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Cornell Haynes, Jr. (born November 2, 1974), better known by his stage name Nelly, is a rapper, singer, actor and entrepreneur. He has performed with the rap group St. Lunatics since 1993 and signed to Universal Records in 1999. Under Universal, Nelly made his solo debut in 2000 with Country Grammar, the title track of which was a top ten hit. With his following albums, Nellyville (2002) and the same-day dual release Sweat and Suit (2004) and compilation Sweatsuit (2006), Nelly continued to generate many chart-topping hits. He won Grammy Awards in 2003 and 2004 and starred in the 2005 remake film The Longest Yard with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. He has two clothing lines, Vokal and Apple Bottoms.

Early life and St. Lunatics

Nelly was born in Austin, Texasmarker and moved with his mother to suburban University City, Missourimarker as a teenager. He joined rappers Big Lee, Kyjuan, Murphy Lee, and City Spud to form the group St. Lunatics; the group became popular with its single "Gimme What You Got".

Free City

Free City, recorded with the St. Lunatics, followed in 2001 with the single "Midwest Swing". Nelly recorded "#1" for the soundtrack to the film Training Day that year. Nelly appeared on the songs "Where the Party At" by Jagged Edge and "Girlfriend" by 'N Sync. Free City has sold more than a million units in the United States.

Music career

Country Grammar

He was soon signed to Universal Music Group, which released his major label debut Country Grammar in 2000. The success of its title track as a single (#7 on the Hot 100 and #1 Hot Rap Tracks) led to the album debuting at number three in the Billboard 200 in the U.S. Other singles from the album included "E.I.", "Ride Wit Me", and "Batter Up". The album was certified 9× platinum by the RIAA on April 27, 2004.

Nellyville

In 2002, Nelly's second album Nellyville was released, debuting at #1 on Billboard's Top 200 Music Albums ; its lead single "Hot in Herre" was a number-one hit. Other singles included "Dilemma" featuring Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child, "Work It" featuring Justin Timberlake, "Air Force Ones" featuring Murphy Lee and the St. Lunatics, "Pimp Juice", and "#1". This album was highly successful and was certified 6x multi-platinum on June 27, 2003.

Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention

In 2003 Nelly released Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention. It featured the hit single "Iz U" from the soundtrack to Walt Disney's The Haunted Mansion. The music video for "Tip Drill" became a source of controversy due to perceptions of misogynistic depictions of women. The controversy forced Nelly to cancel an appearance at a bone marrow drive at Spelman College, a historically black college in Atlanta, Georgiamarker. Similar claims of misogyny also surrounded Nelly's single "Pimp Juice".RIAA have certified the album Platinum.

Sweat/Suit

On September 14, 2004, Nelly released two albums, Sweat and Suit. Suit, an R&B-oriented album, debuted at number one on the Billboard albums chart, and Sweat, a rap-oriented album, debuted at number two. From Suit, the slow ballad "Over and Over", an unlikely duet with country music star Tim McGraw, became a crossover hit. On the 2004 NBC television concert special Tim McGraw: Here and Now, McGraw and Nelly performed the song. A feud with another St. Louis-based rapper, Chingy, came up near the end of the year. Tsunami Aid: A Concert for Hope, a 2004 Indian Ocean earthquakemarker benefit concert special produced by NBC, featured Nelly. In the winter of 2005 came Sweatsuit, a compilation of tracks from Sweat and Suit with three new tracks. "Grillz", produced by Jermaine Dupri, was a number-one hit. To date both albums have sold over 5 million units in the United States.

Brass Knuckles

Brass Knuckles was released on September 16, 2008, after several delays, Initial release dates for the album targeted October 16 and November 13. Its original lead single was "Wadsyaname", a ballad-oriented track produced by Ron "NEFF-U" Feemstar and sampling the piano riff from "All My Life" by K-Ci & JoJo. Nelly later confirmed that "Wadsyaname" was never going to be on 'Brass Knuckles'. Nelly recorded Party People", featuring Fergie and produced by Polow da Don, which turned out to be his first official single off the album." Stepped On My J'z" was the next single, produced by Jermaine Dupri and featuring Dupri and Ciara; following that was "Body On Me", produced by Akon and featuring Akon and Ashanti. Nelly appeared on Rick Ross's third single "Here I Am" also featuring label mate Avery Storm.

Endorsements and business ventures

Nikemarker and Nelly agreed on a one-year deal in 2003 to release a limited-edition sneaker called the "Air Derrty" which was a retro remake of Charles Barkley's signature sneaker. Nelly later signed a shoe deal with Reebok.

Nelly has done ads for Got Milk and the Ford Motor Company. His energy drink Pimp Juice sells over 1 million cans a week in the United States Nelly owns Apple Bottoms, a female clothing line, and Vokal, which caters to men. He is one of the owners of the Charlotte Bobcats, along with Robert L. Johnson and Michael Jordan.

He is the Founder and C.E.O of Derrty Entertainment.

Nelly played in the Main Event at the 2007 World Series of Poker.

Charity work

Nelly runs the non-profit organization "4Sho4Kids Foundation." The "Jes Us 4 Jackie" campaign began in March 2003 by Nelly and his sister Jackie Donahue after Donahue was diagnosed with leukemia. The campaign attempts to educate African-Americans and other minorities about the need for bone marrow transplants, and to register more donors. Donahue lost her battle with leukemia on March 24, 2005, almost two years after the campaign began.

Acting career

Nelly starred in Snipes (2001), and the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. The soundtrack of the latter includes Nelly's song "Fly Away". In a June 2008 interview with Kiwibox.com, Nelly revealed that he is reluctant to continue his acting career, noting that he does not want to "take away from the culture of acting." In 2008 and 2009, Nelly appeared in episodes of the CBS crime drama CSI: NY.

Discography

Studio albums



Compilations, Mixtapes & EPs albums



Collaborations



Awards

References

External links




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