Ashanti Opens Up About Her Maternity Shoot, Wedding Plans, And The Surprising Way Nelly Proposed

Ashanti Opens Up About Her Maternity Shoot, Wedding Plans, And The Surprising Way Nelly Proposed

Ashanti is opening up about her relationship with Nelly, even revealing the unconventional way he proposed.

Source: Prince Williams / Getty

The couple first announced their engagement back in April, and now, the "Foolish" singer is giving fans more insight into how they got here.

After dating on and off for nearly a decade and finally calling it quits back in 2013, Nelly and Ashanti ended up reconnecting at Fat Joe and Ja Rule's Verzuz battle in 2021. Though they played coy about their rekindled romance for a while, they eventually went public, and the pair have been inseparable ever since.

This week, the mother-to-be stopped by ET to talk about their relationship, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at her maternity shoot with photographer Derek Blanks.

"Never in a million years did I think we would be here," Ashanti tells ET's Deidre Behar. "Ten years ago - maybe yes - but after our breakup, you know, I didn't even think we'd ever have a conversation again."

When asked about how she felt when she found out she was pregnant, the singer said, "I was so shocked and happy and emotional. I always dreamed about it. I wanted it so, so bad and I just feel like the timing was perfect."

As for her maternity shoot, she was photographed on the beach, which Ashanti says is "authentically" her.

"To be on the beach, out in nature and the sunshine, that's what makes me smile and makes me happy genuinely from within," the singer explains. "Then, obviously, the princess girly, glam Ashanti vibe is there as well."


Back in December, the internet started exploding with pregnancy rumors after Nelly rubbed Ashanti's belly while they performed at the rapper's annual Black and White Ball in St. Louis.

In the viral video, Ashanti places her hands on her stomach, which led Nelly to rub his fiancée's belly and smile at the crowd. Ashanti playfully slapped his hands away as the pair laughed while producer Polow da Don encouraged the couple to "seal the deal."

While that interaction is what really sent pregnancy speculation into overdrive, Ashanti revealed to ET that neither of them actually knew she was pregnant at the time.

"When he blurted that out on the stage, we actually did not know," she explained noting that she was just trying to adjust her dress. "I hadn't even taken a test at that time."


Once the singer missed her period, however, she immediately told her fiancé on FaceTime after taking a test.

"I couldn't wait, [I] had to get it out. And he was just like, 'Oh I knew,'" Ashanti said of the moment she told Nelly. "He was so happy and we were both smiling and it was so funny."

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Elsewhere in her interview, the singer also revealed how Nelly proposed, admitting she was wearing one of his T-shirts and a pair of boxer shorts when he popped the question.

"I felt like [the proposal] was going to come soon," Ashanti explained. "I didn't know when. The way that it happened was just so funny. I'm sitting in the bed watching TV with boxers on."

While she jokes that the moment was "not really sexy," Ashanti says she burst into tears when she said yes.

"I gave him the biggest hug and kiss ever," she recalled. "I FaceTimed everyone I know. ... I was overjoyed and shocked and surprised and happy, kind of, like, all in one."

The will be Ashanti's first and Nelly's third child. The rapper is the father of Chanelle, 29, and Cornell Haynes III, 24, from a previous relationship. He also adopted his sister, Jackie Donahue's, kids - Shawn and Sydney Thomas - after she passed away from leukemia in 2005.

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A post shared by Ashanti and Nelly Supporters (@nellyandashanti)

Congrats to the happy couple!


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