butter Baby (Debut album, 2019)
- Pressure (Song, 2021)
- Ari has also gone on to be listed on BET’s Feature 40 list.
- 2019 Grammy Award, Best Rap Album _ Nomination
- 2019 Soul Train Music Awards _ 3 Nominations
- 2020 NAACP Image Awards _ 2 Nominations
Ari Lennox Net Worth
Ari Lennox is a renowned American R&B singer hailing from Washington, D.C. With an estimated net worth of $4 million, she gained widespread recognition after the release of her debut album “Shea Butter Baby” in 2019. Her exceptional talent and unique style have caught the attention of many, including J. Cole, who declared her the future of music on Twitter.