The Reason Nelly And Ashanti Broke Up

In the first half of the 2000s, Nelly and Ashanti were two of the biggest stars in the music world. By 2003, Nelly had released the chart-topping songs "Hot In Herre," "Dilemma," and "Shake Ya Tailfeather." Meanwhile, Ashanti made history in 2002 when she became the "first female performer to simultaneously hold the top two places on the Billboard Hot 100" with her hits "Foolish" and "What's Luv?," per Empire Online. When Ashanti and Nelly began dating, it seemingly made perfect sense. The artists appeared to have plenty in common not just creatively, but personally. For nearly a decade, they were a musical power couple.

All that changed in 2013 when the couple broke up. Their relationship was fairly private in the first place, and they kept the details of the breakup even more private. For a long time, both parties were tightlipped about the cause of the split, refusing to confirm anything beyond the basic fact that they were no longer together. However, years after they went their separate ways, Ashanti revealed a bit more about the uncoupling.

Did Nelly betray Ashanti?

For years after their breakup, neither Nelly nor Ashanti seemed to want to place any blame regarding the end of their relationship. That changed at a concert in 2018. Taking the stage, Ashanti began, "I've been betrayed before. Publicly at that." Someone in the crowd yelled out, "F**k Nelly!" Ashanti pointed at them and just said, "Word," seemingly confirming what many had suspected for a while: the reason for the end of the relationship was Nelly's betrayal of Ashanti and not the other way around.

Ashanti's 2018 comments came after even vaguer comments on The Meredith Vieira Show in 2015. Speaking about the betrayal, the singer said (via US Weekly), "I think sometimes when people have their own insecurities, it allows them to act out of character. I've been betrayed." Ashanti went on to say, "I'm not a big fan of people being cowards," adding, "I'm in a different place now." On Watch What Happens Live in 2019, Ashanti told Andy Cohen that she had not seen Nelly since they broke up six years prior. 

While Ashanti clearly has no interest in divulging the nitty gritty details of the breakup yet, it seems like she blames Nelly for the split and has no interest in ever getting back together.

Nelly and Ashanti had a 'positive' encounter in recent years

Despite comments hinting that Nelly may have wronged Ashanti as the two broke off their past romance, the musicians seem to be on better terms lately. During a 2021 Verzuz battle between Fat Joe and Ja Rule, Nelly and Ashanti both appeared on stage. As Essence reported, Nelly approached Ashanti and gave her a hug in front of the crowd. Ashanti later commented on the embrace during a post-performance Instagram Live, reassuring fans that she and Nelly were not an item again.

"Listen, there's nothing happening," Ashanti said. "This is the crazy part. I had no idea he was going to be there. I haven't seen him or spoken to him since we broke up. I don't know if it's six years or something, so I didn't know what to expect." Although Ashanti was not single at the time and didn't have a conversation with Nelly, she said, "I wish him the best and all of that good stuff." After this, Ashanti was on "The Tamron Hall Show" and shared that "the anger is long gone" from her past breakup with Nelly. The celeb exes have since collaborated publicly, which has raised the eyebrows of fans.

Nelly and Ashanti are now 'in a better place'

Is a reconciliation in the cards for Nelly and Ashanti? The performers reunited on stage to sing their track "Body On Me" at the Under The Mistletoe concert in December 2022, photographer Moe Horta shared on Instagram. The Shade Room reposted the video, which resulted in many comments from fans wondering whether Nelly and Ashanti could be rekindling their romance. One user wrote, "Please get back together. I been saying this since they broke up a decade ago." Another commented, "You can't fake chemistry and they got it!" A third fan added, "If y'all are back together...say it then. We already know!"

Following the performance, Ashanti was asked on "Watch What Happens Live" what her reaction was to seeing the fan responses to this onstage reunion. "My reaction was, 'Wow,'" Ashanti said. "It was a lot of comments and a lot of people wanting that. What I will say is we're in a better place ... We're cool now. We have some conversations. So it was cool." Host Andy Cohen then directly asked Ashanti if she and Nelly would be renewing their relationship. The singer-songwriter didn't give a yes or no response and stated, "I mean, I don't ... " at which point Cohen jumped in by saying, "right," then changed the subject.