Nelly remains one of America’s most popular rappers. Born in Austin, Texas and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr., achieved mainstream success thanks to mega hits such as Country Grammar, Ride Wit Me, Hot in Herre, Dilemma, and Grillz.
In 2002, Nelly received two Grammy’s for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, a reward he shared with Kelly Rowland for Dilemma. That same year, he was ranked #39 on Entertainment Weekly’s 2002 “101 Most Powerful” List, while also being included in Teen People’s “25 Hottest Stars under 25” issue for the second year in a row.
Two years later, Nelly would obtain his third Grammy for Shake Ya Tailfeather, which featured Murphy Lee & P. Diddy. All of Nelly’s songs are published by BMG Music Publishing. Nelly has ventured into other trades outside of the music industry. He took a stab at acting starring in a re-make of The Longest Yard, which also starred Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Burt Reynolds.
Nelly is also an entrepreneur, having started two clothing lines, Vokal for men and Apple Bottoms for women. In addition, he is a co-sponsor of Pimp Juice, a non-carbonated sports energy drink. He is also part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, a budding NBA expansion team. Nelly also has a deal with Reebok, which manufactures his own signature sneakers “Derrty One”.