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In Nelly’s upcoming VH1 “Behind The Music” special, his longtime girlfriend Ashanti recalls how they met, despite the two denying their status. She claims she played hard to get.

The couple first crossed paths at a press conference for the 2003 Grammy Awards.

“The first time I met Nelly he asked me for my autograph, but I think he was being sarcastic and I remember writing it down on the program. That picture has been in so many publications as something else but it all started out as a joke. For the record, it took him a long time to get my number.”

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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.