Ashanti and Nelly engaged and expecting a baby


Ashanti and Nelly have announced they are engaged and expecting their first baby together. The musical artists first dated in 2003 and delighted fans when they rekindled their relationship in 2023.

Essence magazine announced the pair’s big news on Wednesday, writing on social media: “Congratulations to Ashanti and Nelly, who are ENGAGED and EXPECTING their first child together!”

In a statement to the magazine, Ashanti, 43, said this year is “such a blessing full of love, hope, and anticipation.”

“Motherhood is something that I have looked forward to, and sharing this with my family, fiancé, and loyal fans, who have been so supportive of my career, is an amazing experience,” the Grammy winner said.

The artists also shared the news in a video featuring Proov, a company that provides at-home fertility tests, which Ashanti and Nelly co-own, according to Essence.

Nelly and Ashanti relationship timeline

The couple first met in 2003 and kept their relationship mostly under wraps, with Ashanti first publicly mentioning her relationship with the rapper at a Los Angeles Lakers game in 2008, Entertainment Tonight reports.

After several rumored breakups, Nelly, 49, told Complex in 2010 that the couple never publicly admitted to being together or broken up. “Only thing we ever said was we friends and it’s the same way now,” the three-time Grammy winner said.

Amid breakup rumors in 2013, Ashanti said their relationship was like “ping-pong,” and confirmed in 2015 that they had ended their relationship two years prior.

In 2022, the pair reunited to perform their song “Body on Me” together at a concert in Arizona and Ashanti said on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” that she was surprised by how many people were invested in their relationsip. 

Tycoon Music Festival
Nelly and Ashanti perform during Tycoon Music Festival at State Farm Arena on February 13, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Prince Williams


Nelly and Ashanti engaged

In 2023, fans who followed the relationship closely finally got the confirmation they were looking for. The pair were seen together at several public events and a source confirmed to Entertainment Tonight that they were “back together and very happy.”

Nelly has two children from a previous relationship and two children he adopted after their mother, his stepsister, died of leukemia. This is Ashanti’s first child. 



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