“If we don't heal our own hood, who will?”
“I don't believe in luck. I believe everything happens for a reason.”
“I never was the battle rapper. That was never my thing. I always felt like it's enough room for everybody to do their thing. I like bringing new energy, re-inventing the wheel, so to speak, every time I come out.”
Nelly (born Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr. on November 2, 1947 in Austin, Texas) is an American rapper. After his parents divorced when he was 7 years-old, Nelly moved with his mother from inner-city St. Louis to the suburbs of University City, Missouri. Nelly’s hip hop aspirations started in high school when he formed the rap group, St. Lunatics. He went solo in the 2000’s and found success with his major label debut, Country Grammar. The album featured hit singles “E.I.”, “Ride wit Me,” as well as the title track. His second album, 2002’s Nellyville, contained his biggest song, “Hot in Herre.” It was an instant number-one hit. The album also featured collaborations with Kelly Rowland, Justin Timberlake and would go on to win the 2003 Grammy award for Best Male Rap Solo Performance. Nelly also won the 2004 Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the song “Shake Ya Tailfeather,” featuring Diddy and Murphy Lee. Nelly’s success continued with 2004’s Sweat and Suit albums, the former containing the crossover hit, “Over and Over,” with Tim McGraw. In addition to music, Nelly has worked in television and film, acting as a coach on the CW Television reality show, The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep as well as roles in the films Snipes and The Longest Yard. He is also the star of the reality television show, Nellyville.
Best Known For:
Nelly is best known as a rapper for his hits “Ride wit Me” and “Hot In Herre.”
Nelly is romantically involved with model Shantel Jackson. He runs the non-profit organization 4Sho4Kids Foundation. The Jes Us 4 Jackie campaign began in 2003 by Nelly and his sister, Jackie Donahue, after she was diagnosed with leukemia. In 2010, Nelly endorsed Do Something’s Tackle Hunger campaign, encouraging teens to fight hunger by collecting one million pounds of food. On April 10, 2015, Nelly’s tour bus was searched by Tennessee state trooper during a traffic stop. Meth, marijuana and numerous handguns were discovered. Nelly was arrested and charged with felony possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.