Nelly Opens Up About His Former Crush on 'DWTS' Judge Carrie Ann Inaba (Exclusive)
By Desiree Murphy
Adam Taylor/Newspix/Getty Images
It's gettin' hot in herre, because Nelly just revealed one of his former crushes!
It all started during '80s Night on Dancing With the Stars, when the rapper and his pro partner, Daniella Karagach, performed a Samba set to "Rhythm of the Night" by DeBarge. While all the judges seemed to love it, Carrie Ann Inaba seemed flushed, saying, "I don't know what's going on tonight but it was yummy."
Nelly reacted to the flirtatious comment following the show, admitting to ET that he actually had a crush on Carrie Ann back in the day, when she was dancing as one of the Fly Girls (alongside Jennifer Lopez) on In Living Color.
"Carrie Ann better watch it. She's an ex-Fly Girl!" he joked, adding that he had a crush on "all" the Fly Girls. "Her, J.Lo, everybody. All those In Living Color dancers were the best. I never told [them] that, I just admired from a distance."
Of course, a lot has changed since then. Nelly said he now has a "Fly Girl" of his own these days, his longtime girlfriend, Shantel Jackson.
"We FaceTimed her Sunday in rehearsal," Daniella shared. "And he danced for her like never before! I'm like, 'Shantel, you need to be at all our rehearsals!'"
While speaking with ET in October 2017, Shantel recalled the exact moment she and Nelly first met, and gushed over the qualities she loves most about him.
"Nelly and I actually met through a mutual friend of ours and I was so honestly hell-bent on, 'No, I don't think I want to get into another relationship right now or date another celebrity,'" Shantel, who previously dated Floyd Mayweather, said at the time. "He kept pressing our mutual friend like, 'Just tell her to come chill with me at the studio, I just want to meet her.' I ended up just giving in one day, and honestly, we've been inseparable ever since."
"I'm always proud of him," she continued. "I love the way he treats his family, he takes care of his mother, he takes care of his father. Family is really important to him and it's really important to me as well. We're also both adventurous, outdoorsy. He makes me laugh, which is really important. We can be around each other non-stop and not be at each other’s throats like, 'Oh my gosh, I gotta get away from you.' I really enjoy that… I enjoy his company."
Next week, when Top 11 Night airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, Nelly and Daniella will be dancing a Viennese Waltz to "Humble & Kind" by Tim McGraw. In the meantime, hear more from #TeamDaNelly in the video below.