Often referred to as ‘one of the biggest stars of the new millennium’, four-time Grammy Award winning rapper and actor Nelly began his musical career in high school. This pop-rapper is savvy and has a distinctive and unique crossover appeal that makes him immensely popular among his fans. He made his debut with the album, ‘Country Grammar’, which catapulted his career to great heights. After the release of his first album, he gained unprecedented popularity and began to enjoy the fruits of success with his following albums as well. His passion for music developed when he was still in high school, during which he became part of the hip hop group, ‘St. Lunatics’. The group turned out to be a successful one and gained immense popularity, after which he soon signed a contract with the Universal Records. This exceptional music artist is known for his universal appeal, pop-rap approach and an elegant trademark sing-along vocal style that make his vocals unbelievably catchy. His well-known albums include, ‘Nellyville’, Sweat’ and ‘5.0’.
Childhood & Early Life
Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr., better known by his professional name Nelly, was born on November 2, 1974, in Austin, Texas, to Cornell Haynes Sr. and Rhonda Mack, where his father served in the armed forces.
After his parents got divorced when he was seven, he lived with his mother in St. Louis and later relocated to University City, Missouri during his teenage years.
In 1995, while he was still in high school, he became part of the hip hop group, ‘St. Lunatics’. The group became popular and their single, ‘Gimme What Ya Got’ was a smash hit.
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On June 27, 2000 he came out with his debut album, titled ‘Country Grammar’, which was released by the Universal Records label. The album featured the hits, ‘Country Grammar’, ‘E.I’ and ‘Ride wit Me’.
In 2002, he released his second studio album, ‘Nellyville’, which was one of his most successful and acclaimed albums. The album topped the music charts and sold millions of copies all across the globe.
In 2004, his third studio album, ‘Sweat’ was released. The album received positive reviews from music critics and it peaked on the music charts, in U.S and internationally.
On September 13, 2004, he came out with his fourth studio album, ‘Suit’, which was a commercial success. The album featured the singles, ‘My Place’, ‘Over and Over’ and ‘N' Dey Say’.
In 2005, he played the role of ‘Earl Megget’ in the sports comedy film titled, ‘The Longest Yard’, which was directed by Peter Segal. The film was a success at the box office.
In 2008, he released his fifth studio album titled, ‘Brass Knuckles’, which received mixed reviews but peaked at the music charts. The album featured the singles, ‘Party People’ and ‘Body on Me’.
In 2009, his compilation album titled, ‘The Best of Nelly’ was released in Japan. The album was released under the Universal International label and featured 18 tracks.
In 2010, he came out with his sixth studio album, ‘5.0’, which was released under the Universal Motown and the Derrty Ent label. The single, ‘Just a Dream’, from this album was a massive hit.
In 2011, he made several cameo appearances on various television shows. The shows include, the reality show, ‘T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle’, and some episodes of ‘90210’.
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He came out with the mixed tape titled, ‘Scorpio Season’, in 2012 which was his second mixed tape. The same year, he played himself on the reality television show, ‘The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep’.
In 2013, he came out with the single, ‘Hey Porsche’, which was a part of his album titled ‘M.O’. He also announced that the album would feature singer Chris Brown in the song, ‘Marry Go Round’.
His 2002 album, ‘Nellyville’ peaked at the No.1 position on the US Billboard 200 chart and a whopping 714,000 copies of the album were sold within the first week of its release.
His hit single, ‘Just a Dream’, was one his most successful singles that peaked at the No.1 position on the U.S. Pop Songs chart. The song received a triple platinum certification.
Awards & Achievements
In 2001, he won the Grammy Award in the category, ‘Best Rap Solo Performance’ for ‘Country Grammar’.
In 2003, he won the Grammy Award in the category, ‘Best Rap/Sung Collaboration’ for ‘Dilemma’. That year, he also won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Male Rap Solo Performance’ for ‘Hot In Herre’.
In 2004, he received the Grammy Award in the category, ‘Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group’ for ‘Shake Ya Tailfeather’ which was shared with Diddy and Murphy Lee.
Personal Life & Legacy
He has two children, Chanel Haynes and Cornell Haynes III ‘Tre’.
He has been in an on and off relationship with R&B singer, Ashanti
He has launched his own clothing brands, ‘Vokal’ and ‘Apple Bottoms’.
This Grammy Award winning American rapper began the trend of wearing sweatshirts and sports jersey’s backwards and also the trend of wearing Band-Aids on the face.