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Nelly responds to Ashanti’s poignant accessory featuring their picture

The ‘Happy’ singer wore a rectangular clutch with a photo of her and Nelly printed on it to 2023 MTV VMAs

Kaleigh Werner
New York
Wednesday 11 October 2023 17:24 BST
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Nelly confirms reconciliation with Ashanti

Nelly has spoken candidly about Ashanti’s latest accessory choice.

On 12 September, the 42-year-old “Happy” singer strutted into the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards with a sentimental piece near her heart. A rectangular clutch with two-ring handles was teamed with Monica Ivena diamond-studded original. And while the form-fitting, wide cut-out gown with a built-in bedazzled turtle bra caught the attention of many, her purse stole focus.

Ashanti paid homage to her relationship with the American rapper by donning a bag with a photo of them printed on the outside. The picture was taken from their time together at the 2003 awards ceremony.

When asked about her standout accessory, the vocalist expressed an interest in the background of the photo. Being that the image was grabbed over 20 years ago, Ashanti thought it’d be “cool” to resurface it this year.

“I just thought that it was cool because this picture was taken 20 years ago at the VMAs in 2003,” she said to ET Online at the time. “We were in a great place.”

While Nelly didn’t have much to say after Ashanti’s big debut on the red carpet, he recently talked to ET Online after his performance during the 2023 BET Hip Hop Awards. “That thang was jammin’, huh,” the “Air Force Ones” creator said.

The two musical icons began their love story at the 2003 Grammy Award nominations announcement conference where they were first acquainted. From there, two years later, Ashanti confessed to having gone on a date with Nelly. Between attending brand launches and after-parties together, the pair were inseparable. However, neither confirmed their relationship to be more than friends for years.

In 2013, rumours of their breakup circulated. When asked whether she and Nelly were on good terms the following year, Ashanti told HOT 97 they had “no beef.”

Fast forward to this past April, the duo was seen holding hands in Las Vegas, giving way for assumptions of a rekindled romance to be made by fans. In September, Nelly appeared on Boss Moves with Rasheeda and to the surpise of many, confirmed he and Ashanti were back together.

I think it surprised both of us though. It wasn’t anything that I don’t think was planned,” he said. “I think we both were pretty much doing what we do, but sometimes being separate you understand one another more.”

“You be like: ‘Yo, let me see exactly what they see.’ You know, because we all can be defensive sometimes in our own relationships,” Nelly continued. “We know we wrong but we going to stand on it. But we all a victim to that.”

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