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Ashanti and Ex-Boyfriend Nelly Spark Dating Rumors After Holding Hands at Boxing Match

Ashanti and Ex-Boyfriend Nelly Spark Dating Rumors After Holding Hands at Boxing Match
Ashanti and Nelly Shutterstock (2)

Throwback alert! Ashanti and her ex-boyfriend Nelly were recently spotted holding hands — and now their fans are desperate to know whether the long-estranged duo are back together.

The “Foolish” songstress, 42, and the rapper, 48, attended a boxing match in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 22, sitting next to each other in ringside seats as Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia battled it out. Ashanti wore a crystal-trimmed black mini dress, while the “Country Grammar” artist donned a black-and-white patterned hoodie.

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As the duo exited the main floor later in the evening, cameras captured Nelly grabbing his date’s hand as they moved through the crowd. “This wasn’t on my Bingo card,” joked one fan via Twitter. “Early 2000s coming back!”

Ashanti also shared an Instagram Story video from the event showing off her outfit, adding the caption, “Oh hey,” with a winky face emoji. She didn’t mention Nelly in the post, but his distinctive hoodie was visible to her right.

Ashanti and Ex-Boyfriend Nelly Spark Dating Rumors After Holding Hands at Boxing Match 2
Ashanti and Nelly attend The Angel Ball hosted by Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation on October 22, 2012 in New York City. Andrew Toth/Starpix/Shutterstock

The “Always on Time” singer and the St. Lunatics member dated off and on from 2003 to 2013 after meeting at a press conference for the 45th Annual Grammy Awards. The former couple kept their romance relatively private while they were dating, but two years after their split, Ashanti opened up about what led to their breakup.

“I think sometimes when people have their own insecurities it allows them to act out of character,” the Army Wives alum said during a March 2015 appearance on The Meredith Vieira Show. “I’ve been betrayed.”

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Ashanti didn’t offer any specifics about what went wrong, but she hinted that she and Nelly had grown apart. “Again, you just have to grow. You have to grow up and accept responsibilities for the things that you do,” she explained. “I’m not a big fan of people being cowards. I think it’s really important to know yourself and understand what you want and get it. I’m in a different place right now.”

The pair sent fans into a frenzy last year when they reunited to perform their 2009 hit “Body on Me” at a December 2022 concert in Arizona. Days after the performance, Ashanti addressed the possibility of them getting back together during an interview on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.

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“I saw a lot of comments. My reaction was, ‘Wow.’ It was a lot of comments and a lot of people wanting [us to get back together],” the “Happy” singer said when a fan called in to ask whether she and Nelly would become the next Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, who rekindled their romance in 2021 after nearly 20 years apart. “What I will say is, we’re in a better place. … We’re cool now. We had some conversations, so it was cool.”

When host Andy Cohen asked point blank if the pair would ever get back together, Ashanti didn’t totally shut down the possibility. “I mean, I don’t … ,” she trailed off before bursting into laughter.

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