Ari Lennox

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Ari Lennox
Ari Lennox.jpg
Background information
Birth nameCourtney Shanade Salter[1]
Born (1991-03-26) March 26, 1991 (age 28)[2]
Washington, D.C.
GenresR&B, neo soul
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active2013–present
LabelsDreamville Records
Interscope Records
Associated actsJ. Cole, Omen, Cozz, Bas, EarthGang, J.I.D, Masego

Courtney Shanade Salter (born March 26, 1991),[3][1] better known by her professional name Ari Lennox, is an American singer and songwriter from Washington, D.C. She is signed to J. Cole's record label, Dreamville Records.[4][5] She released her first EP on the label on October 21, 2016 titled Pho, where she began gaining recognition. Her debut studio album Shea Butter Baby was released on May 7, 2019.

Musical career[edit]

2012–2017: Career beginnings and Pho EP[edit]

Ari Lennox began uploading her music on the internet in 2012 as she released her debut mixtape, Five Finger Discount, and debut EP, Ariography, in 2013. In 2014, she continued to releasing her music on the internet including her independently released single "Bound".[6] On July 21, 2015, she was featured on Omen's album Elephant Eyes on the track "Sweat it Out".[7] Later that year, her music was circulating around the Dreamville team, as J. Cole wanted her to work with him on some references for Rihanna.[8]

On December 8, it was announced that she was signed to Dreamville Records. She made an appearance on the collaborative album Revenge of the Dreamers II, on the track "Backseat" with Cozz.[9][10] On October 21, 2016, she released her debut EP titled Pho.[11] Ari Lennox later appeared on J. Cole's song "Change", and performed as an opening act on the 4 Your Eyez Only Tour during 2017.[12]

2018–present: Shea Butter Baby[edit]

In 2018, she went on to guest feature on two songs with her label-mates: EarthGang on "Nothing but the Best", and Bas on "Icarus". On July 16, 2018,[13] Ari Lennox releases the first single, "Whipped Cream", for her debut album, with an accompanied music video on September 5.[14] On November 9, she released two more singles called "40 Shades of Choke" and "Grampa".[15] On November 13, she then released two more singles called "No One" and "Pedigree". She then appeared on the Creed II soundtrack with Cole on a track entitled "Shea Butter Baby" on November 16, and released as a single on February 26, 2019 for her debut album of the same name. The music video was accompanied by a music video on February 20, 2019 and surpassed 3 million views via YouTube within the first week. In December 2018, she was a supporting act on the From East Atlanta With Love Tour with 6LACK.

On March 27, 2019, she announced her first headlining tour, with the first leg beginning on May 12 and ending on June 14 in her hometown Washington, D.C.[16] Her debut album, Shea Butter Baby was released on May 7, 2019.


Ari Lennox humbly describes her own voice as "vulnerable but soulful; imperfect but pretty." Referencing her artistry she explains, "Sometimes women are put in this box where we’re only supposed to talk about certain things, I want to be braver and riskier. I think people want to hear that kind of honesty and frankness."[17] Ari Lennox names Ella Fitzgerald, Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Bilal, Whitney Houston, Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill, and Minnie Riperton as her biggest influences. In an interview with The Fader, she also mentioned her admiration of Kanye West and how she found multiple other artists through him.[18][19] The Gateway described Ari Lennox's sound as "successfully blends individual slices of classic Motown, modern R&B, and new-age soul into one seamless product."[20]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions


Shea Butter Baby 67 38 7

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions


  • Released: October 22, 2013
  • Format: Digital download
  • Released: October 21, 2016
  • Label: Dreamville, Interscope
  • Format: Digital download
40 20


Title Details
Five Finger Discount
  • Released: January 5, 2012
  • Format: Digital download

Compilation albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions


Revenge of the Dreamers II (with Dreamville Records)
  • Released: December 8, 2015
  • Label: Dreamville, Interscope
  • Format: CD, digital download
29 4 3


As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Album
(featuring Cozz)
2016 Pho
"Night Drive"[27] 2017
"Whipped Cream"[29] 2018 Shea Butter Baby
"Shea Butter Baby"[30]
(with J. Cole)
"Up Late"

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as a featured artist, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Nothing but the Best"[31]
(EarthGang featuring Ari Lennox)
2018 Royalty

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Sweat It Out"[7] 2015 Omen Elephant Eyes
"Change"[32] 2016 J. Cole 4 Your Eyez Only
"Icarus"[33] 2018 Bas Milky Way
"Sugar Walls"[34] Masego Lady Lady
"Link Up"[35] 2019 Buddy, Bas, Guapdad 4000, Kent Jamz, J.I.D Harlan & Alondra


  1. ^ a b "Pho - Ari Lennox". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Frydenlund, Zach (December 9, 2015). "Here's What We Know About Dreamville's New Signees, Lute and Ari Lennox | Complex CA". Complex.
  5. ^ Kevin Goddard (December 7, 2015). "J.Cole & Dreamville Surprise Fans With Release Of "Revenge Of The Dreamers 2"". hotnewhiphop. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  6. ^ Jeffries, David. "Ari Lennox Biography". AllMusic.
  7. ^ a b HipHopDX (16 July 2015). "Omen "Elephant Eyes" Release Date, Cover Art & Tracklist". HipHopDX.
  8. ^ Maher, Natalie. "Ari Lennox on Her Love for D.C., Being Signed to J. Cole & Protecting Her Mental Health". Billboard.
  9. ^ Ortiz, Edwin (December 8, 2016). "J. Cole Signs Two New Artists to Dreamville Records". Complex.
  10. ^ Victoria Hernandez (December 10, 2015). "J. Cole x Dreamville "Revenge Of The Dreamers II" Cover Art, Tracklist & Album Stream". HipHopDX. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  11. ^ "Dreamville's Ari Lennox Releasing New EP".
  12. ^ "J. Cole Reveals 4 Your Eyez Only Tour Dates".
  13. ^ "Ari Lennox Releases Sweet New Single "Whipped Cream"". Complex.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Ari Lennox Shares New Songs "40 Shades of Choke" and "Grampa"". Complex.
  16. ^ Spencer, Tallie. "Ari Lennox Announces Shea Butter Baby Tour Dates". Billboard. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Ari". Dreamville. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  18. ^ "Ari Lennox Is Singing Sensual Soul Cuts As Dreamville's New Artist".
  19. ^ "A Scattershot Type of Gal Like Ari Lennox".
  20. ^ "Album Review: Pho - The Gateway". 14 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Ari Lennox Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  22. ^ "Ari Lennox – Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard.
  23. ^ "Ari Lennox – Chart History - Top R&B Albums". Billboard.
  24. ^ "Chart History - Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard.
  25. ^ "Chart History - Top R&B Albums". Billboard.
  26. ^ Goddard, Kevin. "J.Cole & Dreamville Surprise Fans With Release Of "Revenge Of The Dreamers 2"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  27. ^ "Dreamville's Ari Lennox Serenades Sweetness In New "GOAT" Music Video". OkayPlayer.
  28. ^ "Dreamville's Ari Lennox Takes it Back to School in "Night Drive" Video". The Source.
  29. ^ "Ari Lennox Returns With Soulful Remnants Of Love On "Whipped Cream"". Vibe.
  30. ^ "J. Cole & Ari Lennox Conjure Mystical Lust On "Shea Butter Baby"". Hotnewhiphop.
  31. ^ Robertson, Darryl. "EarthGang And Ari Lennox's Only Concern Is Putting Out "Nothin' But The Best"". Vibe. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  32. ^ "4 Your Eyez Only by J. Cole on iTunes". iTunes.
  33. ^ Ivey, Justin (August 23, 2018). "Bas Releases "Milky Way" LP". HipHopDX.
  34. ^ "Lady Lady by Masego on iTunes". iTunes.
  35. ^ "Buddy Taps J.I.D, Bas, Guapdad 4000 & Kent Jamz For "Link Up"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 8 February 2019.