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‘Baby, Baby, Baby’: Ashanti Confirms Pregnancy and Engagement with Nelly Following Viral Video of Him Performing at Concert with Empty Seats 

After months of speculation, singer Ashanti has finally revealed her pregnancy on Wednesday, April 17 with an Instagram video using the caption, “Baby baby baby baby.”

As she prepared to get ready and hit the stage, her “momager,” Tina Douglas, who seemingly confirmed the news last month, asked, “Shan, how much time you need?”

The “Foolish” singer came from behind the curtain and said, “I need about nine months,” as she held up what appears to be a positive pregnancy test.

Love comes back around for Nelly and Ashanti after the singer revealed their engagement and news about their first pregnancy.
Love comes back around for Nelly and Ashanti after the singer revealed their engagement and news about their first pregnancy. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)

In an exclusive with Essence magazine, Ashanti also revealed that she and Nelly are now engaged.

“This new year of my life is such a blessing full of love, hope, and anticipation,” she said. “Motherhood is something that I have looked forward to, and sharing this with my family, fiancé, and loyal fans, who have been so supportive of my career, is an amazing experience.”

This exciting news comes days after a viral video of Nelly performing for University of Florida students to a less than sold out crowd.

The three-time Grammy Award-winning artist had top billing when he hit the stage for a show that was free for attendees on April 9 as part of a co-sponsored event presented by Student Government Productions and the ACCENT Speakers Bureau.

Footage being circulated on social media from the show revealed that the Stephen C. O’Connell Center was nearly empty.

“I’m getting second hand embarrassment,” read the caption of a video. In the recording, the “Hot In Herre” rapper and his brother City Spud, who is also a founding member of the St. Lunatics can be seen performing on stage and it was anything but hot in the center.

“I definitely would have preferred if there were more people because it felt a little empty at the beginning,” UF freshman Jennifer Cardenas told WUFT. “Once he started with the music, it got better, and I enjoyed it.”

Ashanti fans say she has no choice but to work amid first pregnancy after Nelly performs for a nearly empty arena. (Photos: Barstoolflorida/Instagram.)

According to the outlet, the show was expected to begin at 7 p.m., but due to the low turnout, the “Country Grammar” emcee did not begin performing until 8 p.m. At that time, audience members who trickled in were advised that they were allowed to take up space on the floor, still leaving several rows of seats empty.

According to WUFT, Nelly did not allow the lackluster crowd to dissuade him from imparting sage wisdom about being a good person and having a good heart to the future graduates. However, on social media, reactions to the concert have been mixed and laced with remarks about his girlfriend, Ashanti.

“He still goes home to Ashanti,” wrote a fan who counted Nelly’s love life as the biggest win of them all. “I hate when people try to embarrass people. That clearly looks like a sound check to me,” wrote someone else coming to his defense.

Even rapper The Game chimed in on the matter, writing, “Nothing to see here. He got paid probably 60-100K to perform even if it was only one person there. Sometimes promoters drop the ball on promoting shows so it’s not on bruh.”

But another individual keen on linking the show to the “Foolish” singer couldn’t help but to remark, “So is this why Ashanti won’t sit down!? 19 months with Child and all.”

Pregnancy rumors first surfaced last May after fans took notice of her thicker appearance during their joint performance in Last Vegas. Speculation that she was quietly with child grew as her figure appeared fuller and a rounded abdomen began to protrude from beneath her oversized stage costumes at various concerts.

In March, Ashanti’s mom accidentally let it slip that her daughter was pregnant.

When a radio host congratulated her on the pending birth of her first grandchild, Douglas quickly snapped, “There’s been no announcement. It hasn’t come out yet until I hear it from Ashanti and Nelly,” adding, “It hasn’t come out yet until I hear it from Ashanti and Nelly.”

Ashanti’s ex-boyfriend Joyner Lucas further confirmed the news before her announcement when he said, “She’s about to have a baby. I’m just excited. I know how much you wanted to be a mom,” during a recent interview.

Nelly and Ashanti were on and off from 2003 till 2013, when they broke up for good. To the shock of many, they rekindled their romance sometime in 2022 but did not publicly confirm they were an exclusive item until 2023. Neither party has been married, however, Nelly does have two adult children from previous relationships and a niece and nephew he adopted after his sister passed from leukemia in 2005.

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