The early 2000s was an unforgettable time for hip-hop and R&B. Many singers and rappers were busy cementing their place in music history, including Nelly and Ashanti. After Nelly’s career catapulted with the release of his single “Country Grammar” in June 2000 and Ashanti’s self-titled debut album reached No. 1 on the charts, all eyes were on the stars.
The pair eventually met and were rumored to start dating in 2003, but they, unfortunately, broke up in 2013.
Fast forward to Fat Joe and Ja Rule’s Sept. 14, 2021, Verzuz battle. Both Nelly and Ashanti graced the stage to perform their hits with the stars. And of course, social media was watching and anticipating the pair having a moment together.
Seeing the pair together made social media nostalgic for their relationship, and many people are wondering why Nelly and Ashanti break up and if there's a chance they'll get back together. Read on to get the 4-1-1.
Nelly and Ashanti allegedly broke up due to an act of betrayal.
It’s true that Nelly and Ashanti were once considered one of hip-hop’s power couples. Nelly is a talented rapper and hitmaker while Ashanti’s heavenly vocals and writing skills have established her as one of the greats.
According to HITC, Nelly and Ashanti first met in 2003 at a Grammy Awards press conference where it was rumored that they fell for each other.
Although everyone knew that Nelly and Ashanti were an item, the former couple made it a point to keep their relationship private. The outlet shares that the couple was on and off for years.
But Nelly was very serious about Ashanti and even shared an interest in marrying the songstress. Unfortunately, those plans never came to fruition as the pair separated in 2013.
While there was tons of speculation surrounding their breakup over the years, it wasn’t until 2015 that Ashanti hinted at the reason for the demise of the relationship.
According to Cheat Sheet, Ashanti first hinted at their breakup on The Meredith Vieira Show in 2015.
“I think sometimes when people have their own insecurities, it allows them to act out of character,” Ashanti said. “I’ve been betrayed. You just have to grow. You have to grow up. You have to accept responsibility for the things that you do. I’m not a big fan of people being cowards."
The star went on to say that she's "in a different place now."
The 40-year-old threw even more shade Nelly’s way at a concert in 2018. As Ashanti took the stage, she told the crowd, "I've been betrayed before. Publicly at that."
A member of the audience shouted, “F--k Nelly!” She then pointed the audience member out and said, “Word.”
Fans took that as confirmation that Nelly crossed Ashanti during their relationship, and that's why they broke up. However, Nelly has never spoken about the reason for their breakup.
Nelly and Ashanti reunited at Fat Joe and Ja Rule’s Verzuz battle on Sept. 14, 2021.
Naturally, Fat Joe and Ja Rule’s Verzuz battle has already been dubbed one of the best face-offs in Verzuz history. Both rappers have many timeless hits and dedicated fan bases.
Fans in the audience and on social media were excited to see various musicians perform during the battle, including Nelly and Ashanti. While fans expected Ashanti to make an appearance since she has songs with both rappers, no one was really sure that she'd actually perform.
Once Ashanti hit the stage, social media lost it. Not only did she look beautiful and perform well, but many fans were also anticipating a run-in with Nelly on stage.
Nelly didn’t let fans down. He walked across the stage to Ja Rule’s section to give Ashanti a hug (captured by The Shade Room). And of course, social media ate it up. There have been nonstop jokes about the moment. Some fans are even sharing their hopes that the pair will reconcile.
However, social media shouldn’t hold their breath. Ashanti has already been very vocal about having moved on from the situation. Plus, Nelly and his longtime girlfriend Shantel Jackson have recently ended their relationship. So Nelly may be looking to stay single for some time.
Ashanti is notorious for keeping her personal life private, so there's no telling whether she is single or in a committed relationship with someone else at this time.
It was nice seeing Nelly and Ashanti reunite, but the chances of the pair reconciling are slim to none.