Nelly’s Girlfriend: Everything To Know About Ashanti Romance & His Other Relationships

Nelly and Ashanti are reportedly back together after breaking up in 2013. Learn more about their romance and the rapper's past loves, here.

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Image Credit: Sara Jaye/Shutterstock

  • Nelly is a Grammy-winning rapper and singer
  • The artist also starred in movies like ‘The Longest Yard’
  • He recently reunited with Ashanti after splitting up a decade ago

Nelly has reportedly taken a second chance on romance with Ashanti! The pair, who broke up in 2013 after 10 years together, have reunited and are “happy,” an insider told Entertainment Tonight, with a second source adding, “Nelly and Ashanti are really enjoying their time together.” HollywoodLife has reached out to reps for Nelly and Ashanti for confirmation.

Ashanti and Nelly have reportedly reunited in 2023. (Sara Jaye/Shutterstock)

The former power couple sparked reconciliation rumors when they were photographed holding hands at boxing match in Las Vegas in April, which came a few months after they performed their 2008 duet “Body on Me” at a concert in December. Ashanti then appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, and talked about her and Nelly’s status. “What I will say is we’re in a better place,” she explained. Nelly seemed to echo her sentiment when he told ET at the 2023 Grammys that “time does wonders for a lot of different things.”

As the “Country Grammar” hitmaker and the “Foolish” songstress enjoy being the latest love match reboot —see Bennifer 2.0 — let’s take a look at his romance history, below.

Shantel Jackson

Shantel Jackson and Nelly. (JA/Everett Collection)

Nelly and actress Shantel Jackson started dating in 2014. Three years later, while appearing on the reality show The Platinum Life, Shantel gushed about the romance. “The best part about being with Nelly is that he always likes to have fun,” she said on the show, according to Essence.  “I don’t wanna be a baby momma, I want, you know, the horse and carriage, the wedding, the ring before I have a baby. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.”

In 2020, during Nelly’s appearance on Dancing with the Stars, the pair appeared as strong as ever, as the “Hot in Herre” singer praised his girlfriend. “I would not want my life to not have Shantel in it,” he said at the time, per the outlet. “We’ve been seeing each other for five or six years. Any time you can connect with somebody like that, it works out for the long run. She’s sweet, beautiful, and the more we got to know each other, she’s just as beautiful inside.”

At one point, the couple were even teasing a wedding! “It’s something I’m only doing one time,” Neey said of marriage to People in 2017. “For me, it’s almost like society would prefer you to have been married and got divorced and tried it then to be married and stay married. For me, it’s more important to die married than to have been married and it didn’t work out.”

By July 2021, however, the longtime romance appeared to fizzle. After a fan asked Shantel if she was still with Nelly in the comment section of her Instagram, she replied, “No we’re not ….. Just friends.” Nelly confirmed the news to The Shade Room, claiming that they had split in 2019.


Ashanti and Nelly began their romance after first meeting the Grammys in 2003. Their relationship lasted for 10 years before they ended things in 2013. Their recent reconciliation only came after rumors about them getting back together were rampant.

Last December, a video surfaced of Ashanti and Nelly performing together at a concert. In it, the pair were seen getting quite cozy on stage while singing their 2008 hit collab “Body on Me.” During a stop on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Ashanti was grilled about her status with Nelly. “What I will say is, we’re in a better place,” she said. “Because before it was like [*punching*]. We have some conversations [now]. So it was cool.” However, when Andy Cohen followed up and asked if they were not getting back together, Ashanti didn’t appear to give a solid answer, as she said, “I mean, I don’t…” before laughing. With the recent reconciliation news, it looks like she won’t have play coy anymore!