Home Relationship It All Started When Nelly Asked For Ashanti’s Autograph: A Timeline

It All Started When Nelly Asked For Ashanti’s Autograph: A Timeline

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Source: L. Busacca / Getty

Spin-the-Block. Hip-Hop Royalty. Couples Goals. These are all words and phrases we’ve used to describe the infectious rekindling romance of Nelly and Ashanti.

Since they burst back on the scene together last fall with pictures, videos, and shared performances, we’ve been more than invested. We love to see it, and even the most cynical of love seems to be rooting for them.

This week, the couple’s official baby announcement and engagement added a flood of congratulations their way. Nelly and Ashanti nearly broke the internet with their love.

Even more endearing is that many of us feel like we have an internet baby shower and wedding to plan. Knowing the couple- with their lavish events and parties – we are sure they will celebrate big.

As we await our invitations, let’s look back at Nelly and Ashanti’s romance. It is one for the ages – going back two decades- with exciting new chapters to discover.

Here are the key highlights.

2003 Grammys – ‘Can I get your autograph?’

The 45th GRAMMY Award Nominations - Green Room

Source: KMazur / Getty

What we now know as Nelly and Ashanti began at a press conference during the 2003 Grammy Awards. Sparks flew at the event, and rumors spread immediately following. But the two remained quiet about their official dating status.

Ashanti joked on a VH1 Behind the Music special, “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.”

2005 – 2008: Hanging out, but not ‘a thing’

Ashanti's Birthday Party at Cafe Durpree

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

Despite public appearances and music collaborations, such as the song “Switch” in 2007, Nelly and Ashanti mainly remained quiet about their relationship. Various news outlets have also reported that Ashanti downplayed their relationship, saying they had “gone out” and dated but weren’t officially an item. Adorable photos of the couple, however, kept rumors going.

2008 – 2009: ‘Body On Me’

"The Wiz" Encores! Summer Stars Series Opening Night - After Party

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

By 2008, Ashanti had spoken more publicly about her relationship with Nelly. The “Baby” singer alluded to a more serious relationship but refused questions about an engagement and denied a confirmation.

In 2009, Nelly released the “Body On Me” music video featuring Ashanti. The chemistry between the two hip-hop artists was undeniable.

2009- 2013: Nelly says he is ‘Married to his work.’

By 2012, rumors of a pending breakup were widespread. Some point to a 2010 Rap-Up TV interview with Nelly as a turning point.

During the conversation, Nelly said that he and Ashanti were just friends and that he was not ready to get married. The “Country Grammar” artist continued in the interview, saying he was “married to his work.”

2013: The Breakup

6th Annual DKMS Linked Against Blood Cancer Gala - Inside

Source: Theo Wargo / Getty

After years of dating and appearances, news broke in 2013 that Nelly and Ashanti had officially called it quits. Ashanti later opened up about feeling betrayed but also said several times that they “were cool” and still friends.

MUST READ: Ashanti Opens Up About Her Past Relationship With Nelly: ‘I’ve Been Betrayed’ [VIDEO]

2021 – 2022: Back like they never left?

Following their official breakup, Ashanti and Nelly dated others off and on. They weren’t seen publicly together until 2021.

In that year, Nelly and Ashanti reunited during a Verzuz performance with Ja Rule and Fat Joe. Cameras caught Nelly walking across the stage to hug Ashanti, which caught the beauty off-guard. Following the social media show, Ashanti shared her surprise on Instagram Live.

Later, in 2022, the pair performed together at a surprise holiday concert, causing a stir. They delivered a sweet, sexy performance of their hit “Body On Me.” Rumors of a rekindled romance spread like wildfire.

MUST READ: Nelly and Ashanti Share Their Undeniable Chemistry On Instagram

2023 – 2024: The Year of Spinning The Block

Nelly's Halloween Birthday Celebration

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

In 2023, fans became locked into a pending spin-the-block romance. The couple was spotted holding hands in Las Vegas and hanging out again at public events. Sources close to the couple reportedly shared with news outlets that they were hanging out again, performing together, and taking things slow.

By the summer of 2023, the couple appeared together on their first red carpet since 2012, shared social media jokes and moments, and celebrated birthdays together.

RELATED: Nelly Celebrates Ashanti’s 43rd Birthday With Sweet Instagram Tribute



After returning to the public eye with their relationship, new rumors surfaced about a possible pregnancy. Insiders told news outlets the couple was expecting, while Nelly and Ashanti almost broke the news themselves on many occasions.

However, this week’s news confirms everything – and well wishes can continue. Nelly and Ashanti are set to embark on a new adventure together. Congratulations, again, to the happy, deserving couple!


Ashanti And Nelly Spark Dating Rumors After Fight Night PDA

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