Ashanti’s accessories really came in clutch. A day after Nelly officially confirmed the two were back together on “Boss Moves” with Rasheeda and Kirk, Ashanti took the news to the red carpet. The singer-songwriter arrived at the VMAs on Sept. 12 in a sparkling cutout gown with a crystallized chest piece and a clutch featuring a throwback photo of herself and Nelly. The standout accessory fully solidified the relationship news, ending months of speculation with a single outfit.
Following their breakup in 2013, the two spent a full decade apart, with Nelly saying he just wasn’t ready for marriage, and Ashanti explicitly saying she’d been “betrayed.” After an unexpected reunion on Ja Rule and Fat Joe’s Verzuz DJ battle, Ashanti told Andy Cohen in December 2022 that the two were “in a better place,” sparking some speculation about the nature of their relationship. Now that they’ve had a good 10 years to work things out, Ashanti’s clutch makes for an incredibly fashionable token of their reconciliation.
As the sweet photo on Ashanti’s bag suggests, the two artists were a power couple throughout the early aughts, both winning Grammys in 2003, and later collaborating on music like the 2008 hit “Body on Me,” which they also went on to perform together. “I think it surprised both of us,” Nelly said during his “Boss Moves” interview in reference to their rekindled romance. “But sometimes being separate, you understand one another more.” Plus, you can’t deny that they look great together. See Ashanti’s clutch below for further proof and a closer look at her stylish nod to Nelly.