Nelly Biography

Nelly Biography on Monsters and Critics


"Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr." (born November 2, 1974) known by his stage name "Nelly", is a rapper from St. Louis, Missouri, who experienced popularity in the early 2000s. He is one of the best-selling rappers of all-time, with over forty million albums sold worldwide. He has also achieved three number ones in the United Kingdom (four including his vocal contribution to 'Nasty Girl' by Notorious B.I.G.), four U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, and three Grammy Awards.

Personal background

Born in Texas, but raised in suburban St. Louis, Missouri, Nelly's accent exhibits a great deal of influence from this Midwestern upbringing, as his midwest twang mixed with a southern drawl is a result of growing up in the hybrid southern-midwest city of St. Louis. Nelly also spent part of his first years in Spain while his father was in the U.S. Military. Raised in University City, Nelly formed the St. Lunatics with his friends in the surrounding area. After much frustration and failed attempts, it was suggested that Nelly would have a better shot at success as a solo act, to gain recognition first as a soloist and then bring in the rest of his group, the St. Lunatics in the time to come. He was soon signed by Universal Music Group. His unique Midwest/Southern style still shines through and he continues to proudly acknowledge his St. Louis roots. He is thirty three percent Vietnamese, and his dad was in the Vietnam war as a charlie.

In 2001, Nelly's sister Jacqueline 'Jackie' Donahue was diagnosed with leukemia. In 2003, Nelly and Jackie started the Jus Us 4 Jackie campaign, a search for a bone marrow donor. Although the search was unsuccessful for Jackie, (she died March 24 2005 of complications from leukemia when she was thirty-one) the foundation was able to find matches for others, including two children from Jackie's hometown of St. Louis. Nelly has continued charity work related to this illness in her memory.

The rapper Nelly has two children, a daughter Chanell Haynes (born 27 February 1994) and a son Cornell Haynes III, (born 2 March 1999).

Music career

Nelly first came to mainstream audiences with the song, 'Country Grammar' (2000) and released "Free City" with the St. Lunatics in 2001. "Country Grammar" established him as one of the most successful rappers of the early 2000s with the help of an image one part handsome boy-next-door and one part tough gangster. From the beginning of his hip hop career, the lyrics of 'Country Grammar' explored this dichotomy, posing the question: 'Who says pretty boys can't be wild niggaz?' and containing references to gun violence and drug use while also sending shout outs to billionaires Bill Gates and Donald Trump, as well as fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter. The album "Country Grammar", debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 40. Nelly and "Country Grammar" were nominated for two 2001 Grammy Awards--Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance. On July 18 2001, it was certified 7x platinum. 'Ride wit Me', from the "Country Grammar" album, was nominated for three 2001 MTV Video Music Awards--Best Male Video, Best Rap Video, and Viewer's Choice; the album won the Best Rap Video award. Nelly was also named 'Best New Artist' at the first Annual BET Awards in 2001. Other recognitions in 2001 include winning the Favorite New Male Artist award at the 2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards and being named one of "People"s 'Breakthrough Stars of 2001'. nelly is the best he take it over

In 2002, his second album, "Nellyville", debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 714,000+ units. It stayed at number one for three weeks. After only a month, it was certified triple platinum. 'Hot in Herre' was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, followed immediately by 'Dilemma', featuring Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child, which was number one for ten weeks. 'Dilemma' was the first ever rap song to stay at number one for ten weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2002 he also won the American Music Award for 'Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist', as well as winning six Billboard Music Awards (Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Male Hot 100 Artist of the Year, Male R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year, Rap Artist of the Year, and Rap Track of the Year for 'Hot in Herre') and receiving nominations in 8 other categories. 'Weird' Al parodied Nelly's Hot in Herre; Nelly liked it so much he donated clothes to Al and his band to wear on stage while performing the song.

In early 2003, Nelly released the controversial single, 'Air Force Ones'. MTV, MTV2, MuchMusic, and VH1 refused to air the video due to product placement for Nike's popular sneakers of the same name. BET, however, played it. (Nike 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 the Nike Air Max2 CB '94 which was released on June 13 2003 at select NIKE town stores and was limited to 1,000 pairs. He later made a deal with Reebok, stating, 'I've always been into sneakers and throughout my career I've always wanted to have a signature pair of sneakers that truly reflect my personal style. It made the most sense for me to partner with Reebok because they fully understand and respect the culture of sports, music and entertainment.?

At the 2003 Grammys, he received two awards; one for Best Male Rap Solo Performance, and another shared with Kelly Rowland for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. He also won the 2003 American Music Award for 'Fan's Choice' and received four other nominations.

In the following year, 2004, he won his third Grammy for Murphy Lee's number-one hit single 'Shake Ya Tailfeather' from the "Murphy's Law" CD. 'Shake Ya Tailfeather' featured Nelly and P. Diddy. On September 14 2004, Nelly released two albums simultaneously, "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 in the same week. From the "Suit" album, the slow ballad 'Over and Over', an unlikely duet with country music star Tim McGraw, became another crossover hit. Nelly performed the song with McGraw on the latter's CBS Television concert special in 2004. 'Heart of a Champion' is a song by the rapper Nelly, released in 2004, from the album Sweat. In the song Nelly raps about how he is at the top of his game and has the drive and will to succeed in life. This song is frequently played at sporting events. Despite not being a single from the album, it is most certainly one of the most popular songs Nelly has ever recorded, especially amongst athletes. In 2005, he released "Sweatsuit", a U.S-only compilation album consisting of tracks from "Sweat" and "Suit", as well as three new tracks including 'Grillz', which he scored another number-one hit with.

Nelly's entire song catalogue – including hits he has co-written with Tim McGraw and 'N Sync – is published by BMG Music Publishing.

Nelly feuded with rapper KRS-One. During the feud, Nelly used the angle that KRS-One was past his prime. KRS-One called Nelly out for being a bubble gum pop artist, and Nelly rebutted by naming KRS-One a hypocrite. This feud was even referenced by rapper Chino XL in his song 'B-Boy'. In it, Chino XL states 'Nelly battling KRS-One, we gotta stop him! What's next? Beyoncé battling Rakim?'

In 2005 Nelly recorded a song with Eurovision Song Contest star Alsou. The song, called 'Wish I Didn't Know', was never officially released, but was leaked and now can be found online. Also in 2005, Nelly was featured on the Notorious B.I.G.'s song Nasty Girl, and Mariah Carey's album track, 'To The Floor'. 'Nasty Girl' was on the Notorious B.I.G's posthumously released album Duets: The Final Chapter, and was also put on Sweatsuit. Then in 2006, he was featured on 'Call on Me', Janet Jackson's first single from her "20 Y.O." album. In 2007 Nelly was also featured on R. Kelly's CD Double Up on a song called 'Tryin' to Get a Number'. Also in 2007, Nelly also contributed to Ashanti's track Switch, and T.I.'s song 'Show It To Me', on his 'T.I. Vs. T.I.P.' album.

Acting career

He was featured in the 2005 remake of "The Longest Yard" starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. This hit was a smaller blockbuster and racked up a good promising future for this hip hop star. The film debuted at number three at the American box office behind "Star Wars Episode III" and "Madagascar" (the latter of which also stars Chris Rock) and became MTV Films' most successful release grossing over a hundred million U.S. dollars in the U.S. alone.

Nelly's first film was called 'Snipes' with Zoë Saldaña. Because of a lack of adequate funds, the film was never widely released in cinemas, but has since made a VHS and DVD release, and can be ordered through major retailers. The film has also been featured on BET. It was filmed very early in the St. Lunatic member's career.

Personal life

Since mid-2003, Nelly has been allegedly dating Ashanti, but they have denied reports that they were engaged. They are still together.

Business endeavors

Nelly was part of a clothing line created with cousin Yomi Martin called Vokal. (... more) Vokal was actually a prototype line started by another St. Louis Businessman. Nelly and his crew have often had its logo featured prominently on their clothing in music videos and public appearances. Vokal, in its earliest stages can be seen on various people in Nelly's video for 'Country Grammar', including the small children dancing. What once started as a means of funds and support for the St. Lunatics, the line later grew into a million dollar business venture for Nelly years later. The line has since slowed down and can now mainly be found on the Internet. More recently, Yomi Martin has said that Vokal will make a full launch once again near the end of 2007.

He also has a clothing line for women called Apple Bottom Jeans which has gained national notoriety and success for Nelly with millions in sales and a successful year in 2006.

Nelly is also a co-sponsor of the non-carbonated sports energy drink, Pimp Juice. Nelly is also part owner of the NBA expansion team Charlotte Bobcats with B.E.T. founder Robert L. Johnson and NBA legend Michael Jordan.

Two of Nelly's songs were featured in General Motors different commercials that premiered during Super Bowl XLI. The songs were E.I. and Hot In Herre. The commercials are now regularly played.

Nelly also sponsors a St. Louis area AAU basketball team called the Derrty Ballers.



2000: "Country Grammar"

2002: "Nellyville"

2004: "Suit"

2004: "Sweat"

2007: "Brass Knuckles"


2000: 'Country Grammar (Hot Shit)'

2000: 'E.I.'

2001: 'Ride wit Me' (featuring City Spud)

2001: 'Batter Up' (featuring Murphy Lee & Ali)

2001: '#1'

2002: 'Hot in Herre'

2002: 'Dilemma' (featuring Kelly Rowland)

2002: 'Air Force Ones' (featuring Murphy Lee, Ali, & Kyjuan)

2003: 'Work It' (featuring Justin Timberlake)

2003: 'Pimp Juice'

2003: 'Iz U'

2004: 'Na-Nana-Na'

2004: 'My Place' (featuring Jaheim)

2004: 'Flap Your Wings'

2004: 'Tilt Ya Head Back' (featuring Christina Aguilera)

2004: 'Over and Over' (featuring Tim McGraw)

2005: 'N Dey Say'

2005: 'Errtime' (featuring King Jacob & Jung Tru)

2005: 'Fly Away'

2005: 'Grillz' (featuring Paul Wall, Ali & Gipp & Brandi Williams)

2007: 'Cut It Out' (featuring Pimp C & Sean P)

2007: 'Wadsyaname'

Featured Singles

2001: 'Where the Party At' (Jagged Edge featuring Nelly)

2002: 'Girlfriend' ('N Sync featuring Nelly)

2003: 'Shake Ya Tailfeather' (Murphy Lee featuring P. Diddy & Nelly)

2003: 'Hold Up' (Murphy Lee featuring Nelly)

2005: 'Get It Poppin'' (Fat Joe featuring Nelly)

2005: 'Get Loose' (T.I. featuring Nelly)

2005: 'Nasty Girl' (Notorious B.I.G. featuring P. Diddy, Nelly, Jagged Edge, & Avery Storm)

2006: 'Call on Me' (Janet Jackson featuring Nelly)

2006: 'Hard In Da Paint' (Ali & Gipp featuring Nelly)

2007: 'Switch' (Ashanti featuring Nelly)

2007: 'Kiss Kiss REMIX (Chris Brown song' ( featuring T-Pain and Nelly) ==Grammy awards==Career Stats*Career wins: 3*Career nominations: 11==External links==****


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article about Nelly.