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AboutIn the summer months of 2000, steam rose off the banks of the Mississippi River. With the single "Hot," Cornell "Nelly" Haynes, an unknown rapper from a sleepy Midwestern metropolis stunned the recording industry, selling over a quarter of a million copies of his debut album Country Grammar during its first week of release.
Nelly quickly proved his star potential with follow up singles "E.I" and "Ride Wit Me" on an album that would go onto sell 9 million copies — the spirited rapper from St. Louis, Missouri had indeed brought the heat. Out of the gate, the staying power of this breakout artist from the Midwest was underestimated by coastal critics, a naïve assumption that Nelly would easily overcome. Two years later, his sophomore album Nellyville established his widespread appeal, selling 6 million albums and earning him two Grammies for the singles "Hot in Herre" and "Dilemma."

The gateway to the Wild West, St. Louis has long struck a chord producing unforgettable talents that stand the test of time – Chuck Berry, Ike and Tina Turner and Miles Davis. For a generation raised with hip hop sensibilities, Nelly has taken the reigns as the residing voice, blending smooth Southern cadence and Midwestern inflection that ride easy over beats and infectious hooks.
It's 2008 and with 30 million records sold, Nelly is one of the industry's top recording artists. Yet, he remains the voice of the tough town with heart. It's high time for Nelly to show and prove once again with his fifth studio album titled Brass Knuckles. His track record is irrefutable — there's the platinum-selling remix album Da Derrty Versions (The Reinvention) in 2003 and another Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group with "Shake Ya Tailfeather" collaboration with Murphy Lee and P Diddy.
Even in a more fickle market, he's still managed to score platinum on not one, but two albums Sweat and Suit released simultaneously in 2004. On Suit he challenged the formula for a hit record collaborating with country music icon Tim McGraw on the number one "Over & Over." This unique approach elevated him to four number one hits — the most by a male artist in the Top 40 charts.

While Nelly was destined for solo stardom, he's a resolute team player who builds off those who've been there for the journey. He introduced the world to his group the St. Lunatics including Ali, Murphy Lee, Kyjuan and Slo Down with the platinum album Free City in 2001. This release propelled solo careers, including Murphy Lee's platinum album Murphy's Law, released on Derrty Entertainment, Nelly's joint venture with Universal Records. The label is one of Nelly's business ventures.

Nelly remains an artist to the core, albeit one with an uncanny business savvy. His clothing lines for men and women Vokal and Apple Bottoms are sold in major department stores and his beverage, Pimp Juice (inspired by a hit song under the same name) has sold millions of units and been recognized by the beverage industry as the "People's Choice" for best energy drink.
He is a part owner of the NBA expansion team, the Charlotte Bobcats. The sporting world is a natural fit for Nelly, who was a serious shortstop slugger for his suburban University City high school team, scouted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves before music called. He came full circle to the field performing at Super Bowl XXXV and XXXVIII in 2001 and 2004. Most recently he opened Skybox, a St. Louis sports bar and grill and is putting together a multi-million dollar athletic facility.
Nelly, who is still an active athlete, relied on his training to ready himself for his major film debut in the "Longest Yard" starring alongside Burt Reynolds, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. The film showed yet another talented side of Nelly, who held his own with the box-office stars.

Many artists lose themselves in the glare of stardom, but Nelly has remained true. Perhaps, that has to do with his roots in St. Louis – and the people who've been there for him. He launched Jes Us 4 Jackie (www.jesus4jackie.com), a foundation committed to the education of African-Americans about the need for bone marrow and stem cell transplant donations- to help his beloved sister Jackie Donahue find a donor. Unfortunately, Nelly lost his sister in 2005, but he continues to push just as hard with the foundation.
To date, nine lives have been saved by the organization's efforts to match donors. He also started 4Sho4Kids Foundation (www.4sho4kids.org) dedicated to improving the quality of life for children born with developmental disabilities (emphasis on Down's Syndrome) and children born addicted to drugs. With so many ventures under his belt, how does Nelly find time for music? It's easy when you've got something to say and an audience hungry to listen. Take a closer look at Nelly — this summer the heat is still rising off the Mississippi.

When Nelly first debuted nationally in summer 2000, he seemed like a novelty, but it quickly became apparent that he was, in fact, an exceptional artist, a rapper with truly universal appeal.
He wasn't from the East or West Coast, and wasn't really from the Dirty South, either. Rather, Nelly was from St. Louis, a Midwestern city halfway between Minneapolis and New Orleans.
His locale certainly informed his rapping style, which was as much country as urban, and his dialect as well, which was, similarly, as much Southern drawl as Midwestern twang.
Plus, Nelly never shied away from a pop-rap approach, embracing a singalong vocal style that made his hooks incredibly catchy.
As a result, Nelly became an exceptional rapper capable of crossing all boundaries, from the Dirty South to the TRL crowd and everything in between.
His first hit, "Country Grammar (Hot...)," became a summer anthem, and many more hits followed.
In particular, his popularity peaked in summer 2002, when he topped seemingly every Billboard chart possible with his Nellyville album and its lead single, "Hot in Herre."

Nelly was born Cornell Haynes Jr. in St. Louis, where he encountered the street temptations so synonymous with rap artists.
And like so many of his contemporaries, a change in circumstance at a pivotal time in his life may have changed the course of Nelly's life.
In his case, when he was a teenager, Nelly was taken away from those streets when his mother moved to nearby suburban University City.
It was there that he shifted his attention to playing baseball, storytelling, and writing rhymes. With some high-school friends, Nelly formed the St. Lunatics, who scored a regional hit in 1996 with a self-produced single, "Gimmie What You Got."
Frustrated with failed attempts to land a record deal as a group, they collectively decided that Nelly would have a better chance as a single act.
The rest of the group could follow with solo albums of their own.

The gamble paid off, and soon Nelly caught the attention of Universal, who released his debut album, Country Grammar, in 2000.
What distinguished Nelly's take on rap from others was his laid-back delivery, deliberately reflecting the distinctive language and Southern tone of the Midwest.
The album featured contributions from the St. Lunatics as well as the Teamsters, Lil' Wayne, and Cedric the Entertainer, and spent seven weeks on top of the U.S. album charts.
All along, Nelly's goal was to put his hometown of St. Louis and the St. Lunatics on the hip-hop map.
Though Nelly had become a star as a solo artist as planned, he said that he is and always will be a member of the St. Lunatics, a collective that also includes Big Lee, Kyjuan, Murphy Lee, and City Spud.
Nelly fulfilled his promise in 2001 with the release of Free City, the debut St. Lunatics album featuring the hit single "Midwest Swing."

The following summer Nelly returned with his second album, Nellyville, and lived up to his self-proclaimed "#1" billing.
The album topped the Billboard album chart while the Neptunes-produced lead single, "Hot in Herre," remained atop the singles chart.
In all, Nelly impressively held the number one spot on ten different Billboard charts the week of Nellyville's release. Few rap artists could boast such numbers, and Nelly surely savored his number one status, particularly after being dismissed as a novelty two summers earlier when he debuted.
You could call him a pop-rapper if you liked, but you surely couldn't challenge his number one status.
After all, his hit streak continued unabated, with "Iz U" (from his stopgap Derrty Versions remix album) and "Shake Ya Tailfeather" (from the Bad Boys II soundtrack) keeping him in the spotlight while he readied his double-disc Sweatsuit project (following the lead of OutKast and R. Kelly, who had both recently released very successful two-disc sets).
The seperately released double album dropped in fall 2004, preceded perfectly by a pair of red-hot singles: "My Place" (a slow jam) and "Flap Your Wings" (a club jam).
A stroke of commercial (and to an extent, creative) genius, the superstar-laced project catapulted Nelly back atop the pop-rap world, where his presence was peerless.

Mest Populära Låtar (Mer)

Nelly feat. City Spud - Ride Wit Me
Ride Wit Me låttext
Nelly feat. City Spud
Nelly - Another one
Another one låttext
Nelly feat. Gipp, Paul Wall, Ali och Ali & Gipp - Grillz
Grillz låttext
Nelly feat. Gipp, Paul Wall, Ali och Ali & Gipp
Nelly - Bay
Bay låttext
T.I. feat. Nelly - Show It To Me
Show It To Me låttext
T.I. feat. Nelly
Nelly feat. Murphy Lee och Stephen Marley - River Don't Runnn
Nelly - Not In My House
Not In My House låttext
Kane Brown feat. Nelly - Cool Again
Cool Again låttext
Kane Brown feat. Nelly
Nelly - The Other Side
The Other Side låttext
Nelly feat. Avery Storm - Tired
Tired låttext
Nelly feat. Avery Storm

Mest Populära Album (Mer)

Nelly - Heartland
Nelly - Mo
Nelly - Country Grammar [2000]
Nelly - Batter Up [2000]
Nelly - Free City [2001]
Nelly - Nellyville [2002]
Nelly - Da Derrty Versions: The Reinventions [2003]
Nelly - Suit [2004]
Nelly - Sweat [2004]
Nelly - Sweat & Suit [2004]

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