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Pregnant Ashanti and Nelly Are Married Less Than 1 Year After Announcing Their Engagement

Pregnant Ashanti and Nelly Are Married Before Their 1st Baby's Birth
Nelly and Ashanti. Courtesy of Ashanti/Instagram

Ashanti and Nelly are officially married as they await the arrival of their first baby together.

Ashanti, 43, and Nelly, 49, secretly held their wedding in St. Louis on December 27, 2023, Us Weekly can confirm. The news comes just weeks after Us confirmed Ashanti was pregnant with their first child.

The couple originally met at a Grammy Awards press conference and dated on and off between 2003 and 2013. After calling it quits, Ashanti and Nelly reconnected a decade later in April 2023 and rekindled their romance.

“Yeah, we cool again,” Nelly said on the “Boss Moves with Rasheeda” podcast in September 2023. “I think it surprised both of us though. It wasn’t anything that I don’t think was planned. Before I felt like both of us were doing what we were doing before career-wise, and when you got so many people in the middle of it, it can be tough.”

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At the time, a source exclusively told Us that the pair were taking things slow.

“A few years ago, Ashanti never would’ve imagined reconciling with Nelly, but they’re enjoying spending time together,” the insider shared about how “comfortable” Ashanti and Nelly are with each other. “They don’t want to rush anything.”

Us subsequently broke the news in December 2023 that Ashanti and Nelly were expecting their first baby together, his fifth. Nelly also shares daughter Chanelle, 29, and son Cornell Haynes III, 24, with ex Channetta Valentine. He also previously adopted Shawn and Sydney, the children of his late sister Jackie Donahue, after her 2005 death.

Pregnant Ashanti and Nelly Are Married Before Their 1st Baby's Birth
Ashanti and Nelly. Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for E11EVEN

After remaining largely tight-lipped about their romance, Ashanti confirmed their engagement and her pregnancy.

“This new year of my life is such a blessing full of love, hope, and anticipation,” Ashanti told Essence in April. “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.”

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The singer offered more details on the proposal two months later, sharing with Entertainment Tonight on June 18, “It was just such a beautiful, intimate moment. We were not dressy. I felt like [the proposal] was going to come soon. I didn’t know when. The way that it happened was just so funny. I’m sitting in the bed watching TV with boxers on.”

Ashanti continued: “I gave him the biggest hug and kiss ever. I FaceTimed everyone I know. … I was overjoyed and shocked and surprised and happy, kind of, like, all in one.”

During the interview, Ashanti teased her vision for their wedding after saying she was “ready” to walk down the aisle, adding, “I think it’s going to be a combination of fashion, glam, Caribbean vibes. I have to have a beach and ocean and sunshine and palm trees.”

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