Ashanti and Nelly, awaiting their first kid, actually married a lil bit (six months) ago

Alexandra Del Rosario, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Nelly and Ashanti are husband and wife and have been for some time now, according to a legal documents database.

The "Lil Bit" rapper and "Only U" singer quietly tied the knot late last year, according to the St. Louis County Recorder. The Missouri database entry said Nelly (born Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.) and Ashanti (full name Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas) married on Dec. 27, 2023, but had no additional information about their nuptials.

TMZ first reported on the database entry Wednesday. Representatives for the pair did not immediately respond to The Times' request for comment Wednesday.

Just months ago, Ashanti confirmed that she and the "Hot in Herre" rapper, 49, were betrothed and expecting their first child together. The "Baby" singer, 43, told Essence in April that she was looking forward to entering motherhood "with my family, fiancé and loyal fans, who have been so supportive of my career."

According to the database, the R&B stars married shortly after rekindling their romance in September. Nelly confirmed his romance with Ashanti in an interview with Rasheeda of "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta" on her "Boss Moves" TV show.

"Yeah, we cool again," he said at the time. "I think it surprised both of us, though. It wasn't anything that ...[was] planned. I think we're both pretty much doing what we do."

Nelly and Ashanti split in 2013. Before calling it quits, the "Body On Me" collaborators had dated on and off for 11 years.

Ashanti opened up about Nelly's proposal, telling ET in an interview published Tuesday that it was "such a beautiful, intimate" moment.

"I cried, I gave him the biggest hug and kiss ever, I FaceTimed everyone I know," she said, then added that she and Nelly were "probably" ready to walk down the aisle.


Neither of the artists has publicized their marriage on social media. Ashanti added in her ET conversation that she does not want to be pregnant at her wedding.

She also addressed the viral moment that launched pregnancy rumors. During a performance at an Atlanta event in September, the "Ride With Me" rapper and his now-wife playfully caressed her stomach. She did not know she was pregnant at the time.

"When he blurted that out on the stage, we actually did not know. I hadn't even taken a test at that time," she told ET. The singer said she was just fixing her wardrobe at the time but Nelly was "making it look like something."

The incoming child is Ashanti's first and Nelly's third. He shares two grown children — Chanelle and Cornell Haynes III — with ex-girlfriend Channetta Valentine.

"Never in a million years did I think [Nelly and I] would be here," Ashanti told ET. "Like 10 years ago maybe, but after our breakup, I didn't even think we'd have a conversation again."


(L.A. Times staff writer Nardine Saad and researcher Scott Wilson contributed to this report.)


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