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Nelly and Ashanti emerged when 2000s hip-hop and R&B had a hard act to follow after the previous decade. However, artistslike Ashanti and Nelly showed that the next generation of performers was talented in their own right. Ashanti and Nelly became one of music’s most noted relationships until they broke up after more than a decade together.

How did Nelly and Ashanti meet?

By the end of 2002, both Nelly and Ashanti had established themselves as some of the hottest new artists of the millennium. The two met at a press conference for the Grammy Awards on Jan. 1, 2003.

“The first time I met Nelly he asked me for my autograph, but I think he was being sarcastic and I remember writing it down on the program,” Ashanti said on Behind the Music. “For the record, it took him a long time to get my number.”

Their relationship remained quiet but strong for many years; Nelly even expressed an interest in marrying Ashanti. But in 2013, the couple called it quits after a decade together.

What happened to Nelly and Ashanti? Why they broke up

The two remained tight-lipped in the aftermath of the breakup. Ashanti first hinted at the reason for their breakup on The Meredith Vieira Show two years later in 2015. “I think sometimes when people have their own insecurities it allows them to act out of character,” she said. “I’ve been betrayed.”

“I’m not a big fan of people being cowards,” she continued, adding, “I’m in a different place now.”

Ashanti referenced this betrayal of trust at a concert in 2018. “I’ve been betrayed before. Publicly at that,” Ashanti said when she emerged on stage. A fan in the crowd yelled, “F*** Nelly!” and Ashanti pointed at them and just said, “Word.”

With just one word — “Word” — Ashanti seemingly confirmed what many had suspected for a while: the reason for the end of their relationship was Nelly’s betrayal of Ashanti and not the other way around.

In an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2019, Ashanti made it clear that she hadn’t looked back.

Ashanti and Nelly got back together in 2023

Nelly and Ashanti pose together at a Halloween party
Nelly and Ashanti attend Nelly’s Halloween Birthday Celebration on October 31, 2023 in Fairburn, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)

How Much Older Is Nelly Than Ashanti?

However, it appears as if Nelly and Ashanti were able to get over any past transgressions. The couple were spotted together in 2023 with sources confirming that their romance was back on.

Fans were eager to see the couple reunite even before the reports. A December 2022 concert performance showed the two rappers still had plenty of chemistry together.

In December 2023, it was confirmed that the celebrity couple is expecting their first child together.