Grammy-winner Ashanti, who played Dorothy in the recent off-Broadway production of "The Wiz" and appeared in the 2005 "Muppets Wizard of Oz," has recorded her own rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."
The singer, songwriter and actress said on "The Early Show" she has much in common with Dorothy.
"Just me being in the music industry starting off naive, and learning and going through my own woods to learn, and to be stronger and to be confident," she said. "Obviously Dorothy had to find her way home, as well. She grew up naive, a little innocent, but she found her way and she became strong."
But how has Ashanti become the person she is today?
She told "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith her strong family structure and team have played a role.
"Having my mom with me, you know, the family support," she said, "Just keeping me level-headed, and putting that battery in my back when I need it."
In fact, Ashanti's mother also appeared on the broadcast, carrying a video camera to capture her daughter's performance of the "Wizard of Oz" song.
As for Ashanti's new version of the classic, she said she doesn't like to stray too much from the formula, but "put(s) a little pizzazz on it."
Her new rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was released on iTunes Thursday.
Ashanti will also take part in emerald green lighting of the Empire State Building to celebrate the anniversary on Thursday evening.