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Timeline of Nelly & Ashanti's romance to expecting their first child 21 years later

Nelly and Ashanti first met in 2003 and have had an on-and-off relationship over the years before they rekindled things in 2022.

Nelly and Ashanti during their appearance and show at the State Farm Arena, Atlanta in April 2024

American musician Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas, popularly known by her first name, has finally confirmed that she is expecting her first child.

She made the official announcement on April 17, 2024 in a widely viewed clip on her Instagram with the caption: "Baby baby baby baby…." coming after months of speculations.

The Grammy-award winning artist also followed up the announcement with a second clip of her growing baby bump tagging Cornell Iral Haynes Jr "Nelly", in the second video.


News of the couple's first pregnancy has been widely received with joy by their fans given the on-again-off-again history of their relationship over the course of 20 years.

Both Nelly and Ashanti have had their share of public and private relationships during the years they were apart.

Their journey back to each other seems to have started around 2022, culminating in public appearances and eventually the pregnancy announcement.

Here's a timeline highlighting the key events from when they first met to the recent pregnancy announcement:


Nelly and Ashanti first met in 2003 during a press tour for the GRAMMYs. Their mutual involvement in the music industry facilitated their acquaintance and they quickly became friends.

Although they kept it relatively private, Nelly and Ashanti began dating shortly after they met. Their relationship became one of the most talked-about pairings in the R&B and hip-hop scenes.


For the next five years after they started dating, Nelly and Ashanti seemed to have a stable relationship. They managed to keep their relationship relatively private, despite both being in the spotlight.

It wasn't until around 2008 that they publicly acknowledged their relationship. By this time, they were often seen together at various high-profile events.

Between 2008 and 2010, when their relationship became more public, the first signs of trouble started to emerge. Reports indicated that their busy schedules and the demands of their careers were putting a strain on their relationship.


Between 2010 and 2012, the relationship was under intense scrutiny, and rumours of infidelity and disagreements were frequently reported. Despite these challenges, they continued to make public appearances together, though they were increasingly sporadic.

By 2013, both Nelly and Ashanti had confirmed that they had parted ways.

Media outlets reported that the breakup was due to trust issues and the challenges of maintaining a relationship in the public eye. Both parties spoke about the breakup in subsequent interviews, citing personal growth and professional focus as reasons for the split.


Following their breakup, they pursued individual projects and maintained professional decorum in public settings.

Between 2013 and 2022, both Nelly and Ashanti were linked with other people, for most of this time Nelly was in a long-term relationship with actress and model Shantel Jackson.

They started dating in 2014, and their relationship was public, they featured prominently on social media and in various media outlets.

In 2021, it was reported that they had ended their relationship. Nelly and Shantel Jackson had appeared together on his reality TV show 'Nellyville' which gave insights into their life together.


Ashanti was rumored to be dating NFL player Darnell Dockett in 2015. The rumors were sparked by their interactions on social media, though neither confirmed the relationship publicly.

In 2016 she was linked to NBA player James Harden. The rumors started when they were seen together on various occasions, but like with Dockett, this relationship was never officially confirmed.

Throughout the years, Ashanti has been the subject of various other dating rumors, though she has generally kept her personal life more private, and many of these rumors remained unconfirmed.


After nearly a decade apart, there were rumors and eventual confirmations that Nelly and Ashanti had rekindled their relationship. They were seen together more frequently, reigniting discussions about their past and future.

On April 17, 2024, Nelly and Ashanti announced that they were expecting a child together. This news marked a new chapter in their relationship and was received with excitement from fans and well-wishers.

Throughout their relationship, both Nelly and Ashanti have navigated the complexities of a public romantic connection while managing successful music careers. The announcement of their upcoming child has been seen as a hopeful symbol of their enduring connection.


This content was generated by an AI model and verified by the author.


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