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Ashanti Confirms She’s Engaged to Nelly After Announcing Pregnancy

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Ashanti and Nelly are tying the knot! ET has learned that the couple is engaged after the “Foolish” singer shared that she is expecting their first child together

The 43-year-old singer confirmed the news in an interview with Essence, sharing, “This new year of my life 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.”

Ashanti, and Nelly, 49, who rekindled their longtime, on-again, off-again romance last year after calling it quits in 2013, have become inseparable since they sent the R&B world into a frenzy after being spotted together for the first time last year. 

The singer and rapper first hinted at their baby news in December in a video that made its way around the internet from Nelly’s 11th Black and White Ball. During what appears to be an auction portion of the event, the pair stands onstage while the MC says “seal the deal.” Nelly then places his hand on Ashanti’s stomach, as she makes a heart over it, before they both laugh and rush off the stage. 

Ashanti and Nelly – Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for E11EVEN

The baby will be Ashanti’s first and Nelly’s third child. The “Hot in Herre” rapper is the father of adult children, Chanelle, 29, and Cornell Haynes III, 24, from a previous relationship. Nelly also adopted his sister, Jackie Donahue’s, kids — Shawn and Sydney Thomas — after she died from leukemia in 2005.

Ashanti announced her pregnancy in an Instagram video which shows the singer getting ready for a performance. After one of her handlers checks in on her, Ashanti’s mom, Tina Douglas, checks in a second time, asking the singer how much time she needs until she’s ready. Ashanti emerges — dressed to the nines — and responds, “I’m gonna need about nine months,” prompting Tina to express shock at the pregnancy news.

In September 2023, the “Dilemma” emcee officially confirmed that the pair was back together. During an interview with Love and Hip Hop‘s Rasheeda and Kirk Frost, he admitted that rekindling their romance was a “surprise” for both of them.

“It wasn’t anything that I don’t think was planned,” he shared, adding that he believes time apart played a role in their rekindled relationship. “I think we both were pretty much doing what we do, but sometimes being separate you understand one another more. You be like, ‘Yo, let me see exactly what they see.’ You know, because we all can be defensive sometimes in our own relationships. We know we wrong but we going to stand on it. But we all a victim to that.” 

It’s been an eventful year for the “Body on Me” singers, who have shared PDA in Las Vegas and had a sentimental moment as Ashanti walked the red carpet holding a picture of her and Nelly from 20 years ago. 

For more of Nelly and Ashanti’s love, click below. 

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