We love a good happy ending—or, in this case, really, a beginning: after dating for 10 years (from 2003 to 2013), breaking up for 10 years (from 2013 to 2023), and reuniting as a couple this year, Ashanti and Nelly are going to be parents together, multiple outlets report.
Us Weekly reports that Ashanti is pregnant, and at 43 will become a first-time mom; Nelly, 49, is father to a daughter, Chanelle, and a son, Cornell Haynes III, with his ex Channetta Valentine. “Nelly and Ashanti are welcoming their first baby together,” a source told the outlet.
Ashanti first sparked pregnancy speculation over the weekend, when she attended Nelly’s Black and White Ball in St. Louis. During the event, she “put her hand on her stomach while onstage with Nelly, and he did the same,” Us Weekly reports. In a fan video shared by TMZ, the couple broke into laughter after seemingly hinting that they are expanding their family, Us Weekly reports.
The two originally met back in 2003 after meeting during a Grammy Awards press conference. In April 2023, rumors that the pair had reconciled began after they were seen holding hands at a boxing match in Las Vegas. Nelly himself confirmed the relationship in September in a clip from Philo TV’s “Boss Moves with Rasheeda,” saying “Yeah, we cool again.” He admitted that the rekindled romance “surprised both of us though,” adding it wasn’t planned.
“A few years ago, Ashanti never would’ve imagined reconciling with Nelly, but they’re enjoying spending time together,” a source told Us Weekly. “They don’t want to rush anything.”
The couple went Instagram official in October, as Nelly celebrated Ashanti for her birthday: “One time for the birthday girl,” he wrote. “Such a beautiful, an incredible person inside and out and one of the hardest working women I know…@ashanti Enjoy your day Ma you look awesome!!!! Happy Birthday Love ya!!!!”
For Nelly’s birthday last month, Ashanti gave him a car: “She had been planning this surprise for months and it was such a hard secret to keep,” a source told Us Weekly. “But seeing his reaction made it all worthwhile.”
Nelly was in awe over the gesture, with the source telling Us Weekly “He was in total shock and overcome with emotion when he saw it. This gift meant the world to him because it had a much more sentimental reason behind it. This was Nelly’s dream car since he was a kid, and he couldn’t believe Ashanti gave him such a thoughtful gift. It’s one of the best presents he’s ever received.”
After Nelly shared a picture of the new car via social media, a fan wrote in the comments of his Instagram post “get her pregnant @nelly,” to which the rapper replied, simply, “I’m on it.”
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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