Ashanti and Nelly are engaged and expecting a baby

Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Congratulations are in order for singer Ashanti and rapper Nelly.

The reunited couple have gone public with both a pregnancy and their engagement. They shared the news exclusively with Essence magazine, which posted an announcement Wednesday on social media.

"This new year of my life is such a blessing full of love, hope, and anticipation," Ashanti, 43, said in a statement to the publication. "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."

Ashanti had some fun with the news on her own verified Instagram account, with a video in which she's seen preparing for a performance.

Ashanti and Nelly
Ashanti and Nelly perform at E11EVEN Miami during the 10th Anniversary of E11EVEN celebration on February 2 in Miami, Florida.
Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images via CNN Newsource

When her mother and manager Tina Y. Douglas asks her how much time she's going to need in the clip, Ashanti quips, "I'm gonna need about nine months" as he mother gasps and the screen goes to a logo for Proov, an at-home fertility and hormone marker test.

In a statement to CNN, the singer said, "As you know, I am so close with my mom and dad, so I am looking forward to being an amazing parent to our clild, like they were to me and my sister. Nelly and I are so excited to welcome and love on Baby Haynes." (Nelly's real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.)

Ashanti and Nelly, 49, confirmed in September that they were reunited as a couple, 20 years after they were first linked together in a relationship that ended after a decade.

Ashanti attended the MTV VMA Awards around that time, where Nelly was a scheduled performer. She carried a clutch with a photo of her and Nelly from when they attended the awards ceremony together back in 2003.

During an interview with E! News at the event, Ashanti said she thought the bag was "cute" and was asked if she and the "Hot in Here" star were in a relationship again.

After some laughing, she responded coyly with, "I mean...yeah."

Nelly also came clean during an appearance with "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta" stars Rasheeda and Kirk Frost on her "Boss Moves with Rasheeda" show last fall.

"We cool again," Nelly said. "I think it surprised both of us. It wasn't anything that was planned."

CNN has reached out to representatives for Nelly for additional comment.

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