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Pregnant Ashanti Confirms Engagement to Nelly Ahead of 1st Baby’s Birth: ‘Blessing Full of Love’

Pregnant Ashanti Confirms Engagement to Nelly
ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

Ashanti and Nelly are engaged, confirming the news before they welcome their first baby together.

“This new year of my life is such a blessing full of love, hope, and anticipation,” Ashanti, 43, told Essence on Wednesday, April 17. “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.”

The pregnant singer also debuted her baby news in an Instagram video, in which her team was hurrying her on stage for a concert.

“I need about nine months,” she quipped, holding up a fertility test from Proov, a company that she and Nelly, 49, have minority stakes in.

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Ashanti captioned her post, “Baby baby baby baby…. ❤️🙏🏽😆.”

Us Weekly broke the news in December 2023 that Ashanti and Nelly are 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.

Ashanti and Nelly met at a Grammy Awards press conference and dated on and off between 2003 and 2013. They reconnected a decade later in April 2023.

“Yeah, we cool again,” Nelly said during a September 2023 appearance on the “Boss Moves with Rasheeda” podcast. “I think it surprised both of us though. It wasn’t anything that I don’t think was planned.”

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He added at the time, “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.”

Weeks later, a source told Us that the pair were taking their reunion slow.

“A few years ago, Ashanti never would’ve imagined reconciling with Nelly, but they’re enjoying spending time together,” a source exclusively told Us in September 2023. “They don’t want to rush anything.”

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According to the insider, Ashanti and Nelly “know each other better than most people” and are “very comfortable” together.

Amid Ashanti’s pregnancy, her famous friends and former partners are happy for the couple.

“She’s a really dope person. She really is. She’s an amazing person,” Joyner Lucas, who previously dated Ashanti, gushed on the “Jason Lee Show” earlier this month. “She’s about to have a baby. I know how much she wanted to be a mom.”

He continued, “She’s gonna be an amazing mom. I would tell her that all the time [when we dated].”

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