Ashanti and Nelly expecting first child together after rekindling romance

Following a whirlwind reunion, lovebirds Ashanti and Nelly are getting a visit from the stork.

The R&B songstress is expecting her first child with the “Hot In Herre” rapper, Ashanti confirmed in an interview with Essence magazine Wednesday. A representative for Nelly also confirmed the news to USA TODAY.

“This new year of my life is such a blessing full of love, hope and anticipation,” Ashanti told the magazine. “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 now-engaged couple alluded to Ashanti’s pregnancy with an appearance at the Black & White Ball in December 2023, according to footage obtained by TMZ. In the video, Ashanti rubbed her stomach while standing onstage, followed by a touch from Nelly a few seconds later. The singers then started laughing after the gesture.

On Instagram Wednesday, Ashanti also alluded to her pregnancy in a video. She captioned the post: “Baby baby baby baby…. ❤️🙏🏽😆”

Nelly shares two children from previous relationships: daughter Chanelle Haynes, 30, and son Cornell Haynes III, 25. He also adopted Shawn and Sydney Thomas, the children of sister Jackie Donahue, after she died of leukemia in 2005.

Ashanti and Nelly’s love story spans decades

Ashanti and Nelly had privately dated on and off for around a decade, according to Entertainment Tonight, after they were both nominated for (and later won) Grammy Awards in 2003.

After months of speculation about the two rekindling their romance, Nelly revealed in a September 2023 interview that he and the “Foolish” singer were giving things another go.

Appearing on the Philo show “Boss Moves with Rasheeda,” the rapper and “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” star got straight to the point with Nelly: “So you and Ashanti are back together?”

ashanti and nelly expecting first child together after rekindling romance

Ashanti and Nelly perform at E11EVEN Miami during the 10th Anniversary of E11EVEN celebration on Feb. 2, 2024, in Miami, Florida.

Laughing and accusing the host of starting the interview with “no warmup,” Nelly bided his time before answering. “Yeah,” he confirmed to Rasheeda and her husband, Kirk Frost. “We’re cool again.”

“I think it surprised both of us, though. It wasn’t anything that was like, I don’t think, planned. I think we both was pretty much doing what we do,” Nelly said.

He added, “But sometimes being separate, you understand one another more, where you could be like, ‘Well, yo, let me exactly see, maybe, what they see.’ ‘Cause you know we all can be defensive sometimes in our own relationships. And we know we’re wrong, but we’re going to stand on it, you what I mean?”

Ashanti rocks Nelly purse at MTV Video Music Awards after couple rekindles romance

Ashanti rocks Nelly purse at 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, confirms romance

ashanti and nelly expecting first child together after rekindling romance

Ashanti and Nelly perform at E11EVEN Miami during the 10th Anniversary of E11EVEN celebration on Feb. 2, 2024, in Miami, Florida.

Ashanti made her relationship with Nelly red carpet official at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards in September by accessorizing her look with a clutch that had a photo of the couple printed on it.

“This is where we first exchanged numbers. I was like, ‘Oh, this would be cute,'” she told TODAY ahead of the event at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

A few months before Ashanti’s VMAs shoutout, Ashanti and Nelly hit the stage together in Las Vegas for a surprise performance of their 2008 hit “Body on Me,” which features Akon.

“We’re in a great space. Everything is positive; we’re having a lot of fun,” Ashanti told People magazine in September.

Ashanti and Nelly: Singer surprises boyfriend with custom convertible for his 49th birthday

Ashanti surprises boyfriend Nelly with custom convertible for his 49th birthday

Ashanti surprised Nelly with an electric blue 1962 Impala convertible at his “G.I. Moe” joint birthday and Halloween party in October 2023.

In TMZ’s video from the event, an emotional Nelly – whose birthday is Nov. 2 – embraced his girlfriend twice after the extravagant gift was revealed as fireworks went off in the background. After Ashanti sat next to him in the passenger seat, the couple shared a kiss.

The car, which Ashanti had shipped to Atlanta from California, came with light and sound system customizations as well as a Derrty logo representing Nelly’s record label, a representative for Ashanti confirmed to USA TODAY at the time.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ashanti and Nelly expecting first child together after rekindling romance

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