Fans of Ashanti and Nelly were likely ecstatic to see footage circulating on social media over the weekend, indicating that the longstanding on-again, the off-again couple may have been spotted on a date.
The two musicians arrived in Las Vegas on Saturday night to attend the sold-out Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia boxing match at T-Mobile Arena and appeared comfortable seated next to one another at ringside. Nelly, 48, and Ashanti, 42, were subsequently seen joining hands in post-fight video footage.
Ashanti and Nelly’s relationship has long been shrouded in mystery and a source of fan speculation, as both have remained discreet in the press regarding whether they are a couple or just friends.
Nelly & Ashanti at Gervonta Davis & Ryan Garcia fight pic.twitter.com/OXxaEDUIMO
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) April 23, 2023
Ashanti affirmed to PEOPLE in 2005 that they “went out,” but stated that they were “not boyfriend and girlfriend”; three years later, she hinted that an engagement was “definitely in the future.”
In a 2013 interview with Hot 97, she jokingly dismissed queries about the rapper by asking, “Who said we had a relationship?”
In an interview with Sway in the Morning in 2014, Ashanti admitted that Nelly was her first real love, and subsequently told Hot 97 that there was “no beef” between the two.
Ashanti accompanied the “Ride Wit Me” rapper on stage during Power 98.3 and 96.1’s holiday concert in December. Under the Mistletoe performed in Arizona, and their chemistry was evident as they danced to their 2008 single “Body on Me.”
Soon after, the “Foolish” vocalist appeared on Watch What Happens to Live with Andy Cohen and stated that she was astonished by the number of fans who pleaded with them to reunite in response to their performance.
“My response was amazing. “There were numerous comments and requests for this,” she said. “What I will say is that we’re in a better place.”
Ashanti stammered, “I mean, I don’t…” before making a succession of exasperated noises in response to Cohen’s question about whether that meant they would not be getting back together.