Nelly, Ashanti secretly married months before announcing pregnancy, engagement

Jami Ganz | New York Daily News

Nelly and Ashanti, who are currently expecting their first child together, secretly tied the knot just in time for New Year’s.

The “Body on Me” artists, who reconciled last year after 10 years apart and confirmed their engagement in the spring, have been legally married since Dec. 27, 2023, according to public records obtained by TMZ.

Though it was not confirmed where exactly the Grammy-winning artists wed, the marriage became official in St. Louis County, where 49-year-old Nelly spent his adolescence.

The “Just a Dream” rapper and 43-year-old R&B singer, who hails from Glen Cove, N.Y., originally began a decade-long on-and-off relationship in 2003.

Though rumors of a renewed romance started in April of last year, after they were seen together multiple times in Las Vegas, it wasn’t until September that Nelly confirmed the news to “The Shade Room,” noting he and Ashanti were “cool again.”

“I think it surprised both of us though. … I don’t think, planned,” the “Grillz” rapper said at the time. “Sometimes being separate, you understand one another more. … We all can be defensive sometimes in our relationships.”

He also pointed to outsiders’ interference as making things “tough” in the past.

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They made their relationship official the following month, with Nelly sharing a sweet birthday tribute to Ashanti on Instagram.

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By early December, a source told Us Weekly the couple was expecting and would be “welcoming their first baby together.”

The insider’s claims came after a video circulated online, which showed the pair placing their hands on Ashanti’s stomach.

Five months later, in April of this year, Ashanti confirmed in a video that she and Nelly were soon-to-be parents and were engaged.

The new arrival will be the first for Ashanti and fifth for her new husband. Through his relationship with Channetta Valentine, Nelly is the father to daughter Chanelle, 30, and son Cornell, 25. In 2005, he adopted and raised the kids of his late sister: son Shawn and daughter Sydney.

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