Ashanti and Nelly Are Engaged, Expecting First Child Together

Music legends Ashanti and Nelly have announced that they are engaged and are expecting their first child together.

Ashanti confirmed the news with Essence. “This new year of my life is such a blessing full of love, hope, and anticipation,” Ashanti told the publication. “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.”

This will be Ashanti’s first child and Nelly’s fifth. He has a daughter (Chanelle) and a son (Cornell), plus Shawn and Sydney, whom he adopted after his sister, Jackie Donahue, passed away from leukemia in 2005. 

Ashanti and Nelly’s engagement and baby news comes after the two lovebirds reunited and went public with their relationship in 2023. The couple first started dating in 2003 and separated in 2013. 

In 2021, they unexpectedly reunited for the first time since their breakup at Ja Rule and Fat Joe’s Verzuz battle. During the event, Nelly was seen crossing the stage to hug Ashanti.

Following the Verzuz celebration, Ashanti was on Instagram Live with Ja Rule and Fat Joe, where she talked about reconnecting with Nelly. “I had no idea he was going to be there,” Ashanti said. “I haven’t seen him or spoken to him since we broke up. I don’t know if it’s six years or something, so I didn’t know what to expect.” She continued, “I saw him walking, his eyes got big, I didn’t know what to expect. But it was positive.”

In other news, Ashanti and Nelly teamed with Jermaine Dupri on his single “This Lil’ Game We Play,” also featuring Juicy J, which released in February. The two previously collaborated on 2008’s “Body On Me,” which appeared on Ashanti’s The Declaration and Nelly’s Brass Knuckles.

See Ashanti’s announcement video below.